If you work in the travel industry, then you’ve probably been fortunate enough to come across this handsome face at some point over the last two decades.

Rezdy’s Anthony Valeriano is admired as an enthusiastic and driven colleague, while adored by friends for his contagious passion, wit and cheer.

From his humble beginnings as a docs consultant at a wholesaler to his current Director role, see where Valeriano’s career has taken him in 2016, how Paulo Coelho helped him become the man he is today and what he recommends for any industry newbie:

 

How long have you been in the industry?

I’ve been in the travel industry for over 20 years now.

 

Tell us about your most memorable travel experience?

It was during a visit to the Shamwari Game Reserve in South Africa. First we laid down for what felt like hours while a herd of curious giraffes peered over us. Then we walked through the reserve with our guide (it was terrifying leaving the protection of the Jeep!) and saw lions and elephants. It was like time stood still, I remember how fast my heart was beating keeping me alert of our surroundings though I also felt like I was a part of the land and their world.

 

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

Working as the weekend manager at the clothing brand French Connection. It wasn’t a popular or well-known brand at the time though of course I had to wear their clothes as well as a name badge that had their logo FCUK. You can imagine the looks I used to get!

 

Wish list of places to visit?

South America, Philippines and Scandinavia.

 

Who was your biggest mentor growing up and why?

Paulo Coelho – his books showed me that there are many different ways to think about things, and to imagine more from life.

 

How has working in travel changed you?

I’ve had some amazing experiences that I wouldn’t have been able to have as a regular paying traveller. I have such an appreciation for what we all do to make this industry work and how important each person and company’s role is. The combination of all my previous roles has shown me that partnerships, relationships and working together is the most important part of the industry.

 

What’s your biggest achievement to date?

Bringing people and companies together in the industry, especially during the times when disasters have hit our industry and we all need to work together to get through it.

 

What’s your number one in-flight travel tip?

Put your carry on bags in the overhead compartment opposite you and not above you. It’s easier to get them when you’re getting off. Plus, if your row is full and the cabin crew is pulling bags out of the overheard compartment and asking people to put them under the seat, you can say they aren’t your bags :).

 

What advice would you give an industry newbie?

Make sure you go to TAFE and get a diploma in travel. You learn so much; it really is the best introduction to the industry. Start from the beginning as there are so many opportunities and incredible positions in the industry, but you need to have the basics. People respect when you’ve worked your way up, learning valuable skills on the way.

Do you have any questions for Anthony?