Creative Holidays‘ Senior Operations Manager, David Thompson, shares stories of hot ballooning in Botswana and walking around in ‘tight arse’ t-shirts.
1. How long have you been in the industry?
Fifteen years this year! My first job in the travel industry was with STA Travel as a Travel Advisor.
2. What’s your most amazing travel experience?
That would have to be a morning hot air balloon safari over Chobe National Park in Botswana, then that same afternoon bungee jumping off the bridge at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. What a day!
3. What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
Promoting “Tight Arse Tuesday” for STA Travel at various universities around Sydney. We received plenty of strange looks walking around in “I’m a tight arse” t-shirts.
4. First ever country you travelled to?
My first trip overseas was to Bali in 1997.
I was expecting to experience the stereotypical Bali so I landed with a big chip on my shoulder.
The reality of Bali was so very different.
I was blown away by the warmth of the people, the quality of food and the incredible hotels.
I have now been to Bali 16 times and can’t wait to return again.
5. Wishlist of places yet to visit?
I’ve been lucky to have travelled all over the world, but three places at the top of my wish list are Israel, Sri Lanka and Bhutan.
6. Who was your biggest mentor?
My key industry mentor is Jacki Jameson from back in my old STA Travel days.
Jacki taught me so much about being a manager and how to run a business.
This friendship has lasted to this very day, despite our careers taking us in two very different directions.
7. How has working in travel changed you?
Working at Creative Holidays has opened my eyes to an amazing world and lifelong friendships all over the globe.
Travel has also taught me to appreciate what I have, as many people have next to nothing.
8. What’s your biggest life achievement to date?
Winning the Green Card lottery (to live in the USA), then uprooting my life and moving to New York City for two years.
9. What’s one in-flight travel tip?
Take a change of clothes with you for the plane trip.
Not only are you WAY more comfortable on the flight, but when you change back into your normal clothes you will feel fresh and ready for your destination.
10. What advice would you give to someone starting out in the travel industry?
Know your product inside and out!
Have a question for David? Leave it below and we’ll get you the answer.
Getting to Know You is our good will gesture to promote the TIME program. The TIME program is focused on a Mentor/Mentee relationship that is ‘mentee-driven’. Mentors are drawn from the senior ranks of the industry and have generously volunteered their time and energy to the mentor process. They are matched to Mentees on the basis of non-conflicting business skills and experience that enables them to offer advice and perspective to the Mentee. The role of the Mentor is to hold their Mentee accountable and to offer challenging ideas that will inspire the Mentee, helping to building the individuals self confidence through praise, encouragement and constructive feedback.
If you are interested in joining TIME as a mentor or mentee visit their website
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