Director of Sales at the Radisson Blu Plaza Sydney, Terry Oomens, has pretty much seen it all over his 30 years in the industry. But despite all his experiences, he’s still looking ahead and is ready to conquer the next stage of his career.


1. How long have you been in the industry?

I have been in the industry for 30 years although it doesn’t feel that way as I have had so many great career opportunities.

I started from the ground up which was great training – my first job was as a domestic travel consultant with Howard Smith & Patrick Travel in Sydney (a division of the shipping company at the time).


2. Tell us about your most memorable travel experience?

Being on a famil in Acapulco when the Mexico City earthquake hit in 1985 – pre-internet and mobile phones – with limited information getting back to Australia.

My new wife of six months thought she might be a widow after seeing the devastation in Mexico City but in fact I was just swimming around in a hotel pool since our flight out was cancelled.


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

Definitely has to be filling in as Santa Claus at the local shopping centre – ho, ho, ho!


4. Wish list of places to visit?

CUBA is a must do and hopefully soon before the culture changes.


5. Who was your biggest mentor growing up and why?

My rowing coach – one of life’s characters. Apart from my father, he had an enormous influence on my sporting career, my approach to business and to life in general – taking opportunities and running with them


6. How has working in travel changed you?

It has made me a very open minded person – travel is a part of almost everyone’s life and you have to engage with people on so many levels……… plus it’s made me very resilient as you have to be open to lots of exciting change


7. What’s your biggest life achievement to date?

Apart from my wife and three sons, it would have to be living and working in the US for six years


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

Relax and enjoy the time away from being connected


9. What’s the number one thing guests do wrong?

They don’t always ask if they don’t know or can’t find something – we’re here to help!


10. What advice would you give an industry newbie?

Work hard, take advice and have integrity.

What would you say people do wrong at hotels?