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Getting to know Suzanne Laister from TravelManagers

TravelManagers' National Partnership Manager in Sydney remembers that time she swam with penguins and her first job working in Kings Cross.

TravelManagers’ National Partnership Manager in Sydney remembers that time she swam with penguins and her first job working in Kings Cross.

1. How long have you been in the industry?

My first role in travel was as an Australian Travel Specialist for Flightbookers (now eBookers) in the UK back in 1993.


2. What is one of your most amazing travel experience?

An absolute heap to choose from but travelling around the Galapagos Islands and swimming with penguins was pretty special.


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

Whilst working in a café in Kings Cross my first job every morning would be to clean up all the needles left in our courtyard from the night before – more unpleasant than weird I guess.


4. First ever country you travelled to?

I grew up in the UK so my first overseas trip was a school trip to Germany – not necessarily one I want to repeat!


5. Wishlist of places yet to visit?

Nepal, India, Sri Lanka but I’m also going to get myself down to the Antarctic one of these days (although I won’t be swimming with the penguins there!)


6. Who was your biggest mentor growing up?

My brother – growing up with him taught me a lot about how to deal with people.


7. How has working in travel changed you?

I’m not sure it’s changed me but it’s certainly helped me progress through a very happy life so far.


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

Getting my Australian Passport in 2007! Boy that was hard work.


9. What’s one in-flight travel tip?

Stay away from the alcohol on long haul.  Trust me, I’m definitely partial to the odd tipple or three but, even though it’s free on board, it’s so not worth the pain of a post-flight hangover


10. And one tip you for new cruisers?

Having worked on Cruise ships I would suggest you don’t ask what time the midnight buffet is?


11. What advice would you give an industry newcomer?

Travel in itself is an education so get yourself out there and visit as many destinations as you can, there is nothing like first-hand knowledge to pass on to your clients.

Have a question for Suzanne? 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