Say G’day to the heroes of the Travel Industry in our new interview series. These are the much-loved people that continue to inspire others by going above and beyond in their everyday roles in travel.
This week I catch up with Flight Centre’s Healthwise Global Business Leader, Tod Horton.
Anyone who knows Tod will tell you, this man is one of the most inspirational, and nicest of all.
During his 18 years at Flight Centre Travel Group, Tod has amongst many other things, set the benchmark for health and fitness in the workplace, launching and growing Healthwise globally within Flight Centre as well as taking FC Active from being an internal initiative to a successful consumer-facing brand.
I first met Tod around the same time as he started, when I too worked for Flight Centre in their Head Office that was then on Ann Street in Brisbane.
Eighteen years on, he hasn’t changed one bit and looks to have even more of that trademark energy and ‘can do’ enthusiasm he infectiously spreads wherever he goes.
“What’s his secret?” We all ask (slightly jealously).
Over the years, Tod has competed in a gazillion marathons and triathlons all over the world including the Hawaii Ironman numerous times and is probably one of the fittest, yet most humble and positive people you’ll ever meet.
Say G’day to Tod.
What do you do in your role Tod?
I am lucky enough to lead our corporate health division of Flight Centre Travel Group and look after the health and wellbeing of all staff in every country that FCTG is located (currently 23 and counting!).
We offer health consultations, wellness challenges, personal training, massage, beauty, group training, conferences, products and much more.
What do you love most about working in the travel industry?
Absolutely it has to be the people.
Over my 18 years, I have had the chance to meet and help so many amazing and inspirational people and have made lifelong friends. The travel perks aren’t too bad either!
How has working in travel changed you?
Working in travel has allowed me to explore the world with my family and take part in events and adventures that I could never have dreamt of. I think I’ve become a much more rounded person for it and am just so grateful to have had the opportunities i’ve had.
Tell us about a recent, amazing travel experience
We just returned a few weeks ago from a cracking trip to Sri Lanka. My wife and two boys are keen surfers and we had so much fun travelling to each surf break in our Tuk Tuk’s. Besides that, we really enjoyed the food, the people and the culture.
What’s the weirdest/most amusing job you’ve ever had?
Before I joined FCTG it would have to be picking watermelons and potatoes out in Kingaroy where I grew up. It was great for training and got me ready for Skroo’s elbows hitting me on the footy field.
What’s the most eye-opening/funniest thing you’ve ever seen on your travels?
It would have to be the latest trip to Hawaii for global. A group of Russian tourists were checking out Waimea Bay with the waves breaking at 30 feet plus. I think they’d had one vodka too many as a few of them tried to swim out the back and got absolutely hammered in every way possible.
You can imagine. I’d say they’re probably still trying to get the sand out of every crack!
How can we as an industry ‘Travel to change the world?’
I think we can all help educate developing countries (and reinforce to all) about the ability to make more educated choices in terms of recycling and environment. As a collective group in this industry, I think we can really make a difference.
What’s your number one in-flight travel tip?
I always make an effort to walk the length of the plane every few hours and stretch and I never say no to water.
It is all too easy to have a few alcoholic drinks and then eat too much and sloth out watching movies. It’s far better I think to get there feeling fresh so you can explore the destination as soon as you arrive.
What’s your favourite travel app?
I love using Yelp and finding the best local reviews so I can experience the locals favourite foods and more.
What advice would you give an industry newbie?
Make the most of the industry benefits and always be positive. We live in such an amazing time with so much available to explore, so enjoy it and always keep smiling.
Have you met Tod on your travels in the industry? Want to get involved too? Drop us a line here and let’s introduce you to the wider world of travel.
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