Say hello to the people of the industry who’ve chosen to work in ‘travel for life’. These are the ultra passionate, much-loved folk that continue to inspire others by going above and beyond in their everyday roles.
This week I catch up with the General Manager of Scoot Australia, Jared Simcox who is leading the Singapore Airlines owned, low-cost carrier onwards and upwards to new destinations and bigger things flying in and out of Australia.
What do you do in your role Jared?
I like to think that my role is that of a diplomatic sales guy (more or less).
In essence, my job is to consolidate all the big-ticket stuff down into easy to digest activities and make sure the guys in our team (who are way smarter than I am) have got the bits they need to make it happen. The success of any business is the sum of many individuals hard work and expertise, of which I’m just one very small part.
Equally, I’m the local ‘man on the ground’ for the team at head office and have a responsibility to report back to HQ on the state of the Australian market so we can plan appropriately and contribute to the global business strategy.
I spend lots of time working with sales partners to make sure they understand our product and can help us fill Scoot aeroplanes, talking to strategic partners about how our businesses might be able to cooperate directly or indirectly to acquire new or delight existing customers, working with the media to raise the profile of Scoot and cooperating with tourism bodies to work collaboratively to grow one another’s markets.
Because we’re out to challenge the status quo – no one day is ever the same. I’m writing this from a wee pod hotel in New Zealand (which I promised the Jucy gang I’d try) at the beginning of a trip around NZ with our big brothers and sisters at Singapore Airlines, and after I’m finished writing this I’m going to pull apart a report and work with the team at HQ to get it to produce a bit of information it’s not designed for but will achieve some awesome efficiencies for our partners.
So day to day life is super diverse.
What do you love most about working in the travel industry?
The super smart, innovative and passionate people.
So many awesome stories from people who are enthusiastic about helping other people create their own memories.
How has working in travel changed you?
I reckon my threshold for spicy food burn has doubled this year.
I also used to be pretty scared of flying (believe it or not!) but that fear is long gone after nearly enough miles this year to circumnavigate the globe four times.
Tell us about a recent, amazing travel experience
I was in Thailand recently for a weekend of diving with no real plan except to get to the coast and get in the water. What I didn’t plan on was that Thailand was in mourning for the king’s burial and most places were shut, it was an amazing sign of respect and a cultural practice that I admire for having survived hundreds of years and a hugely demanding tourism sector.
So, rather than mope around I hired a motorbike and took directions from a bunch of locals (mostly pointing and hand gestures) on getting out to a waterfall in the jungle where the local families go on their days off.
Two or three hours of spine shattering, dirt road driving, I arrived at a stunning waterfall with kids and their parents going for a swim and celebrating life – they were really welcoming at it was an amazing experience.
What’s the weirdest/most amusing job you’ve ever had?
I was a piano bar performer for many years and literally have ‘Pianoman’ tattooed on my chest.
What’s the most eye-opening thing you’ve ever seen on your travels?
Old downtown Las Vegas at 9 am on a weekday.
When most people visit Vegas all they often experience is the entertainment wonderland that is the strip – it’s easy to forget that people live and work there too, and many of those who I spoke to had really engaging stories of what life was like for residents living off the strip.
Heading to old Vegas in the morning when the partygoers are asleep and the city is snoozing was like being a different dimension, and I felt a strong empathy for the people who make the show happen behind the scenes or those who are there trying to break into it.
How can we as an industry ‘travel to change the world?’
Awareness and accessibility.
Take pictures and tell stories about the awesome stuff out there, and document the things that aren’t awesome – help contextualise the state of the planet for the couch warriors. Equally, if people have the ambition to travel, I think the industry has a responsibility to make it more accessible to more people which is something I’m really interested in.
Sustainable tourism is going to be essential, think and act ethically when you’re travelling – eventually, operators must take notice and our planet and the people impacted by over-tourism will thank us for it.
What’s your number one in-flight travel tip?
Do an isle lap once every hour to keep the blood pumping.
What’s your favourite travel app?
Babbel – learn new languages yo!
What advice would you give an industry newbie?
Be curious. Don’t let the accepted standard of doing something a particular way be a reason not to hypothesise about how it could be done differently and to challenge the norms.
Don’t be afraid of doing the hard graft either – you never know what doors it’ll open.
My first job in aviation was as a baggage handler at Auckland Airport for not many dollars and certainly not much of a lifestyle – but I met awesome mentors and learned like crazy which certainly contributed to what I’m doing now.
Have you met Jared 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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