Say hello to the people of the industry who’ve chosen to work in ‘travel for life’ and who see the travel industry as one with massive growth. These are the ultra passionate, much-loved folk that continue to inspire others by going above and beyond in their everyday roles.

This week we catch up with the well known Maxine Wiggs. Director of Resource-hub. Maxine shares how she started in the industry, what inspires her and a message to all industry newbies.

 

What do you do in your role?

I talk a lot! Seriously, I do. I manage the day-to-day running of Resource. I’m out there knocking on doors, wearing out the pages of my little black book, picking brains, sprucing the advantages of outsourcing (don’t get me started), and looking for opportunities for Resource’s stable of brilliant freelancers.

 

How have you seen the industry change in the past 12 months?

 

Fortunately for Resource, I’ve seen a greater willingness from businesses of all sizes to consider tapping into freelance talent on-demand. Oh, and the usual travel industry dance of acquisitions, vertical integration, and more tech.

I’m also sensing a bit of a shift back to travel agents, which is great, consumers are time poor and realising there are other more knowledgeable people and can do it for them in half the time.

 

Worst change in the last 12 months?

The spread of those nasty scales-on-wheels at airports that some poor airline bod has to push around in the hope of collecting a few dollars off passengers with cabin baggage heavier than their tickets permit. What’s next? A charge to recline your seat?

 

What trends can you share with our readers that will help them?

Hotels are now responding to the ‘live like a local’ or ‘belong anywhere’ positioning of home ‘sharing’ platforms like Airbnb. Watch for more small, eclectic hotel brands being deployed by big hotel operators in interesting urban neighbourhoods.

Case in point: Jumeirah’s new Zabeel House brand and its properties in emerging parts of urban Dubai.

Not for everyone but, remember, the Millennials are coming!

 

What inspires you within our industry and who inspires you?

I’m inspired by all kinds of folk. Particularly some of the brilliant women leading the way in our industry – and the up and coming ladies stepping out of their comfort zone taking a plunge to start a business.

Within our industry, I’m inspired by the extreme generosity extended by so many to someone trying to get a start-up off the ground. The referrals and advice and ‘have you thought about’ mentoring have been priceless.

 

Where would you like to see the industry in 3-5 years?

Bigger and stronger, with higher levels of professionalism and consumer recognition of the value that agents bring to the table. I do hope, however, that the industry remains a 3-degrees-of-separation affair.

 

What advice would you give an industry newbie?

Try as many parts of the industry as you can. Try retail, wholesale, contracting, corporate, airlines, tourism boards, cruising. Find your niche, and seek out mentors.

Oh, and go to every supplier function, drink the bubbly, bend your business card in the middle before you drop it in the lucky door prize bowl and win all the prizes!

 

What do you love most about working in the travel industry?

Erm… The travel of course

 

What’s the weirdest/most amusing job you’ve ever had?


I had a job selling ice cream dressed as a milk lady. That was weird.

 

How has working in travel changed you?

 

Travel changes you. As a child, it’s easy to think you understand the world and your place in it. Exploring it changes everything, and inspires me to see more. We are all better for the exchange of cultures, traditions, language and ideas that travel demands.

 

How can we as an industry ‘travel to change the world’?

It might seem counter-intuitive but, as travel people, we need to appreciate the downside of tourism to ensure we don’t ruin the places we take people to. Over-tourism is a real problem for sustainability, local people, amenity and communities.

 

What has been your most memorable trip/most eye-opening thing you’ve ever seen on your travels?


Back in my tour operator days I was lucky enough to live in Egypt for 6 months – that changed my outlook on life. Being a young woman in an astonishingly different culture at a time of some unrest made me realise how lucky we are in the western world. People there are so humble and accepting of life as they know it, the history of the country is truly mind blowing I recommend a visit to everyone. Egypt changes you.

 

If you could travel anywhere on any budget, where would it be and what would it look like?

12 months following the winter around the planet, skiing in beautiful locations, flying at the pointy-end and gorging myself on cheese and mulled wine.

 

CAREER: Brisbane based Directors Role: Travel at 60

CAREER: Vital Travel Consultant: Team based role full of LIFE

Have you worked with Maxine? Share your fun stories.