Say hello to the people in the industry who have chosen to ‘travel for life’. They’re ultra passionate, much-loved folk that continue to inspire others by going above and beyond in their roles.
This week we catch up with Matt Paterson of roomXML, who has grown in the industry in so many ways that he’s not only educating Travel Agents on the amazing properties roomsXML have on offer, but spreading the word on how AWESOME it is to work in the industry. Quite often this is at an event where he is seen busting a few moves like Jagger.
What do you do in your role Matt?
My role is split between managing our customer support team in Melbourne and getting out on the road and visiting travel agents.
When I first started with roomsXML, my role was purely behind a desk, answering phone calls and emails from people I had never met. After a few years, you start to build a relationship over the phone and emails. Having the opportunity to then “put a face to the name” has made that relationship stronger which is something I enjoy.
What do you love most about working in the travel industry?
The new challenges a day can bring – from working on sales and marketing strategies to meeting clients in a café, to sorting out an issue with a booking at a hotel.
Days are never the same, which keeps the job interesting.
How has working in travel changed you? Besides the hairdo…
Working in travel has opened my eyes to a broader perspective of the world we live in. Having the opportunity to experience different cultures and ways of living makes you appreciate what you have.
Tell us about a recent, amazing travel experience
Being a big sports fan, I lived my childhood dream of attending an NBA game. After watching Michael Jordan as a child on TV, it was amazing to actually see it in person. Although Jordan has now retired, Lebron James was just as good.
What’s the weirdest/most amusing job you’ve ever had?
I worked at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, 2006. A friend and I worked in the VicHealth stand selling pedometers; it was basically a bludge as they weren’t very popular. Poorly made, overpriced, so we made our own fun and explored the games.
What’s the most eye-opening thing you’ve ever seen on your travels?
This one time in Amsterdam….I’m sure all stories from Amsterdam start this way, this place is a real eye-opener and no prior warnings prepare you for it. Hookers behind glass doors, drug dealers, “café’s” – it’s a whole new world. Anyway, we decided to enter a “café” and sample the local product, which then turned into a crazy night, lots of laughs and probably some things that may or may not have been there.
How can we as an industry ‘travel to change the world?’
Raising awareness of global issues and educating people. Travelling exposes us to new ideas, cultures, and people. After travelling, we all come back home with a new story and a greater appreciation for our life, as well as a chance to reflect on how we can improve ourselves.
What’s your number one in-flight travel tip?
A good pair of noise-cancelling headphones. Even when you’re not listening to music or watching a movie, they are awesome at blocking out the ambient noise of a plane, as well as the snorers and crying babies.
What’s your favourite travel app?
Google translate – works like magic when travelling in countries where there is a huge language barrier.
What advice would you give an industry newbie?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. There are so many people within the industry that have a wealth of knowledge which can be untapped. By doing so, you’ll learn heaps and it can also open doors and introductions.
Has Matt visited your office or have you spoken to him on the phone?
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