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NTIA winners: Quark Expeditions' Tenille Hunt on being Australia's top cruise sales executive

Tenille Hunt is used to charting new territory with Quark Expeditions, but taking out the gong for Most Outstanding Sales Executive - Cruise at the National Travel Industry Awards (NTIA) felt "extra special".

Tenille Hunt is used to charting new territory with Quark Expeditions, but taking out the gong for Most Outstanding Sales Executive – Cruise at the National Travel Industry Awards (NTIA) felt “extra special”.

Considering this was the first NTIA since 2019, how special does this year’s award feel?  

It’s been a long and challenging 2.5 years for our industry and there have been many fires put out, so to win this award the year we have emerged from the pandemic is a true honor.

I am so humbled to be recognized for my passion and dedication to the expedition sector and my love of polar cruising. This year’s award is certainly extra special!

To what do you attribute your win? 

A big thank you to my team at Quark Expeditions for all their support; a special shout-out to my boss Robert Halfpenny who I have learnt so much from; and I definitely wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the advice, guidance and support of past employees and mentors within the industry.

Finally, a special shout-out to all the Australian travel agents who inspire me every day.  Thank you!

How has the pandemic changed the way you operate? 

The pandemic has changed the way we do business in so many ways – not just the way we train and communicate, but also the way we think. I have learnt to be more adaptable and to try and think outside of the box to get ahead of the game.

Where to now for expedition cruising (and travel more broadly)?

From a Quark perspective, it’s not just about getting back out exploring with guests, but having our expedition team exploring with them in ways we never have before, whether it’s on our new ship (Ultramarine), with new itineraries (Greenland Adventure) or new activities (helicopters). As always at Quark, we look to go beyond.

What do you love most about the travel industry?

Our people. It takes a special type of person to work in the travel industry and I missed interacting and working with all the wonderful people within our industry through the pandemic. It’s so great to all be back in action doing what we love.

Visit Quark Expeditions for more information.