Say hello to the inspiring people in the industry who’ve chosen ‘travel for life’ as their career. They are ultra passionate, much-loved and inspire others by going above & beyond in their roles.
We meet Robyn Sinfield, the travel-mad manager of the Tasmanian based Home Travel Company and Penguin Tasmania and a Savenio Affiliate, who has been selling travel to the masses since 1984.
“The Travel and Cruise Industry has been very kind to me over the past 35 years! Yes, I’m from a small regional area in Tasmania – but big is not always better and indeed for travel and relationships it’s been the best place to be, a place to make a difference and be seen!”
WHAT IS YOUR ROLE IN YOUR ORGANISATION AND WHAT DOES YOUR DAY NORMALLY LOOK LIKE?
My role is to manage a home based /mobile travel and cruise business together with my husband Murray, (Home Travel Company, Penguin Tasmania ) – very much hands on working from a trusted and valued client book and referrals., and encouraging our team of home based advisors to be the best they can be managing their client base. I love the marketing and the ability to turn an idea into something that generates business and brand awareness.
WHAT IS HAPPENING AT YOUR ORGANISATION THAT’S IMPORTANT FOR THE INDUSTRY TO KNOW?
Firstly home-based has been the fastest growing sector of retail travel in Australia and it’s because it’s a model that retains knowledge around a lifestyle approach to work and secondly the move for many clients from mainstream travellers to luxury travellers – both are a part of a cycle happening globally.
WHAT KIND OF TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING WITH TRAVELLERS?
My clients either book ‘last-minute’ or years out, it’s nothing to be asked to put together a major European itinerary with 3 weeks notice or to take a world voyage booking for cruisers 2 years out!
WERE THERE ANY STATISTICS THAT SURPRISED YOU? IF SO, WHAT WERE THEY AND WHY THE SURPRISE?
My personal passion is cruise and the best holiday is one where you ‘just add water!’ and anything statistically based on cruise I hone into and on reading the CLIA notes from the Australian Economy Impact Assessment – I was encouraged to see just what cruise means to Australia/N Z and it made me think about its importance globally – and the serious way our cruise partners work with the environment and other key issues.
WHO INSPIRES YOU WITHIN OUR INDUSTRY?
So many amazing partners have helped my journey – all willing to share their time, their money and their experience to help me be the best I can be. And also agency colleagues – doesn’t matter how long between trips or laughs, we can seriously sit down and talks about the same issues, challenges and trends.
WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THE INDUSTRY IN 3-5 YEARS?
No one day is the same in our industry and sometimes the news shocks me, and other times I think that it should have happened a while ago! Those of us who have been around a while value relationships and I can see more and more direct relationships and business offerings and we’ve started to see this with cruise lines as they strategically work with the cruise agencies that support them, – it’s the pareto principle – simply the 80/20 rule – we can’t all be the same and everyone , agent or supplier has USP’s – strengths and weaknesses.
I would also like to see the partners we work with work out ways to have teams that are well trained – so that information given by partners is accurate and given with the same mutual respect of us being their customers just like our customers are theirs!
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WITHIN THE INDUSTRY?
Pre travel Murray & I were the local town’s Newsagents and on one of our biannual international journeys I flippantly said to the owner of the local agency ‘if ever you wish to sell, let us know’.
Little did I know that just 6 months later we were to take the call that changed our lives, and for 9 years we ran both businesses, booking their holidays and stopping their papers! We were also the first in Tasmania to buy an agency with no knowledge – and we soon set about to learn all we could with 6 months up our sleeves before takeover., and we have never looked back , taking that one business to multi stores across Tasmania which we sold in 2006.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY THAT YOU LOVE MOST AND WHY?
Variety, they say it’s the spice of life…well it certainly is in travel as we have no idea from one day to another what might ‘hit our desk!’ – world disasters, joyous occasions and more,
And of course the ability to travel freely to see amazing parts of our world and be able to share that with clients who share the same passion .
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE TRIP?
Antarctica, – we decided to head there in Silversea’s inaugural season and it was just one of the best investments we’ve made personally and professionally, – a gob smacking destination and one we will never forget!
IF YOU COULD TRAVEL ANYWHERE ON A BUDGET, WHERE WOULD IT BE AND WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE?
I started this by saying how blessed I was, to have the job I have ..and I’ve travelled to 114 countries and slept on water (on all styles of vessels) for nearly 800 nights in my career – BUT with a few items still on the bucket list I’ll be looking forward to the day I can sail from Capetown to the Canary Islands or similar visiting the highlights of the west coast of Africa.
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