Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tofa mai feleni to Tourism, travel and all things fickle

…and now,
The time has come,
For me to say
…tofa, to the tourism/travel industry…choohooo!!!

After seven years of travel and tourism related roles, I am ready to chuck in the towel and say:
“Up yours you frugal low-margin, overworked, poorly paid industry”

Oaky, okay, there are benefits but let me dampen down any more misconceptions and airy fairy ditzy mary fables anyone would have about this career “hole”.
I feel the great need to say to all those aspiring young ‘wannabe’ tourism/travel people to GET OUT NOW and find something more rewarding and meaningful in their lives.
Let me quash some of these misconceptions.

*You get cheap travel!!!
Like most travel deals you’ll see, there’s shitloads of conditions.
* Limited or blackout dates to travel, so you definitely can’t get el cheapos in July or Christmas.
* Short notice (can only book within 30 days of travel, provided there are seats available).
* You still pay taxes, and that can mean a lot if youre flying CX, Luftie, MH and lots of other airlines
*Most travel companies discourage 4 week breaks, you have to spread them out over the year.
* and worst of all, you’re too busy doing other peoples travel to do your OWN!

Tourism and travel is an industry that survives on very narrow margins yet huge competition all selling the EXACT SAME THING, so any economic downturn, ripple or fart is felt in all areas of the business.
For example, right now, we’re all asked to ‘ahem, tighten our seat belts’ (no pun intended) and prepare for turbulence.

*We party Hard!!
*Well, why not? We get shit hours and crappy pay!

*It’s a great place if you love working with people, ‘people-person’(rolls eyes).
Ask any seasoned travel consultant and the words ‘customer focussed’ leaves a bitter aftertaste.
Dealing with people’s travel woes is HARD WORK especially when you, the travel consultant is blamed for pretty much everything:
Bad airline food, unflushable toilets, bad weather, grumpy check-in staff, rude taxi drivers, beaches being too sandy, lagoon being the wrong colour compared to the brochure, countries who don’t use other countries currencies!, delays due to swine flu screening and the smelly fat guy on 35B.
If you love working with people, then be realistic, you won’t be dealing with happy people on a daily basis, rather you will be receiving end of complaints, or sad life stories and other rararas that really doesn’t matter. …so sharpen up your empathy skills and up the ante on the listening and pretending to care demeanor.

*This travel industry is also the MOST UN-child friendly crowd and INFLEXIBLE hours.

So who would mostly likely enjoy this line of work?

*single, spontaneous women with not too much attachment who like to drink wine and don’t mind long hours.
*Gay flamboyant men - theyre great, they love parties and short breaks and lots of attention
*people who enjoy doing the same thing for years on end…I think.

One the upside – it’s 4:14pm on a dreary Friday and I’ve a beer by my desktop eyeing me right now.

Where to from here for the Goddess of Savaii
, you may ask?

...well, that's another big ol' rant and rave to come, so watch this space

manuia taualumaga o le vaiaso!!!

Comings and Goings this week:
-The Omani delegation (MJ and Taaauuuu) are driving down tomorrow, and we're going to be on the rugby sidelines in our gumboots, rainjackets, a coupla churens and several bottles of wine. Thanks God for New World Wine Sales!!!
-Lagipoiva CJ and co arrive Sat for skiing in Mt Hutt and get back here Wednesday
-Mom coming thru to go to Bangladesh for an NGO meeting for climate change.
-SJ, L, Lio and Jacob moving to Fox Glacier soon....gonna miss L's baking)-:


its just moi said...

Hey you congrats. Doesn't it feel liberating. Lol I should know I also just did the same thing

its just moi said...

Hey you congrats. Doesn't it feel liberating. Lol I should know I also just did the same thing

DengXiao said...

Hey how come you dont open your own Travel Agent for tourists and fobs. I was in Samoa in July and absolutely no hotels rooms..yeah Crazy ass. Even with Tusitala and Aggies Lagoon out of action, thats still lots of tourists and fia palagi fobs travelling to Samoa for vacation, staying in hotels. Just a thought, you're too pretty for Academics..