No Jersey required for a life ruled by animal attraction

No Jersey required for a life ruled by animal attraction

Industry talk

n What was your first job in travel and how much did you get paid?

When I was 18, for Gatwick Handling as a ground hostess. The salary was £4,000, including shift pay and a silly hat!

n What has been your biggest challenge in travel?

Where I am now.To aim for excellent customer service along with high staff motivation and low attrition rate.

n What, apart from your current position, would be your ideal job in travel?

Sue Biggs’ job (our managing director).

n If you weren’t in travel, what would you be doing?

Iwould really love to own a rescue centre for animals.

n Which company, apart from your own do you most admire and why?

Virgin. I admire its innovative ideas and the way they are happy to be the first to try everything.

n What advice would you give to someone starting out in the travel industry?

Be self-motivated and believe that anything you want ispossible.

n How do you deal with timewasters at work?

I don’t have any. A motivated team do not waste time.

n What has been your most embarrassing moment in the travel industry?

When I was working at Gatwick I was asked to accompany a six year-old to his flight. I was sat at the Jersey check-in as I thought he was on a flight to the Channel Islands. After sitting at domestic departures for 20mins it came to light that he was going to visit his granny in Athens. We ran to gate 29 only to watch the plane push back and he missed the flight to Greece!

n What percentage of holiday bookings do you estimate will be taken direct by 2000?

Around 65%.

n When will digital TV start to have a big impact onbookings?

It’s difficult to say but I would think towards the end of next year.

n Do you think the growing consolidation in the industry is good for consumers?

Yes, as it gives us better buying power, which allows better pricing.

n Make one prediction about travel in the 21st century?

Maybe one of our destinations will be the moon!

Personal talk

n What is your star sign?


n Which living person do you most respect?

My husband – he had the sense to marry me and has a positive approach to everything.

n What is your greatest regret?

Not meeting my husband sooner.

n If you could be anyone for a day who would it be and why?

My daughter. She does what she wants when she wants and everyone loves her.

n What is your greatest vice?

Spending money on my garden.

n Who, apart from your partner, would be your ideal holiday companion and where would you go?

My friend Jenny. We would go to the Maldives, sit, eat, drink and put the world to rights.

n What are your hobbies?

My daughter, her horses, my dogs and my garden.

n What is your favourite TV programme/film/book?

I enjoy Gardener’s World; the film is Hobson’s Choice; and the book has to be Gone With The Wind.

n What is the most memorable destination you’ve visited and why?

New York. It was on my honeymoon and we travelled by Concorde. I was completely amazed at how alive the city was all the time.

n What type of holiday would you avoid at all costs?

Travelling around India by train.

n What’s your idea of a great night out?

A great night in.

n What would you have put on your gravestone?

Life is not a rehearsal.

Jackie Willis

Job title: sales manager.

Age: 37.

Born: Crawley.

Lives: Nutley, East Sussex.

Status: married with one daughter.

Education: Thomas Bennett School, Crawley.

Path to career: started at Kuoni as sales consultant in 1992. In 1993 progressed to Far East co-ordinator. Became liaison executive in 1997 before beingpromoted to head of data control later in 1997. In 1998 became operations manager and took upcurrent position as sales manager in 1999.


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