What is it like to be a travel professional in the time of Covid-19? We know all too well the negatives, but is there anything positive we can take away from the experience? I ask five travel consultants to open up to me, to be honest and candid in their Covid Confessionals. These are my all-star guests for the premier episode:
- Chuck Flagg is a former radio producer, and standup comedian. He has been in travel for over 12 years. Chuck is a franchisee of Cruise Planners, specializing in Luxury travel and the river cruise market. Chuck is a former contributing writer to TRO. https://www.facebook.com/chuckflagg
- Sharon Campbell-Little, is the president / owner of award winning Wedding and Honeymoon Travel group specializing in full-service worldwide romance travel. Originally born in Edinburgh Scotland with a travel career spanning over 25 years, twelve of those years were spent working overseas for Thomas Cook one of the largest tour operators in the world. Sharon has now settled in Southern California and describes herself as a passionate and hopeless romantic who simply loves love. Since emigrating to the US 11 years ago, Sharon has built her romance travel company within the niche of destination weddings and honeymoons. Sharon has been the recipient of many top seller awards with hotels and preferred tour operator partners and is a #1 Selling agency for the island of Jamaica. Under her leadership, Wedding and Honeymoon travel group has helped more than 5000 couples to have a destination wedding in the Caribbean. More recently Sharon has taken on a mentorship role for new advisors coming into the Travel industry or romance niche. She also teaches several Travel and Tourism classes within OCC community college. https://www.facebook.com/sharon.little.9440 Also be sure to check out Sharon’s Facebook Group – Travel Industry’s Got Talent Happy Hour: https://www.facebook.com/groups/622496201642708/
- Tom Varghese is the Chancellor of Travel (Owner) at Travel Tom. Tom has a strong passion for travel and is dedicated to providing a wonderful customer experience. With degrees in Economics and Business Administration, he started his career on Wall Street where he ran the Analyst Desk for JJ Kenney/Standard & Poors and ended with a position as Vice President at JP Morgan. Tom entered the travel industry in 2002 while continuing to work on Wall Street, choosing to indulge his love of travel as a part-time travel consultant. In 2011, he decided to pursue his true passion to be a full-time travel consultant and gave JPM his 2 weeks’ notice. “Travel Tom” is a recognized leader and an expert in the travel industry and has won numerous awards and distinctions. He has won Travel Impressions prestigious Globe Award (2014-2016) as well as top awards from his suppliers such as Hyatt Resorts (Hyatt 5-0), Sandals (Chairmans Royal Club), Palace Resorts (Platinum Agency) Hard Rock AIC (Triple Platinum) and Karisma (Diamond Level Agency). He was also honored to be recognized as Top 25 All Star Travel Agents (2016) from Travel Agent Magazine. He makes a point of personally visiting most of the destinations he sells and has formed partnerships and alliances with hotel owners, tour operators and others to ensure his clients have an exceptional travel experience. https://www.facebook.com/traveltom
- Lynda Phillippi is the owner of Renaissance Travel & Events a travel consulting agency specializing in ocean and river cruising, custom independent vacations, and group vacations. Lynda is the regional director in Portland, Oregon for the American Society of Travel Advisors and is an ASTA Verified Travel Advisor, a CLIA Master Cruise Counselor, and a Certified Travel Agent.
- Brian Raymond is the president of Sophisticated Crusing. Like many in the travel business, Brian didn’t start in it. His career started out as a staff attorney for the Michigan Speaker of the House. From there he moved into technology, as President of the Michigan Information Technology Network, Sr. VP at Chaparral Communication and VP at Sony Electronics. After twenty years in corporate America, he decided to work for himself as a real estate broker, and then he and his husband followed a dream to build a bar on the Mediterranean in Spain. The plan was to stay there forever, but the financial crisis of 2008 hit Spain especially hard. They sold the bar and moved to the US, where Brian started his travel career in 2010. https://www.facebook.com/james.brian.raymond