Co-owner and managing director of In Travel, Isabella Piccolomo, talks about her time in the travel industry
What initially attracted you to the travel industry?
My experience was very special — I’ve always loved to travel, but I had no idea about the travel industry and had no academic training in the field. Then, totally by chance, I was given a job to replace a friend on maternity leave and from that moment onwards I couldn’t think of doing anything else. I was impressed by the variety of people I started to meet, the dynamism and diverse situations I was constantly facing. And, of course, the opportunities to travel and visit new places that no other job can offer.
What’s a typical day at work like for you?
My activities are less focused on day-to-day operations and more on contacting people on the phone or dealing with commercial issues, organizing fairs and exhibitions and travelling worldwide to meet with partners. I also look after all the sta ’s wellbeing, as the success of the whole company comes from their expertise and personal involvement.
How does the rest of the company operate?
We have a variety of departments dealing with tourist groups, incentive travel and FITs. In our company, there’s no special hierarchy as all the staff are very capable and professional, and comfortable working with great autonomy. All of them look after the whole process of the booking, starting from the quotation, the confirmation, the operations and the final feedback from the
clients. The ‘incentive department’ is also personally involved in accompanying the groups during the events.
What’s new for your company?
We’ve been a longstanding DMC and Incoming Agency for Spain and Portugal, but I’ve also operated our own European tours over the past three years, with guaranteed departures for specific markets from South America. We’re all very excited about this new product, which is already proving very successful.
How important are travel agents to your business?
Travel agents are our target market. We don’t work with direct clients and our web page is directed only at industry professionals.
What are the major objectives for your company?
From a business point of view, my major achievement has always been to give the best possible service to all our clients and to get a positive feedback from them.
What kind of vacations do you most enjoy yourself?
I am in love with secluded beaches, but I also love nature and animals. I travel over and over again to the Greek islands as they provide the serenity I need. I also love Africa and safaris — it’s an amazing continent and I’ll never stop visiting it. Obviously, I’m also in love with cities and during long weekends I love exploring the uniqueness of our European cities.
What advice would you give anyone pursuing a role in the travel industry?
It’s a difficult job, as you’re dealing with people’s precious free time. People are looking for the best possible experience and you can’t fail to provide that. You have to always be there for them, even when everyone else is enjoying their vacations. No matter what problem comes up, you have to be there to sort it out, and this can honestly be quite challenging. But then, making people happy and receiving good feedback is really special and makes it all worth it in the end!