Live Q&A: Exploring roles in the travel industry

It’s the time of year where it feels like half the nation is either on holiday or counting down the seconds to their annual summer break.

However, if your wanderlust extends further than, say, two weeks spent sunbathing on the Balearic Islands, you will have already ticked one of the boxes many travel industry employers see as great preparation for a career in this sector.

Spending a year working abroad, backpacking around Asia and the like are the types of experience which will impress, says Haydn Wrath, who is managing director of two specialist travel companies.

This sort of experience was certainly beneficial for Angel Conley, who is now learning and development manager at Virgin Holidays. Her career kicked as more of a search for an overseas adventure than a meticulously planned path into the industry. However, in a recent Q&A, Angel said she’s convinced it was her stints working in cruise ship retail shops and as a dive instructor in Thailand which helped secure her current role.

So, if you’ve been bitten by the travel bug and want to know how to turn your passion into your profession, join our live Q&A on Tuesday 2 August. A panel of industry insiders will be taking your questions so join us between 1pm and 4pm – advance questions welcome below.

To keep up-to-date with our regular Q&A sessions, you can now sign-up for our newsletter here.

Our panel:

Jane Wright is regional director of human resources, north-west Europe, for global travel company Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

Phil Purdie is a former ski instructor and director of SnowSkool, which trains people to become ski and snowboard instructors at resorts across Canada, France, the United States and New Zealand.

Holly Eddings completed a degree in magazine journalism and feature writing at Southampton Solent University earlier this year. She then became Condor Ferries’ Channel Companion – a role which involves travelling to Condor Ferries’ various destinations over the summer and writing up her experiences in a travel blog.

Mark Godfrey is managing director of the Harbour Hotels Collection, a group of hotels and restaurants in Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. Mark has more than 20 years experience in the hospitality industry. He was recently joined the Master Innholders – a group of prominent hoteliers who collectively work together to improve the industry.

Claire Steiner is UK director of the Global Travel and Tourism Partnership – an international education programme introducing young people to careers in travel and tourism. Claire is also board director and chair of education and training at the Institute of Travel and Tourism.

Jose Cofone works in a combined operations and recruiter role at New Frontiers, a travel recruitment company. Prior to joining New Frontiers, Jose worked in the travel industry for eight years with roles at Thomas Cook and Lunn Poly.

Robin Searle is managing editor of Travel Weekly Group, a media company for the travel industry and owner of a range of print and digital products including Travel WeeklyTravolution and travel trade information and review website

Diane Palumbo is sales and marketing director for Skiworld, an independent ski operator. Diane started her career in travel after university, working ski seasons as a rep and resort manager.

Nichola Roskell is QHotels director of human resources. Nichola spent the first part of her career working in restaurant management before specialising in HR.

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