Career in focus: Emily Cai
Founder and director of Onlyluxe Club
1. What does your role involve and how long have you been in your current position?
Two years ago, I founded Yu Teng, a bespoke travel agency helping Chinese travellers plan their visits to Australia, and this year launched Onlyluxe Club, a new luxury travel brand and website. I am the founder and director.
2. How did you start out in your career? Were you always destined to work in the travel industry?
I came from China to Australia for my study of Master of Advertising and started my marketing career in Melbourne and then moved to Sydney. I have loved travel ever since I was a young child and have always been interested in different people and cultures. I think that’s why I decided to travel to Australia for postgraduate study and now work in the travel industry to promote Australia’s luxury travel experiences to the Chinese market.
3. Did you complete formal qualifications, and do you think they are important?
I have a degree in marketing and business management, but no formal education in tourism. I think tourism is always changing – especially the new era of Chinese tourists. It’s important to understand Chinese culture, Chinese consumer behaviours and the young, affluent, technology savvy, consumers. My marketing education and Chinese background is certainly beneficial to this.
4. What do you love about your job?
Meeting with interesting people. Every day is a different day. There are so many passionate and inspiring people working in the travel businesses in Australia and our clients are delightful too. Everyone has their unique stories. Working with them makes every day challenging, interesting and memorable.
5. What were some of the greatest challenges you’ve had in your career?
The need to learn new aspects of my business fast and then employ the right people to do it. For example, Onlyluxe Club website is a customised platform and I had no IT or programming background. I learned and worked with my developers closely. That’s a challenging but a fun experience.
6. What factors were central to your success?
Passion and persistence. These two things drive you to keep learning new things, even working very late at night but still waking up with a smile on your face.
7. Did you have mentors, and if so, how did you find them?
No, I don’t, but I would like to have one.
8. What are the keys to good business?
Have a good offering that your clients want and then keep telling them about it.
9. What advice would you give to others in the industry who would like to follow in your footsteps?
China has a big population. The population of over 61 cities in China is more than 1 million. This is not a small niche.