Career in focus

MARILU Vitale

Business Development Manager NSW & ACT, Cox & Kings

1. What does your role involve and how long have you been in your current position?

My current position is Business Development Manager at Cox & Kings so I am responsible for increasing brand awareness, sales and training the industry on Tempo Holidays & Bentours. I have been in this role for nearly a year.

2. How did you start out in your career? Were you always destined to work in the travel industry?

I started my career with Qantas Airways 32 years ago as a Reservations Consultant. I knew I was destined to be in the industry at a young age as my family used to travel a lot and I loved learning about different cultures. I was always fascinated with how others live their lives.

3. Did you complete formal qualifications, and do you think they are important?

I had extensive training over the five years I was with Qantas. We were always training on product, sales, systems, fares & ticketing courses and product training. Over the years I have attended courses and have facilitated many product sessions. I think education is vital, especially in this industry when there is so much information out there. We need to be constantly learning so we can successfully help our clients achieve their dreams.

4. What do you love about your job?

I love my job and the products I sell. Visiting agencies and helping them put together dream trips is a joy. I also love to train & educate and get immense pleasure from teaching agents on new destinations and products they have never had the opportunity to sell and expanding their knowledge.

5. What were some of the greatest challenges you’ve had in your career?

The internet has been a major challenge, with it bringing in the perception that it is cheaper. Convincing the general public that a huge bargain is not always better is a challenge. It’s important to try and educate the travelling public that service, knowledge and expertise beats price every time.

6. What factors were central to your success?

My product knowledge, confidence and expertise has helped me succeed, and my passion and dedication to my agents has also been a big factor. I think that the fact that I have worked over 32 years in all areas of the industry also instills confidence in those I work alongside.

7. Did you have a mentor, and if so, how did you find them?

When I started in the industry I had an incredible mentor that taught me to always put my client first, to make dreams come true, and that there’s always something new to learn. I learned from them that it was important to always smile and give 100% and clients will come back to you.

8. What are the keys to good business?

Knowledge, expertise, passion, dedication and confidence in your product.

9. What advice would you give to others in the industry who would like to follow in your footsteps?

Remember you can’t know everything in this industry. Instead you just need to know how to ask the right questions and who to ask for the answers.

loader