LAST WORD

Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of The Wal­she Group and Chair­man of South­ern Travel Hold­ings.

Vacations & Travel - - Contents -

Jac­qui Wal­she is the long-term man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of The Wal­she

Group, which provides ded­i­cated air­line and des­ti­na­tion rep­re­sen­ta­tion ser­vices to some of the world’s most trusted travel brands such as Delta, Sul­tanate of Oman Tourism, Lufthansa, NYC and Com­pany, Hawaii Tourism Ocea­nia,

Abu Dhabi Tourism, South African Air­ways, Scan­di­na­vian Air­lines, and Flan­ders Tourism.

She is also a di­rec­tor of the Australia Tourism Ex­port Coun­cil (ATEC) and was voted one of the Top 10 most pow­er­ful women in the Aus­tralian travel in­dus­try at the in­au­gu­ral Travel Weekly Women in Tourism Awards 2016. wal­she­group.com

When did you start out in the travel in­dus­try?

I have been in the travel in­dus­try since birth! My fa­ther worked in the in­dus­try so it was a con­stant in my house grow­ing up. Dur­ing my study years I had hol­i­day jobs with an air­port bus com­pany and at an in­bound tour op­er­a­tor. My first job after univer­sity was a six month stint as an in­tern at Bord Failte (Tourism Ire­land) of­fice in Dublin. After a fur­ther six months trav­el­ling in Europe I re­turned to work at the fam­ily business, Wal­shes World in Auck­land.

What is it you love about work­ing in the travel in­dus­try?

First and fore­most, it’s the di­ver­sity of cul­tures and ex­pe­ri­ences. I love that there is al­ways some­thing new happening in the in­dus­try, with plenty of amaz­ing des­ti­na­tions to ex­plore and rep­re­sent. Plus I gen­uinely find the avi­a­tion sec­tor in­ter­est­ing and dy­namic.

What is your favourite city to visit and why?

Very tricky to name one, so my favourites would be New York City and Dublin with a shout-out to Mon­treal and Cape Town.

You live in Syd­ney – which three places do you love show­ing off to in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors?

I love Syd­ney. I will al­ways drive vis­i­tors up the penin­sula to Palm Beach, walk up to the light­house and have lunch on the water watch­ing the sea­planes take off and land. There are some amaz­ing walks in and around the city, so I will usually in­clude a walk be­tween Spit Bridge and Manly. Tak­ing a day trip to the Blue Moun­tains would be my third go-to, a truly de­serv­ing World Her­itage lo­ca­tion.

What are your favourite restau­rants to take guests to in Syd­ney?

Café Syd­ney never dis­ap­points: fab­u­lous seafood and views. Catalina is a good one to com­bine a water taxi trip on Syd­ney Har­bour with great food. For some­thing quirky but cool, Chica Bonita in Manly is a favourite.

Which places in the world would you love to visit that you haven’t been to be­fore?

I have never been to South Amer­ica so pretty much ev­ery country there is on my list. The clos­est I came was a trip to Gu­atemala but South Amer­ica and Mex­ico are very much on my bucket list.

When not trav­el­ling for work, where do you like to go?

Nowhere! Se­ri­ously though, even after 17 years in Australia I am still proud of my New Zealand her­itage with plenty of fam­ily and friends there so will al­ways find op­por­tu­ni­ties to visit.

What tips do you have for peo­ple start­ing out in the travel in­dus­try?

Take the time to ap­pre­ci­ate the range of ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties that ex­ist within the in­dus­try. Work out where your pref­er­ences lie in terms of skills and ap­ti­tude and try a few dif­fer­ent in­dus­try seg­ments – re­tail, avi­a­tion, ac­com­mo­da­tion, at­trac­tions. It will broaden your per­spec­tive on how great this in­dus­try is and what an ex­cel­lent ca­reer de­ci­sion you have made. •

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