Reigniting the Passion for Travel

Joanie Ogg, NACTA President Recently I had the pleasure of meeting a woman who wants to be a travel agent. Some of the naysayers may read this first sentence and are saying to themselves, “Boy, is she nuts? Why would someone want to be a travel agent in today’s industry environment?” Well, I found this w

By: Joanie Ogg, NACTA President

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting a woman who wants to be a travel agent. Some of the naysayers may read this first sentence and are saying to themselves, “Boy, is she nuts? Why would someone want to be a travel agent in today’s industry environment?” Well, I found this woman to represent one of the most refreshing and vital elements in our industry: the freedom to do what we want to do as Americans and the passion to follow our entrepreneurial dreams.

Let me share a bit more about our conversation and why I would nominate her today to be the mascot and ambassador of “positive thinking” for the travel-agent community. Her enthusiasm and energy about starting her new home-based travel agency was contagious and refreshing.

She had worked as a flight attendant for Northwest Airlines and fell victim to a cutback, forcing her and yet helping her at the same time to make some life choices. She lived and continues to live in my hometown of San Diego and she simply did not want to move, if at all possible. There had to be something, she kept telling herself. Something she would like to do, wanted to do and could do. Something that had to be the perfect blend: using her skills in customer service (remember, this was when airlines focused on that a bit more), combined with her love of traveling and the incredible amount of experience and education she had gained over the years. Now, faced with wanting to begin a new career, she, of course, considered travel as an option. So, she began asking others what they thought about it for her new business direction. She found the response less than positive. Folks told her she would never make money in this business and that the travel industry was a dying breed. She started thinking about other options, such as opening a coffee house or becoming a substitute teacher. But she kept coming back to travel, no matter how hard she tried to find another option. She decided that she would simply do what she wanted to do and would start her own travel business.

This is when we met. She wanted to buy one of our books, “How to Start a Home-Based Travel Agency.” We spent some time talking at a nearby Starbucks, mostly listening to her story. She gave us her gift of passion for travel and reminded me of why my husband Tom and I have proudly spent our entire careers in the travel industry. During these challenging times, let’s remember the positive reasons why we are in this business and remember that, when times are tough, they are always followed by times of great rewards. Join me in being cheerleaders for our business and let’s tell the traveling public how great it is to travel and be sure to give them your card.

Adventure Travel JDS Africa Middle East JDS Destinations
>