Midweek Interview with Nicky Ross, owner/manager Access Ireland and UK Holidays

Midweek Interview with Nicky Ross, owner/manager Access Ireland and UK Holidays
By admin

The challenge for the industry is….selling ourselves and our expertise. Too often we don't get the message through that we provide service and advice, not just products on a shelf. I try to always include something in a package that clients can't find on the net, so it's impossible for them to compare prices.


The things I like about my job are….I'm learning all the time. As an owner/manager and "jack of all trades", I learn something new every day. The day I know everything is the day I retire…boring!

I am fortunate that I can try new suppliers and products, and it gives me a real kick to be offering something new to the industry. Plus, it's always a pleasure hanging out with the Irish Industry. They are just like Aussies with a funny accent.


And the frustrations….clients who continually ask me to beat prices on the net. I try to subtly inform clients that they wouldn't have found those quaint and unusual products if I hadn't recommended them.


If I didn't work in travel I would be….I always wanted to be a school teacher, then I had kids……


Qantas or Virgin?….Qantas for long haul, Virgin for domestic. I can live without a meal on a short flight, but give me lots of food on a long flight.


My proudest moment was….my proudest career moment was becoming a tour manager in Europe. We worked and partied hard, but I never lost sight of the privilege of travelling to so many destinations, and the opportunities for a future career. Personally – oh definitely having my two boys. They are wilful and totally out of control most of the time, but they are mine!


The naughtiest thing I ever did was…..I never kiss and tell.


I try to relax by….reading a good novel with a glass of sav blanc. I'm a total convert to e-books instead of tree-books.


The last time I feared for my life…the movie Jaws was a life-changer for me, so I eventually took my fear into my hands and gained a diving certificate…I was so petrified I never went in again.


If I can, I always try to avoid…pessimistic people. Life can be difficult at times, but I always try to look at the positives and turn negatives into a learning experience. Glass should always be half full (preferably with sav blanc.)


I really wish I had…lots of money and time to travel. If I think about it too long, I could actually get distressed that I won't live long enough to see and do everything on my bucket list. But I do appreciate everything I have done and seen and can't wait until my boys are old enough to take on the world with me.


The best advice I've ever received was….as a newly appointed general manager, my MD suggested I run the business as if it was my own. I've had some great mentors in this industry, and I try to put their advice into practice with my own business.


I don't understand why….some people don't want to travel. Are they mad?! There is so much to see, hear, smell, taste and experience.


My greatest weakness is….chatting too much with clients about their holidays. I have a client who has travelled with us many times and returns to visit relatives in Ireland each year. He is a solo traveller in his 70s and if I had a dollar for every minute we chat, I would probably earn more than I make on his bookings.


And my greatest strength….same answer really. This is a people industry and I invest time into itinerary development and choosing products to fit my clients' needs. We have an ever-growing list of returning clients and agents and an excellent referral rate.


If I was prime minister I would….No, please, anything but that! I like to get the job done and the red tape would be like a noose around my neck.


If I won $1 million on the lottery I would….employ a full-time manager for six months and travel with my husband and kids, but at a leisurely pace to really soak up the atmosphere.


If I could be someone else for one day I would be…right now, my 19-year-old niece. She is taking master classes in Latin Dance in Rio. She gate-crashed a Samba party on Ipanema Beach on the weekend. How cool is that?


I've always wanted to travel to….Bhutan. I was teaching tourism in Sydney and one of my students was a Princess of Bhutan. Her stories and photos have given me a yearning to travel to the country with the "Happiest People on Earth".


My favourite holiday was….I've had so many brilliant holidays, but as a parent, definitely Club Med Lindeman Island. They offered a great balance between family and couple time, and the kids really enjoyed the Kids Club. I particularly liked the all-inclusive package including drinks, and our bill on check-out was a pleasant surprise at $31 for golf balls and tees.

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