Midweek Interview with Adventure World’s Jerry Pilgrim

Midweek Interview with Adventure World’s Jerry Pilgrim

This week we chat to the legendary Jerry Pilgrim, Industry Account Manager Queensland for Adventure World.

The challenge for the industry is…

Perpetual innovation. With an increasing global middle class and a growing belief that regular holidays are a right not a luxury, travel providers have to constantly innovate their products to be relevant. I have been in travel over 20 years and I am staggered at how well-travelled people have become.

The new ‘edge’ of travel lies in the extremes like The Arctic and Antarctica – places that would have been unfathomable to the lay person 30 years ago, and the demand for balconies and butlers continues unabated.

The things I like about my job…

It has no bounds. It is impossible to become a master of all 196 countries and you are forever learning and discovering little gems of destination knowledge from colleagues, friends, family and farther afield.

Only last week I discovered a Professor in the Yukon who sent me a 100 slide powerpoint on the Northern lights which provided me with invaluable in-depth knowledge of a spectacular natural phenomenon.

Another aspect I love is knowing that I am contributing towards making this world a better place by supporting local communities and promoting sustainable tourism and conservation with the TreadRight foundation in all areas we visit.

And the frustrations are …

Trying to be in several places at once. I have the utmost  respect for the Australian travel Agency network. Their knowledge, passion and skill is nothing like I have ever experienced compared to Europe and the USA. As such, due to the geographic spread and the needs of the agents on ‘my patch’ servicing an area the size of Western Europe can be complex

If I didn’t work in travel I would be…

A property renovator. There is a certain joy in making something old look new again.

Favourite airline?

All airlines have their benefits, because they’re taking you on a journey of discovery to your next destination, but there are a few such as Korean, Etihad and South African who have been great supporters of famils I have taken.

My proudest moment was…

Spending an hour with a special needs family at the FC Brisbane travel expo and crafting a tailor made bespoke itinerary for them to Nepal. They deposited on the day and then their ticket came up at 4pm in the random draw and they won the $15k trip for free. Tears all round.

The naughtiest thing I ever did was…

SO many things, so little space to write.

But let’s settle for forcing myself to stay awake on Etihad business class so I could get more wine and seafood.

I try to relax by…

Exercising and being outside on the beach or in the forest.

The last time I feared for my life was…

I used to do yacht deliveries. Couple of instances spring to mind….the mast coming down off Gladstone and almost getting mown down by a supertanker in the Med in the dark of night – he just couldn’t see our little 44 foot yacht.

If I can, I always try to avoid…

Queues

I really wish I had…

Lounge passes without all the hassles of status and points and the endless shifting sands of their acquisition.

The best advice I’ve ever received was…

It was to do with Fatherhood. The advice was ‘just be there’.

I don’t understand why people…

Are quick to critique but not to practice gratitude….

My greatest weakness is…

Trying to empathise with what others are feeling…constantly.

And my greatest strength is…

I can initiate and I can change

If I won a $1 million lottery (aside from travelling), I would…

Realise it is not to be splurged. It is to be nurtured and harvested into something bigger than $1m and passed onwards through the generations.

If I was prime minister I would…

Recognise all the changes that have occurred in society and legislate to make it more equal eg. marriage laws.  Also, recognise our place in the world – an outpost of england has long gone, we are an Asia Pacific Nation.

If I could be someone else for one day I would be a…

Red Bull Stunt Pilot

I’ve always wanted to travel to…

Old town of Lijiang – Yunnan Province. Been 5 times to China and never been there.

My favourite holiday was…

A 13 day journey to Antarctica. You realise how small we really are, I would love to go back. I havent had the chance to hop on a Lindblad Expedition that’s definitely on the top of my list.

Travelling with a team of expedition leaders and naturalists learning from their differnet areas of expertese such as zoology, geology  and polar history would be an exceptional experience. It truly is a remarkable continent and I always want to learn more about it.

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