Wholesalers

“Travel is the great educator”: Collette CEO Dan Sullivan on why we need travel now more than ever

There are not many things travel industry folk like better than coming together in beautiful locations and celebrating their dream jobs.

And coming together has never been more important than right now, after the impact the global pandemic has had on the industry over these past two years.

This was abundantly clear watching agents, industry partners and key players come together in sunny Cairns at Collette’s VIP Travel Forum.

Speaking with Collette’s CEO, Dan Sullivan, Travel Weekly learned there really is much to celebrate.

Sullivan, who flew in all the way from Rhode Island to host us all at Crystalbrooke’s Flynn resort, said Collette has now reached 83 per cent of its 2019 pre-pandemic revenue this year.

“So 2023 is looking very optimistic, the pent up demand has been unbelievable,” he told us.

“There is tremendous opportunity in travel, and for people to go they just have to feel confident.

“And that’s what we do, we give travellers confidence and, that’s a really key thing.”

Sullivan has been leading the company since the 90s, having been passed the torch by his father, Dan Sullivan Snr.

Since then, in 2018, Collette celebrated its 100th year. He attributes the company’s success to the strengths of touring, which he said will be the strongest travel segment coming out of the pandemic.

“For many destinations, there’s really only one way to do it right, and that’s by land,” he explained.

“Touring gives you comfort and safety if anything happens, and with Collette, if something does happen we’re on the ground all over the world.

“Even if you’re an experienced traveller, having experts that are in that area if, say, somebody falls and breaks a leg, can take care of that, is a huge advantage.

“That’s one of our biggest advantages. We can take care of you.”

After two long years of travel restrictions, at a time when the world seems more divided than ever, Sullivan said the power of travel is crucial.

“I said this long before COVID, travel is the greatest educator in the world,” he said. 

“When you travel, you understand the world better, and the world would be a lot more peaceful if we all travelled a little bit more.

“When you meet the locals, and you have a conversation with people all over the world, you realise there are more similarities than differences. You have many of the same values. You just have different cultures.

“It makes the world a better place. What’s really important is that we get out there and that we continue to do it.”


Featured image: Collette CEO Dan Sullivan visits Machu Picchu (source: Collette)



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