Name: Emilie Groleau
Position title: General Manager – Australia and NZ
Company name: AVIAREPS
When and why did you join the industry?
In the early 2000s when I first moved to Australia. I came to realise pretty early in life that as for many of us, travel is my true passion, and decided to build a career around it.
What do you like most about your job?
The passionate people I get to meet along the way, the variety of work, the challenges and opportunities it presents, and how it allows me to innovate and express my creativity. It’s also a continual learning experience.
What’s one of the biggest achievements of your career so far?
My overall journey with AVIAREPS, which just culminated in my nomination as general manager for our Australia and New Zealand office. It has been truly enlightening to work and experience so many different countries around the globe, while forging my expertise in the space of destination and airline marketing.
What’s the best advice ever given to you and who gave it?
“Have courage, and be kind”. My mother has been telling and showing us to be courageous and kind in everything we do since we were toddlers. I have been trying to give it justice ever since.
Who do you admire and see as a role model in the industry?
I have been and continue to be inspired by many great and successful people from many industries. I admire people who push the boundaries, offering new and innovative solutions. I admire vision, passion, and dedication. I admire people who have the audacity to question themselves and their environment, and have the courage to act upon their findings.
What can people expect from your company and what sets it apart from the rest?
AVIAREPS Oceania is now embracing what I would call a “Phoenix Opportunity”. People can therefore expect innovative and targeted services, thoughtfully handled by a dedicated team of eager, passionate and specialised professionals. What sets us apart is our global network, which gives us an opportunity to leverage our global market intelligence, best practices, expertise and experience in destination representation and marketing to the benefit of our client accounts and those who may benefit from these accounts.
What destinations are on your travel bucket list?
Too many to name but certainly an African Safari is up there as well as Bhutan, Mongolia, South America at large and Antarctica. If possible and maybe when more affordable, I would also love to check space off my bucket list!
What’s a memorable travel experience you’ve had (good or bad)?
Cruising the Nile on a traditional felucca accompanied by a Nubian family – a truly authentic experience. The memories will stay with me forever.
What are three things you always take with you when travelling?
A good book, a camera and an open mind.
Name someone famous you’d like to travel with and a destination you’d like to go with them.
I would go on a culinary world tour with Anthony Bourdain.
What direction do you see the industry heading in over the next five to ten years?
I think the next 5-10 years will be a very exciting time for our industry.
International tourist arrivals worldwide will continue to increase at a steady rate, and so will the market share of emerging destinations – travellers are more and more thirsty for unknown, authentic, unique destinations, and faster and affordable travel will make long-haul destinations increasingly attractive. Travellers will also come from a wider spread of nations.
On the distribution side, I believe we will continue to see many more significant consolidations, but at the same time we’ll see emerging a new generation of players. New niches will emerge and products will become more diverse yet more specialised.
Digital innovations will continue to transform the travel industry – we are entering the customer age, and as marketers we really need to get good at listening at and engaging with the consumers and at building relationships with them.
Emilie Groleau, General Manager – Australia / New Zealand