Name: Mark Morrow
Position title: Senior Sales and Account Manager Queensland
Company name: Excite Holidays
When and why did you join the industry?
I’ve loved travel from an early age, ever since a family holiday to Disneyland, I’ve been hooked. I joined the Travel Industry in 1993 with Ansett Australia. Since then I have been with Air Pacific, Creative Holidays, Malaysia Airlines and now with Excite Holidays.
What do you like most about your job?
I love being part of a company that is passionate and focused on customer service. I look forward to wowing our agents with awesome technology too, allowing them to create fantastic travel experiences for their customers. It’s also a great environment to establish and build relationships with agents and travel partners.
What’s one of the biggest achievements of your career so far?
Being a Customer Service Trainer for Ansett Australia during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games was a great achievement for me personally. I was able to train staff to deal with various situations that could arise regarding travel, during the Olympics. It was a special event to be a part of.
What’s the best advice ever given to you and who gave it?
My Ansett Trainer, Ken Anderson gave me these words of wisdom. Poor Preparation equals Poor Performance. I still use this advice today in everything I do.
Who do you admire and see as a role model in the industry?
Forgive me if it is a little left of field, but I admire Richard Branson for challenging the status quo. He is not afraid of change or trying something new and always looks like he is having fun while doing it!
What can people expect from your company and what sets it apart from the rest?
Excite Holidays is the leading online wholesaler solely for agents only. We have innovative technology, giving our agents a complete, user-friendly experience, while also supporting them with around-the-clock customer service. Our team pride themselves on going that extra mile to help agents find that hotel, transfer or activity, and securing it for them at the best rate. Nothing is too hard.
What destinations are on your travel bucket list?
I have been fortunate to travel a fair bit within my airline roles, but if I am going to see the world, I want to do it with my family. I want to tick Cairo, Northern Lights, Antarctica, Caribbean, South America off the bucket list, and of course, visit Disneyland with my kids.
What’s a memorable travel experience you’ve had (good or bad)?
I helped escort an educational trip to the Six Senses Laamu Resort in the Maldives. This dreamy destination is to die for. With its’ spectacular crystal blue water and over water bungalows, you never want to leave. I was able to dolphin watch, swim from a secluded sandbank, enjoy amazing food and meet wonderful locals with warm and welcoming hospitality. The only thing that was missing was my wife.
What are three things you always take with you when travelling?
1. Hand sanitizer (I have traveled in Asia extensively)
2. Wet ones (as stated, I have traveled in Asia extensively)
3. Good company – why experience it alone? Good times and good memories are always best shared.
Name someone famous you’d like to travel with and a destination you’d like to go with them.
I was always a fan of Robin Williams; he had such a great sense of humour, in a world so serious. I would have taken him to Antarctica, just to see him out of his comfort zone, and to see what amazingly funny conversations and experiences we might have. Angelina Jolie might make the list too.
What direction do you see the industry heading in over the next five to ten years?
It has become a lot tougher for travel agents to make money with lower commissions and lower margins. And of course, the internet has seen customers become more diligent when it comes to travel and what they want. With everything being readily available online, customers have higher expectations for the lower dollars they are paying.
Online travel agencies will do well with lower margins and targeting a market that wants to do it all themselves. I am old school and believe in excellent customer service and support which is offered by travel agents, who can be trusted with their extensive travel knowledge and experience.