Name: Diego Iraheta
Position title: Direct Sales Manager – Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia
Company name: Collette
When and why did you join the industry?
I joined the travel industry in September 2015. I believe that in life it is always important to do what you love. Travel and meeting people have always been my biggest passions in life.
What do you like most about your job?
The fact that I don’t see my job as a “job”, I love what I do and it’s just part of my life now.
I meet and talk with agents about different ways we can help them to grow their business and it’s even more exciting when we share the same experiences, dreams, passions and most importantly bucket lists.
What’s one of the biggest achievements of your career so far?
My greatest achievements so far in my career would probably be owning a boutique café for 3 years in Melbourne. I won many awards including top 5 best cafes, top 3 most sustainable businesses, in the top10 for small cafés and many others. I sold the business a few years ago which gave the opportunity to travel all around the world while working as a stock trader.
What’s the best advice ever given to you and who gave it?
I will never forget when my dad wrote a letter to me and at the end it said
“Learn from the past, enjoy the present and prepare for the future”
Who do you admire and see as a role model in the industry?
My immediate boss James Cartmell. He has been really successful in the travel industry, very supportive of me and always open to my new ideas.
What can people expect from your company and what sets it apart from the rest?
At Collette, we set the right expectation straight from the beginning with our uniquely designed escorted tours at a great value. Our goal is to immerse people into the local communities and cultures all around the world.
What destinations are on your travel bucket list?
Antarctica, Greenland, Alaska, Cuba, and Haiti.
What’s a memorable travel experience you’ve had (good or bad)?
Very funny and cold at the same time, all I can say is that 6 coffees and kalua for breakfast is not a great idea in a foreign country.
I was walking in a snow-filled Florence one morning trying out the best cafes. My goal was to walk toward Piazza Michelangelo and take the perfect picture of Florence covered in snow, apparently this doesn’t happen that often. After 3 hours of drinking coffee and alcohol, 15-20 steps left before getting to the Piazza …. BOOM I fell into a frozen pond with all my electronic gear, I soon enough ended up completely wet, and to top it all off there was not a cab in sight to take me back to my hotel.
What are three things you always take with you when travelling?
Phone, a diary and portable batteries.
Name someone famous you’d like to travel with and a destination you’d like to go with them.
I’d like to travel with Elon Musk to Iceland or Greenland, and of course driving a Tesla.
What direction do you see the industry heading in over the next five to ten years?
New technology is making transportation quicker and easy. I see travellers being able to travel more often to long haul destinations as we see more efficient aircraft being released.