Name: Ted Dziadkiewicz
Position: Chairman of the Australian Travel Association for Latin America (ATALA)
- ATALA will host its first Latin America Travel Week from May 15-22, 2016, featuring free consumer expos and travel agent workshops in Sydney and Melbourne.
When and why did you join the industry?
Way back in 1975 I went on my first expedition through Latin America. Prior to that I used to drive for Contiki around Europe and well, my camping tours evolved in Latin America and thus I became a conventional tour operator in 1980. I’ve been the director of my own business (Contours Travel) ever since.
What do you like most about your job?
Meeting new people.
What’s one of the biggest achievements of your career so far?
I have survived 40 years within the same industry.
What’s the best advice ever given to you and who gave it?
Be nice to people. My parents passed that on to me.
Who do you admire and see as a role model in the industry?
I had the pleasure of working with Eddy Baldacchino, former Director of Concorde Travel. He has always been an example to me, being able to effectively lead such a successful enterprise.
What can people expect from your company and what sets it apart from the rest?
The amount of experience and product knowledge of the countries that we showcase and visit. ATALA brings together all the knowledge and insight from a big group of Latin America Travel Experts for the convenience of Australians.
What destinations are on your bucket list?
Well, since I know Latin America like the back of my hand, I’d like to visit Mongolia and rediscover my homeland, Poland, for a change.
What’s a memorable travel experience you’ve had?
Driving overland in South America in 1975 and finding out where I was going! There was not much infrastructure then – bad roads, bad signs…it was just amazing. Things have changed drastically over time. Now it is such a cutting edge destination. It’s hard to grasp the way it was back then.
What are three things you always take with you when travelling?
I like walking so a pair of boots, my credit card and a map.
Name someone famous you’d like to travel with and a destination you’d like to go with them
Well, I know that Mick Jagger has a house somewhere in the Caribbean, so I guess it would be nice to sail around the islands with him and with a bottle of rum.
What direction do you see the industry heading in over the next five to ten years?
I think the changes are going to be around shifting destinations. Because of the political situation in Europe, people will probably look for alternative destinations – such as Latin America.
Ted Dziadkiewicz, Chairman of ATALA