Meet MTA – Mobile Travel Agent, Wendy Gunther
Family background: Born in country Queensland but moved to Victoria as a toddler and spent my childhood years growing up on a farm – such wonderful memories. I am one of four children, and very close to my family.
What did you do before you joined MTA? Predominantly admin roles from aged 14 – 27 but I have also worked as a nanny in Canada, in finance, education, corrective services and the UK entertainment industry in London before fulfilling my life dream and landing a travel industry job in 1994.
When and why did you join MTA? I joined MTA in July 2017 after almost 24 years with Travel Associates and Flight Centre. It was time for a change that was all about me! I hopefully still have 20 plus working years ahead of me and MTA has provided me with the perfect transition to a more balanced lifestyle while still doing what I love.
What do you like most about working as an MTA Member? The support and the feeling of being part of a family – I had heard it was amazing and I haven’t been disappointed.
Do you have a specialised area in travel? Predominantly leisure but I love taking care of older travellers who want and need their hands held. I also enjoy escorting small groups – to date I’ve led trips to China, Vietnam, Russia, South America and India. I’m currently working on an itinerary featuring Spain, Portugal and Morocco scheduled for March 2019.
What’s one of your biggest personal achievements? Winning the Flight Centre ‘Top Queensland Consultant 995’ title in my first full year of consulting.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve learnt since starting as a home-based travel agent? I don’t need to work in an office environment to feel part of a team – I love my home work environment and the ability it gives me to just pick up my laptop and have my ‘office’ right there with me.
What sets MTA apart from the rest? The ease of its systems, travel and learning opportunities and ever-ready support at all levels.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? You have two ears and one mouth – use them in that proportion! When consulting, remember that listening is the key to understanding your clients’ needs and requirements.
Who do you admire and see as a role model in the industry? Industry staff who demonstrates a true passion for their product – I have been fortunate to have many industry representatives who genuinely love their product and this has undoubtedly influenced my choices when recommending products.
What destinations are next on your travel bucket list? Morocco and the Maldives.
What’s the most memorable travel experience you’ve had (good or bad)? There are too many to list but highlights include Marlin fishing off the coast of Mexico, the awe of standing in front of the Pyramids, the Taj Mahal, walking into Machu Piccu, hovering in a helicopter over Alcatraz and flying under the Golden Gate and being blessed by a local Shaman while overlooking the serenity of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia.
What three things do you always take with you when travelling? Dry hair shampoo, my compression garments and more than one option for access to cash!
Which famous person would you most like to travel with and where to? Someone famous enough that would warrant just ‘us’ being at famous locations so I could capture the perfect pictures without having to dodge other tourists!
What do you find yourself doing on your weekends? Having coffee with my Mum on a Saturday morning.
What direction do you see the industry heading in over the next five to ten years? Hopefully in a direction where appreciation for an experienced travel planner’s knowledge and exceptional customer service continues to be the overriding factor.