Meet MTA – Mobile Travel Agents’ Deborah Clarke
Background: After travel, my greatest passion is music, I have studied music all my life and always wanted to write epic music scores for Hollywood feature films.
What did you do before you joined MTA?: I was the area operations manager for leading entertainment organisation TMC Show Group Enterprises for 22 years, managing both the film and sports travel divisions. I also spent two years as a commercial operations manager for a motor sport team.
Do you have a specialised area in travel? Australian and US luxury travel and signature experiences for my VIP clients.
What is the most unusual (or interesting) location you have worked as an MTA – Mobile Travel Agent? Floating around my pool trying not to drop my phone in the water. It’s a tough gig.
What is the weirdest request you have had from a client? I had an American client who called me in a panic to help me find his family’s lost passports at Brisbane Airport – rushing from the Gold Coast to Brisbane to help, we eventually realised the passports could be packed inside a shipping container sitting on the tarmac– after convincing customs to open the container, an hour and a half later we found them and got a very relieved client and his family finally on board.
If you hadn’t become an MTA – Mobile Travel Agent, what other career path would you have taken? Probably a sales rep for a global luxury travel product.
What’s one of your biggest personal achievements? The highlight of my career, managing return travel for a group of 527 motor sport fans passengers in Austin, Texas, where we experienced problems with cancelled flights due to tornado activity. Cutting a long story short, thanks to my GDS skills and a lot of reorganising, including the cross-hire of a United Airlines aircraft, I managed to send 75 per of the group home. The remaining passengers were accommodated in FOC rooms, treated to a good steak and a sneaky tequila. And all of this while I was covered in gunpowder having just come from a clients’ shooting range experience.
Describe your perfect holiday. I’ll take anything without a kitchen, a laundry, a laptop or a phone. My happy place is holding a lovely glass of red, by an open fire staring up at the starry sky and just being.
If you had a time machine where would you travel to and why? Back to the 1950s when international air travel was becoming popular. It would have been an exciting time in aviation history and I would have loved being part of that.
If you could choose one, what would your super power be? Healing – I would heal the sick and rid the Earth of insidious and rare diseases.
What three things do you always take with you when travelling? My Bose Bluetooth speaker – I need my music and it travels with me everywhere! Plus, my own soap and packing cubes.