Celebrating WITIA members and wishing them a Happy International Womens Day
 
 

From the Presidents Desk

From the President’s Desk

As Tourism is set to return to pre-pandemic levels, many tourist destinations are slowly bouncing back amid economic challenges.

Nevertheless, the advancement of internet has enabled us to connect with each other around the globe as we share information instantly across the borders, through our website and social media handles especially WITIA Facebook page. 

As an Alliance we support Diversity and Inclusion to enable our members unleash their potential and talents at all times.  So I encourage members to participate actively in platforms created by WITIA, regionally and internationally, through the Hand of Friendship program.  I also call on members to nominate themselves to the vacant board positions.

The year has started gracefully with the 2023 Fam Trip set for Greece in March.  For more information visit our website - www.witia.org.

It is also great seeing our members networking together in their specific regions and as we are all geared up to celebrate the International Women’s Day, let us put a smile on everyone around us by stepping forward and committing to #Embrace Equity.

I look forward to the continuous teamwork with all of you on many initiatives this year as an Association. 

Joyce Kienji

President

Read online
 

Global Partner Offer

 
Storywalking Tours
 

With travel offerings readily available over the Internet, how do you find the best tour company to manage your precious travel adventures? Our advice: look to a company’s philosophy and way of doing business. This is a much better indicator of your future satisfaction than a hundred glossy website photos.

At Storywalking, we offer uncommon journeys within Italy that are customized to each booking. We are an inbound tour operator (also called a Destination Management Company – DMC), headquartered in Milan with several branches around the country. Our business is much more than booking accommodations, navigating air, train and boat schedules, and having a ‘little black book’ of recommended restaurants and attractions. Our business is much more than offering convenience, reliability and good time management. It is much more than saving you money, or to put it better, giving you great value for money.

Our business is to create the best possible itinerary for your allotted time, interests and budget, with a nod to less visited areas even within our major destinations. How do we do that? By fostering a company philosophy that encourages excellence, innovation and initiative.

Simply put, we hire the best people we can find and then we do our utmost to keep them happy. We run our business on a foundation of genuine passion for the country, on-going education and a commitment to common purpose. We recognize and encourage staff efforts that go above and beyond, and step in immediately to collaborate when efforts flag. We work together with basic rules in place, but otherwise everyone is encouraged to develop their talents: chief among them, deep listening, evocative storytelling, accurate reporting and keen-eyed evaluation. No one can know everything, and we are not afraid to admit it when we don’t, but we also have a culture of teamwork, sharing information and pioneering novel approaches. These insights are then ‘road-tested’, using ourselves as test tourists.

In our real world, strikes happen, planes arrive late, museums close without notice and favorite restaurants go out of business. Our goal is that everyone associated with your vacation - from the travel advisors in our office to the last Storywalker to drop you off at the airport – is prepared to handle whatever comes up. To that end, we give them the information, tools and authority to advocate on your behalf.

Our company culture dictates that all team members are kept up to date on new partnerships with suppliers, including accommodation inspections, etc.; that promotions are shared with all; that operational and post-booking procedures as well as customer care protocols are well-understood. Every aspect of every booking is checked for accuracy three times by different sets of eyes. We aim for nothing less than excellence, with a team to back everyone up so that important details don’t fall through the cracks.

Storywalking has no rigid hierarchy – everyone is encouraged to grow professionally, to speak up and to provide constructive input. We want a happy team that comes to work for the benefits, challenges and opportunities that bring joy to their days. This is Italy, after all. Life is beautiful here and that sweetness should extend to one’s employment. Then, when their workday is done, we send them forth to enjoy the many pleasures of this wonderful country.

Jessica Proietti

Founder & Marketing Director

Storywalking Tours

+ 39 328 381 8374

jessica@storywalking.tours

www.storywalking.tours

 

Member Spotlight

Commercial Manager ILS Tours

FLORENCIA KORENCHENDLER

Hello! My name is Florencia (you can call me Flor, which means flower in Spanish). I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

I love to travel and learn about other cultures. I have been lucky to visit almost every continent first as a backpacker, and later in a more luxurious style. I´m a PADI certified diver, and I have had the opportunity to dive at many destinations. One of my best experiences was diving in Puerto Madryn, Patagonia Argentina, surrounded by curious baby sea lions, once in a lifetime experience, I highly recommend it!!

I attained my degree of Bachelor in Demographics & Tourism and I’ve been working in the travel business for +25 years, including promoting South American countries especially Argentina, at different trade shows around the world.

I am currently the Commercial Manager at ILS Tours. Founded in 2000 ILS Tours is a DMC with incoming offices in Argentina & Chile, additionally we also offer services in Uruguay. I joined the ILS team during the pandemic times in October 2021. After the pandemic I have begun to travel again, attending different Trade Shows and doing what I like the most, promoting Argentina, Chile & Uruguay, unique and diverse countries that well deserve a visit!

I consider myself as an enthusiastic, creative, and dedicated person, putting all my knowledge in organizing unique travel experiences. I love to provide full support and help clients to organize successful trips, taking care of every single detail. I´ve learned about WITIA when I´ve joined ILS, I must say I love this community where we can connect with members all over the world!

But not everything is just working, I am a proud mom of Pilar (Pili), my 6 year old daughter. She changed my life completely, making my days much busier, but also a lot happier! She´s my biggest prize! My husband is Diego, we´ve been together for 10 years and a funny fact about us as a couple is that we got married in Las Vegas by an Elvis Presley impersonator.

I´m currently living in Tigre area, about 45 minutes away from Buenos Aires city. It is a beautiful place where it´s possible to enjoy outdoor activities in close contact with nature. One of my favourite hobbies is kayaking at the nearby lake. I also love to spend my free time with my family, traveling every time we have the chance. Our favourite destination in Argentina are the impressive Iguazú Waterfalls. Or just relaxing at home watching a movie (we are big fans of the Harry Potter Saga) paired with a tasteful Argentinean chocolate & dulce de leche ice cream!

My goal for this year is to encourage and welcome travellers from around the world to come and visit Argentina, Chile & Uruguay….plus my other goal is to keep on enjoying life to the fullest and be happy! 

 

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS

By Dr Carmel Thompson

WITIA Director of Professional Development

Carmel Thompson, WITIA’s Professional Development Co-ordinator is enjoying herself on a relaxing cruise overseas. We hope she has a fabulous trip and we look forward to her article in the next edition of WITIA Works in April.

 

Announcements

Vacant Board positions

Following the Board resolution to fill all board positions, all interested members are requested to submit their application, based on the position of interest, by 31st March 2023. Please email your WITIA President Joyce Kienji: jkienji@yahoo.com, for further details.

The vacant positions are as follows:
• Vice President
• Executive Secretary (must be held by member who resides in Australia, due to ASIC requirements)
• Secretary
• Membership Coordinator Americas
• Membership Coordinator Europe & Middle East
• Membership Coordinator Australasia
• Communication Team Coordinator
• Social Media Coordinator

 

Member News

 

WITIA FAM 2023

We invite you to discover the eternal treasures of Classical Greece and the seducing charm of the Greek islands, one of the most unique islands of the Cyclades, Paros, the unique volcano island of Santorini, and the secret gem of the Aegean, the island of Amorgos.

The “Jewel of Amorgos”, the easternmost island of the Cyclades group in Greece, Aegialis Hotel & Spa is located overlooking a peaceful bay. A family run property aims to offer its guests an unique experience of the local authentic life of a Greek island. The high standard of service and facilities, and the unique views ensure a memorable stay.

The dates on the flyer are for travel in low season valid from 1st March 2023 to 15th May 2023. For other date periods, please enquire for costs.

FAM 2023
We invite you to discover the eternal treasures of Classical Greece and the seducing charm of the Greek islands

The FAM flyer has been loaded onto the WITIA website, under the Educationals tab.

For further details please contact:

Irene Giannakopoulos

Owner & CEO

Aegialis Tours - Aegialis Hotel & Spa

Tel: +30 2285 0 73393  -  Mob: 693 6608678

Address: Aegiali - Amorgos Island 84008 - GreeceE-mail: irene@aegialis.com / www.amorgos-aegialis.com

The tour is administered and run by the member host, and all enquiries should be sent direct to the relevant contact, as detailed on the FAM Flyer.

 

Hand of Friendship zoom session – SAVE THE DATE

WITIA’s first Hand of Friendship session for 2023 is scheduled for Thursday 23 March / Friday 24 March, depending on your location. Priscillia Wellington-Assante, WITIA’s Membership Team Co-ordinator will be providing a presentation on customer service in the hospitality and tourism space. Meeting times and zoom link will be emailed to members one week prior to the session.

Advertise for FREE in WITIA NETWORKS! 

Open to all WITIA MEMBERS

Submissions for MARCH 2023 edition are due NOW

WITIA NETWORKS! is a NO COST promotional service for WITIA members and is distributed to more than 2500 travel professionals around the world. Issues are emailed at the end of January, March, May, July, September and November.

The newsletter has three sections where you can place an ad of UP TO 200 WORDS with your logo (1 photo / no videos) PLUS complete contact information (address, phone, fax, email and website.

  • Supply Side Economics – highlight a specific offer, on-going or of limited duration, or give a general promo for your company
  • Visit Me – list special offers available in your area, such as attractions, discounted/ value added accommodations or special events
  • Personally Yours – Promote your FAM trips (hopefully open to all members, not just IATAN cardholders and travel agents), employment or educational opportunities, travel partner requests, etc.

As everyone is aware we have been transitioning over to this new mode of submission for newsletter member offers. 

Please see easy instructions on the WITIA.ORG WEBSITE to post your ad immediately.

 
        Log-In Click on News and choose “Member Submitted Offer” From there just fill in the blanks. Add Title, Upload image, and add content. You will also see an option to submit a picture and your logo. Submit   If you have your offer or article already prepared, it is easy to cut and paste the text straight into the text box, however, you can type it directly into the text box if you prefer.      
 

An email will be sent at the end of the month to the WITIA mailing list advising people to visit  WITIA’s website to view the ads.

There is no restriction on repeat advertisers. You can post twice in same issue but it must be in different categories (i.e. one in Supply Side Economics and one in Visit Me).

VIP MEMBERS ONLY FACEBOOK GROUP   WITIA encourages all members to join our exclusive Members Only Facebook group and be a part of the ongoing conversation. Invitations to join this group have been sent out to all WITIA members. If you have lost yours, or never received one, please contact us via email at admin@witia.org. WITIA’s Global Partners have an additional benefit from this private Facebook page – your online promotions will be shared with members.
 

CONGRATULATIONS

WITIA MEMBERSHIP TEAM CO-ORDINATOR - PRISCILLA WELLINGTON-ASSANTE NOMINATED FOR THE  FortyUNDER40 AFRICA AWARDS

fortyunder40 Africa list

WITIA’s Membership Co-ordinator Africa, Ohene Obiri recently nominated WITIA’s Membership Team Co-ordinator Priscilla Wellington-Assante for the @fortyunder40 Africa list. 

Priscilla has been nominated for her passion and dedication in empowering individuals and organizations with customer service especially in the hospitality and tourism space.  

If you would like to support Priscilla’s nomination, please vote for her by clicking this link

Human Resource Category No.3

https://fortyunder40africa.com/vote
 

CONGRATULATIONS WITIA HONORARY MEMBER

KUSHIL GUNASEKERA - FOUNDER OF FOUNDATION OF GOODNESS

Congratulations to WITIA’s Honorary Member Mr. Kushil Gunasekera, who has been selected as World Growth Forums “Person of the Year 2022 from Sri Lanka” by WGF Magazine!

For all the details refer to the WGF WEBSITE:

https://worldgrowthforums.com/world-growth-forums-magazines/wgf-mag-jan-2023/

WITIA MEMBERS ON TOUR IN NEW ZEALAND

Past President, Leah Gage, owner of In2TravelAustralia, in February, escorted a group, including WITIA members on a comprehensive tour of South Island New Zealand.  

 

WITIA TO THE RESCUE! – THE POWER OF NETWORKING

Article submitted by: WITIA Member Yewande Adibe from Yadis Travel & Tours Limited, Nigeria

“My client planned a tour to Casablanca Morocco with his family in the month of December. Tickets were purchased for all 7 members of Engineer Amao's family, unfortunately their visas were delayed.I was so sure of their visas issuance, why won't they be given I thought?

My client had visited several countries and his passport wasn't a virgin one. I knew I had to get a contact in Morocco that could help with tour. I hurriedly sent an email to WITIA’s Past President Leah Gage hoping to get contact of a WITIA member in Morocco. She recommended Benachir Akli and Jamal from Olive Branch Tours to me.

I wasn't sure of the need to contact them, believing I thought my client would have received another option. Fortunately, they got their visas and were on their way to Morocco via Egypt air. My client called and asked if I could get him a good agent in Morocco who would help with airport pickup and hotel accommodation. I quickly sent an email to Benachir asking him to help with the request, I included my client's phone numbers and email address. To my greatest surprise, Benachir called Engineer Amao while the clients were in Cairo on transit and promised to send a representative from the company. The clients arrived in Casablanca and Jamal was there to pick them up and also take them to the hotel.

Below is a picture of Engineer Amao and Jamal from Olive branch tours, Benachir was recovering from a surgery and was not on ground but fully participated. Many thanks for all of their help.”

WITIA MEMBERS MEET UP IN BRISBANE

Queensland WITIA members enjoyed the popular musical Hamilton at the Lyric Theatre, Brisbane.

 

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