Travel Q&A with Study From Home Manager Carla SuttonPosted on 15/04/2015 by Jess O'Connor
Carla Sutton is the Manager of ITC’s Study From Home programme. Originally from the Netherlands, she has travelled extensively and has a passion for learning about different cultures. Here she shares her fondest travel memories.
What sparked your interest in travel and tourism?
When I was 13 years old, I went with my parents to book our trip to the USA. That’s when I realised I wanted to be a travel agent. I picked all the relevant subjects at school (geography, languages, economics), finished high school, and enrolled at one of only two private travel & tourism institutes in the Netherlands. It was difficult to get in, there was lots of competition!
In those days only 150 students per institute were accepted, and over 3000 applied! I felt very privileged, and studied incredibly hard that year. I was a travel agent for 10 years, and thoroughly enjoyed it.
What is your fondest travel memory?
Arriving by train into Flam. That’s a tiny place on the most amazing fjord in Norway. The train goes down a spiral railway into the fjord, as the sides of the mountains & fjord are very steep. There was a cruise ship moored, which completed the picture.
Favourite place you’ve visited?
Fox Glacier, Lake Matheson and Gillespie Beach, all within an hour’s drive of each other on the West Coast of the South Island. We live in a truly amazing country.
Do you speak any other languages?
I speak Dutch, as I was born and raised in the Netherlands. I used to speak German well too, and a little bit of French. I’d love to learn Mandarin, but it is hard as it’s so different from the Germanic language I know.
Best thing about working in the travel industry?
Working with people. As a travel agent you deal with people going on holiday, so they are usually in a good mood! Working in tourism means you are dealing with people already on holiday. That, and lots of other things, make the travel and tourism industries wonderful to work in!
Next destination on your travel wishlist?
India, China, South America and Southern Africa
Advice for people looking to start out in the travel industry?
Be open minded as working with people means you deal with all sorts of people from all walks of life (which also makes your job very interesting by the way). Enjoy! You will get to meet and see lots of people and places!
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