Meet Julia Feuell, OTT's Founder
Introducing Julia Feuell, Founder and Managing Director of Online Travel Training.
Tell us about your background and how OTT came to be
I grew up in New Zealand, but got married and raised a family in the UK. I ran a travel recruitment company in the UK called New Frontiers and we decided to launch a training academy to complement our recruitment services. When Royal Caribbean asked to join our Academy, I found that product training was being created, but these companies needed visitors to their websites. So, I aggregated all the courses I could find and launched Online Travel Training (OTT). We had 100 people register on the first day and within 3 months we had 5000. I later sold New Frontiers to TMS Talent, who were looking for an office in London and I decided to concentrate on expanding OTT globally.
What has driven the launch of OTT in Australia/New Zealand?
Many of the travel industry’s suppliers are global and so there was a lot of demand for courses outside of the UK. When we launched in Australia, we found that the Travel Professionals were really engaged and so we have decided to proactively expand our training courses in Australia with the help of GTI.
How important is the role of OTT in the travel industry today and in the future?
OTT couldn’t be more relevant today. From the moment the pandemic struck, Travel Professionals were hungry for knowledge and information. We had 3 times the amount of traffic to normal. Many Travel Professionals around the world are now remote working and so they are consequently very hard for suppliers to ‘reach and teach’. OTT is a convenient way to get up to date on key supplier information, so you can fully inform the bewildered consumers about travelling in a confident way.
What can we expect to see from OTT in the coming months?
Sadly many people will be displaced from this pandemic, who have many skills and lots of experience to offer. However, OTT plans to turn this into a positive situation by inviting these experts to create video training on a variety of topics. ‘Peer to peer’ learning will enable Travel Professionals to learn new skills as well as ‘upskill’ to potentially work in different areas of travel. We will run a broad variety of topics such as stress and time management, change management and interview skills. OTT will be launching our video training first in the UK in the New Year. Then, we will expand this to Australia, where we will be inviting experienced guest trainers, destination experts and skilled professionals to take part.
What destinations are on your bucket list that Aussies and Kiwis should consider for the future and why?
I’m really looking forward to ‘Setouchi’ going live very soon in Australia. It is a most surprising collection of fascinating islands in Japan along with some well-known cities you will recognise. It has been described as the ‘Aegean Sea of the Orient’.
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‘Knowledge creates confidence and confidence delivers sales!’