“On hold” moments are opportunities to learn
OTT’s POP Awards crowned the destinations, airlines, cruise lines, accommodation and visitor attractions which had attracted the most agents course passes as well as the industry’s marketing maestros.
The Awards also honoured OTT’s Gurus – agents who have taken OTT courses to expand their knowledge, helping their customers to make more informed choices and making more sales.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been speaking to some of our Gurus and finding out more on how they use OTT to expand their knowledge.
This week, we catch up with our Business Travel Guru and Legend Jonathan Taylor from Selective Travel...
What does your company specialise in?
“Selective Travel specialises in travel for corporate clients, government, universities, film and TV. The company has just merged with another business in the south of Ireland too, so it’s also getting into the retail sector.”
When did you first start using OTT?
“It was in January 2017, when I first got into travel after being in the hotel industry for 12 years. During my first couple of days in the office, they advised me to join OTT and take courses as it would be beneficial to what I would be doing in the office.”
How many courses have you taken?
“Around 165 currently...Julia (OTT’s founder) said it was 159 at the time she called to let me know I was short listed for the awards, so I said, “Oh, okay!”
How does OTT help your professional development?
“I work on the Business side of things, so I’m not booking holidays but I do the hotel courses anyway, just for the information. We do have a lot of out of hours work and we deal with a lot of emergencies. For example, if someone needs a hotel booked, its better to go to one that I know about.”
“I benefit more from the airline courses, because they go into a lot of detail about the classes in the courses such as new aircraft in their fleet, or if they’ve rearranged the aircraft or refurbished it. They have a lot of information in regards to their offer for each individual or class on the aircraft and they keep their courses up-to-date with that.”
How do you fit OTT’s courses into your working life?
“I just use a few minutes during my shift, for example, if I’m on hold on a phone call, waiting for a supplier. Often, I’ll have difficulty getting hold of a supplier or be on hold for long periods of time. I generally just find the time to fit it in!”
Name your favourite course – and why?
“Having the most up-to-date information, for me, is crucial to my role. My favourite courses are the airline courses – British Airways and Air Canada are updated frequently.”
What’s your top tip to those on the journey to becoming a Guru?
“Don't rush through the courses just to get a benefit from it, for example, if there is a prize draw or competition. Take your time and take in as much information as you can - ultimately that's what you are there for, to gain a better understanding of airlines, hotels or cruises.”
What’s been your favourite travel adventure?
“We went to St Lucia for our Honeymoon and toured around the island and hiked the Pitons – that was really, really fun!”