Interview with a GM – Sacha St Germain, Goway Operations
How long have you been in the travel industry?
Where were you born?
Moree, NSW, Australia – think Outback Australia.
How many countries have you visited?
You know I have never actually counted! Mmm, I think roughly 33.
Why did you start your career in travel?
I was waiting for University to start and had 6 months to spare and thought it would be interesting. So I walked around the town, Port Macquarie in Australia, and asked all the agencies if they would give me a job until one said – sit down, answer the phone, if you can last the day I will give you a job. And the rest is history.
What was the last vacation you went on?
Australia to visit family during the bushfires. My last true vacation though was to Italy, with a group of friends to do a bicycle race around Rome. We started in front of the Colosseum at sunrise, which was truly spectacular. Then came hiking along the Cinque Terre, and of course, lots of great wine and food in Tuscany.
If you were going to the airport (once COVID-19 has passed), where would you want to go?
Japan! It’s a place I have always wanted to go and have just not made it there. The mountain scenery, the blend of modern and old cultures and deep sense of tradition all appeal to me.
What advice would you give to a Travel Agent during these times?
Stay connected with your clients. Reach out by phone where possible, just to say hi on a personal level to let them know you’re going through the same experience and possibly frustration. Share a laugh with them every now and then. Take this time to practice relaxing, because it really is a skill. The last few years have been going at a furious pace! Look for the silver lining in this moment, in which we’re forced to slow down. We have time to reflect on the good things in our lives and we have time to bring balance back into our days. We all have time to learn new things and reacquaint ourselves with hobbies long tossed aside for lack of time. As an agent, now is the time to brush up on destinations, do some online training courses, and learn about new destinations, so you’ll be ready for all that pent up travel demand post Covid-19.
What is your ultimate trip for a beach and wellness getaway?
As an Aussie, the beaches I love best are in Australia. Travelling with an intimate family group by sailboat around the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland is heaven. Pristine white sandy beaches, azure blue water, sunshine forever, and the cacophony of all the Aussie parrots just creates for me a zen like state. When you want to be on a beach alone you can drop anchor at a deserted cove, and when you feel like some excitement, there are many islands, like Hamilton Island, that you can visit to meet new friends and enjoy fine dining. The ocean breeze from the deck of a yacht will always reboot and refresh the soul.