Lorena, how did you come to apply for a position at Craig Travel?
When I was researching travel companies, I came to the Craig Travel website. I learned that the company offers trips for mature travellers and it has been operating for almost 50 years. That is a good sign! I wanted to work for a solid and trusted company.
What destination(s) do you consider your areas of expertise?
I believe I have a good knowledge about South American culture, history, people, and amazing places I have visited during my life living in Brazil. In particular, the best beaches of Brazilian coast, where features turquoise waters, warm weather, and breathtaking views. Likewise, the exuberant nature like rivers, forest, dunes, falls, etc. from north to south of the country.
How long have you been involved in the travel industry?
I have always been interested in the travel industry. Since I started to plan my own trips and learning how to make bookings, plan itineraries, and save money. Eventually, I changed my profession a few years ago; I went back to school and got my diploma in Tourism and Travel. My previous job was in the marketing department of a tour operator/air consolidator company where I learned so much about Canadian travellers.
Tell us what your favourite two destinations are and why?
Chichen Itza in Mexico. Taking a closer look at the ruins of the city built by the Maya people from 600 AD until 1000 (approximately) was a stunning experience. I visited the archaeological site on December 21th 2016 when the winter solstice makes the “El Castillo” extremely special. The local people say that you can see the shadow of a serpent that appears on the pyramid. The appearance of the serpent is a symbol of the ancient God returning to earth. Wow! My second favourite destination is Iguazu Falls, the border between Argentina and Brazil. Argentinians and Brazilians are still fighting as to which side has the most beautiful views – Brazilian side is the most beautiful, of course! On the Brazilian side there is a walkway along the river which takes visitors to the edge of Devil's Throat. Despite wearing a plastic cloak it is impossible to keep dry, but during the summer months it is refreshing to feel the spray of the water on the face. I used to live at the same state where the falls are located – about 1 hour by plane from my city. Regrettably, I took years to arrange a trip to Foz do Iguacu. When I was finally there, I thought to myself why didn’t I come sooner? This place is marvellous! The most important thing was that I made it and I learned that when you want to visit a place, just go.
Craig Travel’s mission is to provide all-inclusive, first class, group travel to the mature market. What is it that attracted you to this type of agency, as opposed to a travel agency which does not specialize?
All trips are designed for seniors and all small details are taken care of before the trip, from the walking conditions of the sidewalks to what type of mattress the hotel offers. That is very special for both sides, not only for myself as Operation Specialist to learn something new every day about the destination, but also for the traveller who trusts that he/she is going to have the most remarkable experience.
What are some of the destinations on your bucket list?
That is hard to answer. I have dreamed about so many places that it is hard to say which one is on the top of the list. In addition, every time I read a new CT itinerary I want to take that trip! But I have been planning a trip to Italy for a few years now. In particular, I really want to visit some Roman ruins and see Renaissance art and architecture. Italy offers so much to see that probably I will need one month off! Furthermore, I wish one day to make the trek of the “Camino de Santiago” or St James Way. There are few optional routes to go but I would like to take the route departing from Portugal to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. I first learned about the Camino while I was reading the book “The Pilgrimage” by Paulo Coelho in which he describes his three month pilgrimage from France to Spain walking the Camino. I really recommend the book.
What is the most rewarding part of your job to date?
Every time I see an email from a client saying the trip he/she took was perfect and the client thanks the CT team for the experience, I feel happy to be part of it.
Any other comments you would like to make?
I am very happy working for Craig Travel. All my colleagues are nice people who make the environment healthy and enjoyable to work. Thank you for the opportunity.