Human + Contact = Travel Memory ·

Human + Contact = Travel Memory

Its not the pictures of monuments that make the travel memory; it’s the shared connection with a person


“We can’t value enough the importance of being in the same room, having contact…make the most of it whilst you are here”.

This was Michael Pope, MC at the 2019 ATAC conference that I am on the way home from.  His message to delegates – make the most of your time with suppliers, whilst they are here, raise the questions, make contact.

No one can deny Janka makes for a great pic, but you only “get” Janka when you share a space with her.  Awesome!

 Early September faced frightening human challenges.  It started when a staff member had what was later found to be 2 minor (!) strokes. A thirty something father.

Close friend Anuraag from the service team, departed the hospital at 8pm saying “Glad you will be ok, get well, see you back at work soon” .  To the devastation of his friends and family,  Anuraag left this world by 3am from an unknown condition. Anuraag was in his 20’s.

On hearing, my mentor Pete said “Mark, you gotta be there.  Your team needs you.  You won’t know what you need to do until you get there but you have to be there.”  I swore at Pete, booked a flight, on the way to the airport pulled my 11 year old Jess out of class and said “Darls, wont be home when you get home, will be next Tuesday. Sorry, gotta go.”


I’m not a saviour, but getting there, being there, gave me the chance to demonstrate to my guys my true self, to show them “me” – it was literally the most meaningful thing I could do. We sat next to each other, broke down the immense challenges into achievable steps and they rose and grew.   Their efforts over the coming weeks were and continue to be amazing. My contribution?  Some technical, some logistical, all heart.

When Sunil walked back into the office a couple of weeks later and said he was fine, just tired from the medication, his gentle smile grew a hundred more on the faces of those around him.

Relative to building an itinerary?  Build experiences that create connections, get them to find people, meet people, talk to people and talk about it.  A photograph or video can show the sites, but that shared interaction is the story they tell of the great holiday that only an agent could put together for them.

Forget cheesy site seeing; build the connection itinerary.

After a year of seemingly packing, unpacking, arriving and transiting, the smile on my daughters face, THAT hug, as  I walk through the door, is the story I look forward to telling the most.




The [email protected]# Head in Seat 2c

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