For Lisa Simon it’s the people in travel that inspire her ongoing commitment to an industry she loves. Lisa shares with e-Travel Blackboard what gets her out of bed every morning and where she’s itching to go on her next vacation.
How long have you been in the travel industry?
I began my career with NTA in 1985.
What drew you to work in the industry?
NTA was my entree into the travel industry. My occupation is association management within the travel and tourism industry, and while I worked for other companies for brief periods during the past 26 years, travel and tourism and NTA keep drawing me back.
What do you like most about your job?
First and foremost it’s the people. People in the travel industry are warm, welcoming and loving. You don’t find that across the board in other industries. Second, I am passionate about the effect travel and tourism have on people - broadening horizons, bridging cultures, and celebrating the differences among people of different customs, religions and nationalities.
Who do you admire and see as a role model in the travel industry?
I have so many mentors and role models in this industry, starting with NTA’s past leaders. They have always set the bar high, striving for excellence in everything we do for our members. And the luckiest part of my job is that the number of available mentors continues to expand as our leadership grows - particularly when new members join our Board of Directors and bring new role models to the forefront.
What do you want to see improve in the industry?
The travel industry needs improvements in entry and exit systems to ease travel to, from and within North America. Particularly for the U.S., we’d like to see improvements in the visa processing for international visitors.
What destinations are on your travel bucket list?
I’ve traveled many places throughout the world, and there are so many places I’d like to go back to, because you only get a little taste, particularly when you’re traveling on business. So my bucket list gets longer and longer rather than shorter as I experience new places. On my bucket list of places I’ve never been to: Yellowstone National Park, the Caribbean (any and all islands), Copper Canyon in Mexico, and while broader than one destination, I’ve always wanted to do a cross-country trip through Canada by rail.
What are three things you must always take with you when you travel?
A smart phone, camera and professional tour guide.
If you were on a cancelled flight and the only option to get from A to B was by land, what mode of transport would you use?
That would totally depend on where point A and point B were - it could be a motorcoach, rental car or train. I’m all about ease, speed and comfort.