Published on Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Then... and now
In this week's Time Traveller, sponsored by Harp Wallen, TravelMole managing director Graham McKenzie takes a trip down memory lane...
What was your first job in travel?
When I was 19 I had a holiday job at Gatwick Airport. My job was to clear the tables of the mess left by the travellers. This was in the days when Gatwick only had one terminal and all the passengers came into a massive canteen type restaurant area. It was also in the days before smoking was banned and many people used to stub their cigarettes out in the leftover food. I was left to clear it up!!! Gag me…...literally, I lasted one and half days. I progressed to Fortes in-flight catering on the Crawley industrial estate where I had to load the mineral trays for the aircraft to a set formula of tonics, cokes, bitter lemons etc. I also had to unload the incoming trays and sometimes when you opened the metal storage units masses of insects would fly out. Gag me …..
What was the high point of your career?
Well I have only been in full time travel for about six years and therefore I hope that my high point is still to come. I have taken great satisfaction and enjoyment in applying much of the experience I learnt outside of travel and using that primarily to grow and establish TravelMole as a force in online travel news around the world. Needless to say the ability to travel and the privilege of staying in some stunning places around the world has been absolutely fantastic. Like most walks of life, however, the highlight would have to be the friends I have made and the relationships established.
What was the low point?
To be honest within travel I have, so far, had very few low points. I still feel like a new kid on the block and therefore everything is interesting and challenging. The lowest point so far is losing the RAC golf challenge. I played crap.
What's your biggest regret?
I often think my regret is not getting into travel earlier in my career but maybe if I had of done I would not have enjoyed it as much as I have so far.
What would you be doing now if you weren't in travel?
Well people are always saying I look like Eric Clapton or Dave Gilmour of Pink Floyd and I sing like an Angel so I am certain that a career in show business/modelling would have been my calling.
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The recent insolvency of Low Cost Travel Group, one of the large players in the travel industry had a big impact on the travelers, hotels and all related players from both wholesale & retail arms. There were about 27,000 people on a holiday who had booked through the company comprised of a €200 million wholesale arm and €500 million OTA / retail arm.