Tomorrow's Travel Leaders: 30 Under 30: Laura Dewar
In collaboration with TTG Digital, the ITT and Guoman Hotels, C&M Travel Recruitment set out to discover the 30 most inspiring and dynamic people in the travel industry aged 30 years and younger - the 30 Under 30.
Here we profile Laura Dewar, destination PR manager at VisitEngland.
Q: What advice do you have for other young people looking to make their mark in the travel industry?
A: "Find yourself a mentor. The most valuable part of being involved in this initiative has been meeting senior professionals from all parts of the travel industry, from airlines to tour operators to online retailers. They all had really inspiring stories to tell, and we can all learn so much from the experience and advice of others.
"Secondly, don't be afraid to muck in: no-one starts their career at the top. If you're really keen to get into travel, start wherever you can. People move around a lot - I know editors that have been flight check-in staff and PR managers that have been hotel receptionists and cabin crew. A broad experience of the industry is a great thing!"
Q: Why did you want to get involved in the travel industry?
A: "I was born in Sydney and travelled a lot growing up. My passion for travel only grew as I got older, and I spent every spare penny and all my college and university holidays seeing the world. Still, I hadn't considered a job in the tourism industry - I studied English & Philosophy and hadn't thought that far ahead to be honest. But when I saw a marketing assistant job come up at the scuba diving specialist operator Regaldive after graduating, I just knew this was the industry for me - and I was right!"
Q: How does it feel to be in the final 30 of Tomorrow's Travel Leaders?
A: "I was thrilled to be named one of Tomorrow's Travel Leaders. I knew of initiatives like this in other industries, but this is the first time it's been done in travel. It's been great to meet a collection of people working in different parts of the industry.
"We're all of a similar age and have lots in common, yet we span a whole range of sectors from sales and marketing to partnerships. I've made some really valuable contacts."
Q: Has the recognition had any impact on your career?
A: "It meant that I was asked to speak at a Travel Leaders of Tomorrow conference at World Travel Market. I gave a presentation to over 200 travel and tourism students - something I'd never experienced before. It felt great to pass on my tips and experiences in travel so far - something really worthwhile.
"Hopefully one day the 30 of us will be the guest speakers at events for the next generation of TTG / ITT Travel Leaders of Tomorrow!"