Tomorrow's Travel Leaders: 30 Under 30: Stacey Smith
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 Stacey Smith, field sales manager at Complete Cruise Solution.
Q: Why did you want to get involved in the travel industry?
A: "I have always had a passion for travel since I was young and was lucky enough to have travelled to many destinations as a child which helped my interest in travel and tourism grow further. When I was a little girl I wanted to be an air hostess with my best friend being the pilot on a jet we would own, so my interest of a role in the industry started from a young age!
"At school I took subjects which I thought would be useful in the future including geography and languages and then went on to study an AGNVQ at Bridgwater college followed by a four-year degree in tourism management, so I was keen to secure a successful job in the industry after my studies.
"The travel industry is fun, vibrant, sociable, interesting and opens up opportunities to experience new destinations and cultures, which I love."
Q: How does it feel to be in the final 30 of Tomorrow's Travel Leaders?
A: "To be part of a well recognised scheme within the industry is a real privilege and something I am very proud of - as are my friends, family and colleagues. Not only that, but to be one of only 30 individuals within such a large industry is quite something and has been a fantastic confidence booster. It is a fantastic scheme opening up great opportunities for the future and I hope it will open a few doors for my career development."
Q: Has the recognition had any impact on your career?
A: "I was promoted into my current position just over a year ago and feel I still have much more to give to this role, however, that said, I am always looking for the next big break - the next opportunity to step up the ladder on my career journey within the industry. Carnival UK is a fantastic company to work for and I would be keen to look at progressing within the company, but of course my main passion lies with the travel industry as a whole.
"Since becoming one of the final 30 Tomorrow's Travel Leaders, I have made a number of contacts within the industry and it has also helped to raise my profile both internally within Carnival UK and also within the wider industry. I am confident this will help support the next step in my career."
Q: What advice do you have for other young people looking to make their mark in the travel industry?
A: "For me it is very much about having a clear goal and direction, knowing where you want to go and what you want to achieve and being passionate about this. Don't be afraid to challenge yourself and put yourself forward for opportunities; only you can really shape your future.
"Make time to network with like minded people within the sector as the travel industry is very large but small at the some time, with many recognisable faces popping up at every trade dinner, event or conference.
"Utilise the tools available to learn more about the industry like the trade press and social media. Don't be afraid to try new things; if at first you don't succeed, try again. It's fine to make a mistake; we learn from these and move on and it is fair to say you will never make the same mistakes again."