If someone had told me a couple of years ago that I’d be living in Split and working in tourism, I would probably say to the person they were not right in the head.
Having had some previous prejudices about Split, I admit I was reluctant to leave the haven that is Makarska, my coastal hometown, some 50 km south of Split.
At that time, I reminded myself of a line I often like to quote to other people:
“Ships are safest in port, but that’s not what ships are made for.”
A quick Google search revealed that the quote is attributed to John A. Shebb.
Nevertheless, in necessity, it filled me with courage and faith.
After some time passed and, serendipitously, after reconciling with myself and accepting life the way it is, I stumbled upon a job ad while endlessly scrolling the job sites. I applied and have not thought much of it until I got a rejection by e-mail stating that my experience and resume were inadequate for such a job. The ad just said, “Travel Designer wanted”.
I forgot about it until I scrolled Linked In and found the same job ad again. I clicked it, not knowing that the click would change my life completely. From there, things rolled. I got called for an interview, we had a good long chat about everything, and things seemed to have fallen into place.
At the moment of writing this, three months have passed since I joined Ventula, and it’s safe to say that this destination management company is something I’ve never encountered before.
The three people within the Ventula team, Jelena, Kate & Robi, are proving themselves daily to be the kind of human beings who epitomise what people should strive for in life. With their empathy, compassion, quick wits, and thirst for improvement, I am grateful to have them as my mentors.
It’s not an easy job getting into destination management as it is a challenging field of tourism where you have to be a master of all trades. It combines logistics and management, an ever-updating field of knowledge and networking where a travel designer or an operations manager has to swim like a shark. And it truly is a big blue sea, with murky depths where all kinds of surprises lurk as well.
But suppose one can manage in the dark waters.
In that case, he or she will be rewarded with wonderful connections and invaluable life experiences stemming from an ever-changing process of creating and showcasing the best a destination and its people can offer.
Challenges remain in balancing the unpredictability of human errors and perfectly crafted itineraries where one can express creativity while playing into his or her knowledge of the destination. It can also be viewed as a craft where one hones empathy and social intelligence, crucial tools in destination management. To connect with a client, colloquially said, you must know how to read them and their feelings and develop a relationship in which they can simply let go and trust you to break their fall. The client should recognise your expertise, and you must radiate confidence that a client can almost taste.
Only then can a solid bond be made between a travel designer and a client, after which the creation process begins. In such a challenging field, there is always room to grow; as opportunities abound and our knowledge grows, so must our work habits.
One of the things that captivated me was how natural and normal the office energy was. There is always music playing, with laughs and jokes, serious talks, and quiet, focused periods. Within such a workplace one can safely express his or her ideas and be mentored following an open discussion.
I am grateful that Ventula offered me an opportunity to prove myself, and I will continue to follow their example in more ways than one.
With new technologies emerging every day, I feel like a proud and determined team member that is not afraid to swim naked in the waters, enjoying every wave and sea spray.