Sales & Supply

In Focus: Meet our Destination Managers

February 23, 2023
Careers Team
Sales & Supply
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For our international Destination Managers, building great relationships is key to success. Here, colleagues based in Europe, the US, and Asia give the lowdown on everything from why there’s no such thing as a typical day, to some of the magical experiences they’ve enjoyed at work.

A core component of GetYourGuide’s hard working Sales team, Destination Managers enjoy a varied role that combines sourcing and onboarding new partners, owning a range of key performance metrics, maintaining strong relationships with existing tour providers – and as they explain in our Q&A, some pretty enviable perks! From their offices in Australia, the US, the Netherlands, and Japan respectively, six Destination Managers discuss what success looks like for them, the variety of their role, and why great relationships are at the heart of everything they do. 

What does a typical day look like for you?

Sophie Byrne, Senior Destination Manager, Australia, New Zealand & Pacific Islands: Typical day? Never heard of it! One of my favorite things about working with GetYourGuide is the diversity, and the autonomy I have over the destinations that I manage so every day looks a bit different. I love working closely with our top New Zealand accounts to unlock new opportunities, but I equally love onboarding new suppliers and showing them how much they can grow in the online space. 

Eli Mitropoulos, Senior Destination Manager, Nevada/Arizona: No two days look the same as a Destination Manager and that's what keeps things exciting. This role requires ruthless prioritization because there is always so much to do and so many ways to create impact. I find myself flowing between personal focus time on key sales data metrics, discussing strategy and performance with partners in my destination, collaborating with many departments in HQ (Paid Search, Availability, and Connectivity for example), and technical admin work that makes the wheels turn.

Last but certainly not least, if it's Thursday in the San Francisco office I'm almost always looking forward to a boisterous Happy Hour celebrating our week in person!

Bjorn van Gelder, Senior Destination Manager, Benelux: There’s so much variety. On any given day, I might work with a range of stakeholders, from palaces, museums, and zoos, through to small business walking tour operators, city cruise companies, and breweries. The conversation and goal will be different with each partner, which makes the role diverse and challenging – in a good way! What makes it even more fun is working with amazing colleagues within the company.

How do you measure the success of your products and destination?

Maki Watanabe, Destination Manager Japan: I follow our OKRs and all metrics that we can see in data to check they are on the right track. I also check customer reviews: I want to see happy modern explorers in my destination. It’s always really positive when a supplier introduces other suppliers or attractions: that's a big plus as my destination is super relationship-oriented. 

Andrea Sultan, Destination Manager, The Caribbean and Costa Rica: As a salesperson, success means revenue. When I onboard a new experience on the platform it is because I know it has the potential to sell. In order for me to consider an acquisition successful, I need to see the first booking coming through in the first month of going live. If this does not happen, I get very upset with myself.

With regards to my destination, it is a bit different; as we know, Rome was not built in one day. What I mean by that is that we could spend over a year building a destination by adding relevant inventory and optimizing key products. However, you might only start seeing the results a year later. For that reason, my preferred way of measuring the success of my destinations is by looking at the incremental bookings per week and month, as well as the percentage growth year-on-year.

Eli: There are so many ways to measure the success of a destination, but the ones that fill my cup come from my connection with my partners and subsequently our mutual customers. There is nothing like the feeling of onboarding a new supplier and celebrating their first booking on the platform. It's the beginning of a very exciting journey where I get to see the impact of our partnership. The icing on the cake? Seeing happy customers leaving five-star reviews.  

Can you share a unique or memorable experience you've had while working in your role?

Maria Jose Cagide, Senior Destination Manager, Latin America: Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to test partners’ products, see their passion for what they do, and how they share Mexican culture, history, colors, and flavors with the world. But one of my most memorable experiences was visiting a trade show last year, where my dad was part of the event. One of the partners I worked with was telling my Dad how I have made an impact on his life by helping him grow his business. That kind of feedback makes all the effort worthwhile!

: I just had one of the most memorable business trips to Kyoto. We visited temples and hidden restaurants you can only access with locals. We discussed how we want to change destinations for good and ways in which we can contribute. We are creating new experiences that we hope will deliver positive change for destinations. 

Sophie: It’s tricky to choose just one! My most recent trip to New Zealand was pretty special: it was the first time I had been back since the lockdowns ended so it felt very emotional to see my suppliers in person again.

I had an opportunity to go to a really small town in the South Island where I did hot air ballooning at sunrise, overlooking the snow-capped mountains of the Southern Alps – followed by sipping champagne in a thermal spring in the snow. It was pretty magical. 

Bjorn: My number one memorable experience by far is when I was invited by the Royal Palace in Amsterdam for an opening of an exhibition and drinks with the King himself. We were the only tourism company to be invited, so it was very special. That is one of the great perks you get with this job: you will see and experience things you would otherwise never come by in life.

How do you adapt to changes or shifts in the travel industry and incorporate them into your work?

Andrea: As I cannot control the changes that happen in the industry, I really focus on the things I can control, such as having an agile mentality, an open mind, and taking one day at a time. By having this as my mantra, I become more nimble, and I put myself in a place where I can succeed no matter the externalities. 

Eli: The travel industry has proven to be a wild ride, especially in the last few years. I find it important to listen, observe, ask questions, and follow the customer. I seek out opportunities to ask to understand what my partners are experiencing to develop a stronger perspective on their needs. Once there is clarity, any necessary pivots feel more like strategic decisions rather than reactive approaches. 

What do you love most about your job?

Sophie: The people. Whether it’s in my own team, our wider GetYourGuide community, or working closely with my suppliers, I feel so grateful that I get to work with such a diverse and incredible bunch of people. I also love the balance of innovation and tech at GetYourGuide, mixed with the fun and adventure of the travel/activities space – it really is a dream role when you think about it! 

Bjorn: For me the best part is meeting partners and showing them the growth and potential of working with GetYourGuide. This just brings a smile to my face and theirs. 

Maria: I have been able to get to know my country better through all these incredible experiences, and this has opened my eyes and my heart. I want to share the very best of Mexico with the world, and what better way to do this than through GetYourGuide. 

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