Meet Destination Managers from our Global Sales Team
Destination Managers on our Sales team discover the most incredible sights, museums, and activities around the world. Reporting from each of their local office, like New York City, Dubai, Tokyo, and more, they talk about what makes their international office unique and how they stay connected despite the distance.
What is the best part of being a Destination Manager in an international office?
Tilly Hemperger, Senior Destination Manager Canada (New York City) - Without a doubt, being close to our amazing local partners is the best perk. We're at the front line of the action, able to meet with our local partners regularly, and make sure that products are set up in the best possible way for our customers.
Giulia Malagoli, Destination Manager Italy (Rome) - As Destination Managers, we meet with the best attractions in our regions, get to know them better than anyone else, test their activities to make sure they are perfect for our customers, find new and creative solutions, and have a lot of fun.
Sophie Byrne, Destination Manager New Zealand (Sydney) - At this very moment, I’m waiting for my first meeting of the day on a business trip in the South Island of New Zealand, working from a cafe that overlooks a lake surrounded by snow-capped mountains. At GetYourGuide, every day is a new adventure, challenge, and opportunity to create something really special. Whether I’m surrounded by my amazing colleagues in our Sydney office, meeting our incredible partners across New Zealand, or experiencing the stellar products offered by our key operators, I am constantly feeling inspired.
Sandra Goncalves, Senior Destination Manager Spain & Portugal (Barcelona) - The best part is being close to the destinations, suppliers, and travelers. I love being able to understand the destinations' eco-system, build relationships with our local suppliers, and identify our travelers' needs.
How do you stay connected with Headquarters in Berlin and the other international Sales offices?
Tilly - I'm lucky to have built strong relationships with HQ through various internal media. Plus, the teams at HQ generously make time for video calls so we can work through complex issues together.
Margaux Tourrette, Sales Coordinator (Paris) - As a Sales Coordinator, I have the chance to talk with people from HQ everyday, and it helps me maintain strong relationships with the Ticket Upload, Finance, Supply Operations, and Customer Service teams. In this context, Slack is also a great tool because it allows us to chat and build a warmer relationship. I also meet with the Sales Coordinators from other offices monthly, so we can continue getting to know each other and improving our role.
Sophie - I think Sydney is the furthest office in distance and time from Berlin - but you would never know it. We are all very committed to staying in touch with other teams around the world, whether it be through Slack messages or organizing sporadic Bluejeans calls with different offices. We are incredibly lucky to have such a diverse global team with an infinite amount of knowledge and skills. It's important to learn about what your colleagues are doing in different parts of the world so you can grow within your own destination. Down in Asia Pacific (APAC), we organize a weekly catch up with all the offices so we can share our biggest learnings alongside our biggest achievements of the week. This is a really important meeting for us because it stimulates interesting discussions and allows us to support each other - especially those who are in smaller offices.
Sandra - We connect to HQ through working on tremendous cross-departmental projects between Product, Content, Supply Excellence, and other teams. By working towards the same goal, making travelers love where they are going, we get to know each other and put our efforts together to achieve it.
All of the international Sales offices face the same successes and challenges. We share knowledge, challenge, and support each other. The diversity of destinations makes the Sales team very diverse, bringing the best side of each and every one of us.
Joji Sakurai, Destination Manager Japan (Tokyo) - We never miss a recorded Friday update from HQ. Also, we have a weekly Destination Manager huddle with everyone from the APAC region where we share wins and learnings. This is really motivating and it helps us solve issues together. I also occasionally have calls with Destination Managers in other regions to catch-up and learn new things.
Bhavna Mittal, Destination Manager United Arab Emirates (Dubai) - Everyone is literally just a Slack away. I believe this has to do a lot with the culture at GetYourGuide which puts a lot of emphasis on collaboration and learning from each other. For example, one week after I joined, the Destination Manager for Morocco, who is based in Paris, reached out and now we have monthly calls to discuss our similar markets.
How would you describe your local team and office environment?
Tilly - Teamwork makes the dream work. We are 100% committed to helping each other grow our destinations. This is not your typical cut-throat sales office - we're all here to grow the company as a whole and the cooperative spirit really shines through in every interaction.
Sophie - Our office has very quickly developed into a little family. We’ve undergone some really significant changes in the last 6 months, with a lot of new people joining, myself included, and many from the team that kicked-off our Sydney office moving on to other global offices. This created a really rare opportunity for our office to start fresh and build everything from the ground up. Doing this together has created a really strong foundation of trust; we all know we are super lucky. The environment in the local office is also ever-changing since people are always out and about. We have a really open exchange of feedback and information, people motivating and helping each other, some uplifting music (mostly ABBA or the classics), and our Friday wine and cheese to celebrate the awesome week we had.
Margaux - I love working in the Paris office because we are a small team and we work closely with one another. We help each other on different topics, and we support each other on daily tasks. Since the French market is quite complex, I feel lucky to work with people who have such great knowledge and are always proactive in improving relationships with suppliers. We also share great moments by experiencing the tours and creating unforgettable memories together.
Bhavna - The local team in Dubai is small yet cozy. We work out of a lovely co-working space in one of the best neighborhoods in Dubai and the view from the office is amazing. There’s banter, a lot of collaborative discussions, healthy snacks, and sometimes the team even works out together.
What is a special memory from working with a local partner?
Tilly - Like any parent, I'm not allowed to say I have a favorite child. That said, some of the local partners I collaborate with end up becoming fast friends and we check in regularly with each other both professionally and personally.
Giulia - I needed to acquire one special activity in the mountains and the only way to do so was by going local: I met the supplier in person and experienced the activity like a customer. One day I was in the office exchanging emails and the next I was watching an incredible landscape from the panoramic windows of a train that would take me 3000 meters high in the snow. What a memory.
Sophie - We have so many amazing local partners here in New Zealand, it’s hard to pick just one. I think one of the coolest things is working with really new operators, because you know that everything you do for them in order to grow their business is really contributing to something meaningful. One recent example is a trip I did in Dunedin in the South Island of New Zealand where I met with one of our newest partners, Horizon Tours. They are a family run business and have turned their passion for nature, conservation, stargazing, and Maori culture into an incredible tour company. I joined them for their 'Southern Stargazing Tour' to see if it might be something that our customers might be interested in - and I was absolutely blown away by how amazing the tour was. From start to finish, you could feel the genuine hospitality from Kylie & Tristan (both local Dunedians). The tour took you out to a very remote farm where they set you up with sleeping bags, reclining chairs, and a delicious hot soup. Tristan explained the scientific side of astronomy and then followed with enchanting Maori tales and beautiful traditional Maori songs. It was a truly unique, truly Kiwi experience that I cannot wait to share with our customers - watch this space.
Bhavna - I recently traveled to Egypt for the first time, and during the trip one of our suppliers accompanied me on an overnight hike to Mount Sinai where Moses is believed to have received the 10 commandments. The sunrise view was amazing and he and I just sat there discussing how we could really improve the customer experience over a cup of tea. A business meeting with the best view so far.
Other articles from this series
Preparing for Tourism’s New Normal with a New York Destination Manager
How this Project Manager Got All Hands on Deck to Kick off a New Supplier Support Blog
How to Scale a New Market from Scratch while Supporting Travel Suppliers
A Destination Manager on Preparing Suppliers for the Return of Travel