14 September 2009

Are travel folk the nicest people?

Man in dinner jacket with two girls
I was talking this morning with Mark Hodson (@101holidays) about Andy Perrin and how, as Mark put it, he is one of the nicest guys in travel. It got me thinking: this industry (travel) is full of nice people.

It would be invidious to name them, but I know loads and loads of really nice people running travel companies. In fact, other than a few slightly hard-nosed individuals that I never particularly warmed to (I've just struggled to think of four...sorry, not going to name them either!), it's really hard to find unpleasant people in travel.

Is that unusual? Aren't most people in most industries "nice"?

Well, that's where I'm going with this. No, not necessarily. I think some industries are probably better than others. In my experience the PR industry is populated by mostly nice people, but you'd expect that. They'd have to be affable and easy-going to be effective communicators. (You know who you are, guys! Take a bow!)

On the other hand, for some years I was a Personal Finance journalist. The finance industry is not populated by nice people. In those years I rarely met anyone I'd actually like to spend social time with. Marginally better were the entrepreneurs I met as a Business journalist. A number were quite inspiring, but I'd only choose to spend personal time with a few of them.

The theatre profession has some nice people in it - I worked there for almost a decade - but quite a large number of people way too preoccupied with themselves.

So, no great social revelations here. I think broadly speaking different industries have different ratios of good/bad guys.

Why does the travel industry have more than its fair share of good guys?

Well, I'm wondering if you have an opinion on that?

I can think of a couple of possible reasons...

1) Most people started with, and retained, a real passion for travel... not an interest in making money.

2) Being 'travelled' they tend to have broader minds, a willingness to explore and engage with other ideas, cultures, opinion, etc.

Any thoughts?


Chris & the Ski Famille team said...

We have been through so many pain barriers running travel companies that we end up being pretty chilled out? ... now I'm worried I'm not one of the nice ones ...

mguarente said...

Erm, I can think of quite a lot of A-grade unmentionables... some of whom are in travel PR, which kind of goes against what you were saying about PRs... I suppose even they are ostensibly 'nice', but also superficial, self-promoting, and culturally myopic. On the whole though I do agree, as I've worked with lots of other industries - not a bad bunch with which to be stranded on a desert island. (And they might know the chances of a passing cruise liner)

onliner said...

ROFL mguarente! ...and a copy of OAG so they know when to attract the attention of an over-flying airliner!

On PRs. I hear you. I know I have always been more respectful/generous to PRs than nearly all my journo colleagues. With the exception of the ditsy 'Henrietta's often found in the lower ranks of the larger companies, I've always thought most PRs do a shitty, difficult job with extraordinary skill, energy and good grace.

Put another way: I know I couldn't keep enthusiastic about promoting products that change little to snotty, ambivalent journos like me.

Chris & the Ski Famille Team - Nah, anyone who has a "Granny goes free at Xmas" offer is a 'good guy'! See, I do notice :)