The global tourism industry has most definitely taken a massive hit due to the sudden and rather violent outbreak of COVID-19. But as things gradually start going back to normal and countries open up their borders, the tourism industry is slated to make a strong comeback.
We spoke with Pia Jensen, the founder of Italian Tours, a specialist tourism company that offers personalized travel plans and promises its clients a great time, to share her experience of starting a tourism brand.
Pia also shared valuable insights for newbie tourism entrepreneurs along with some of her most memorable experiences as well as her thoughts on why she chose the .cyou domain for her new tourism brand. Read on!
1. What inspired you to start Italian Tours? Tell us your story.
A Tourism Expert Shares Insights On Starting A Travel Business 1
I have been in the tourism business for many years, having worked for several different tour operators. From 2006 until 2015, I was a partner at another company, but finally, in 2015 I decided to start Italian Tours on my own.
I must admit, I love my job and I love Italy. Italy is such an amazing place! There are so many fantastic experiences to be had here – good food and wine, history, geography, art, and sport.
My clients inspired me to start my own tourism business because when I would tell them about Italy, they would always say to me “you have so much enthusiasm and passion for Italy and for what you do, it’s amazing!”.
As a Danish person I always tell the Italian people to love Italy as much as I do. Italy is such a beautiful and fantastic place and not everyone is lucky enough to live in such a wonderful and scenic country.
As we have worked with so many sports groups from all over the world, we decided to start a new brand called Italian Sports Tours (www.ist.cyou).
The idea behind this is to focus completely on sport-related tours and activities because there are so many groups of people coming from America, South Africa, and other countries to Italy for indulging in sports.
2. Could you highlight any three facets that make Italian Tours unique from other tourism businesses?
We are an international team of veterans who’ve all been in the tourism business for many years. As numerous tourists come from America, Canada, or South Africa, there is a need for tourism experts who speak perfect English.
We also make sure that once international tourists arrive in Italy, they are in good hands and have people with them that can not only speak English but also those who will go that extra mile to ensure every client has a great time.
We ensure that every tourist or every group can reach us at any time of the day or night and we personally make sure that the client enjoys every minute of their visit to Italy.
3. If you could give three key pieces of advice to younger tourism and travel entrepreneurs, what would they be?
To work in the travel businesses is lovely and we are very lucky we get to know people from all over the world.
My first tip would be to be passionate. You need to love what you do (I think that is relevant for most of the jobs) because then you do it a lot better and the clients can feel that.
Secondly, it’s essential to directly get in contact with your clients and to visit the tourist hotspots personally. I started as a tour manager which was good because that meant I was in direct contact with clients. Also, I got to visit all the tourist places and that helped me understand those places a lot better.
Thirdly, always remember to maintain a healthy relationship with your suppliers because they also contribute towards making your clients happy.
4. You’ve just redesigned your website (and it looks great!). What prompted you to take that decision?
Thank you! The future is on the Internet and since we are expanding our business, having a strong online presence will help us reach more people and onboard more clients from the US and other countries. Having a great website is a good way to be seen.
5. What has been the most memorable experience of running your own business?
Oh, I have so many! The most memorable ones are when our clients come back to us with “We had such a great trip!” or “This was the most amazing tour we’ve been on!” or “We are definitely coming back next year!”.
Last year we did a sporting event with nearly 1000 people and that was a very memorable experience. I have also been working with Tottenham Hotspur where we organized a summer camp last year. Tottenham sent their professional coaches and the fact that they were in the finals of Champions League made the event even more exciting.
6. What are your future plans for Italian Tours?
Just like our expansion to sport-related tours, our plan is to grow and spread our presence into other facets of Italian Tourism. In fact, we are already in the planning stage of introducing another brand, Italian Music Tours.
7. Why did you choose a .cyou domain for your new website? What are your thoughts on the .cyou domain?
I think the .cyou domain is great since it’s easy to remember and very appealing. But moreover, it’s a fresh new domain and I think it’s very chic. I really do like it. This is why I think it will be a big success and in fact, I will actually ask ShortDot to register www.imt.cyou for our Italian Music Tours brand.