Guy sticks to Florida

Guy providing a long overdue update

So I finished my last blog post by complaining that you could never get on a TUI flight with a staff deal because capacity has been managed so tightly this year… BUT I was lucky enough to get a thumbs-up phone call from Luton and at the end of June/beginning of July found myself jetting off from Manchester to Florida for a return to Tampa Bay where my first placement with TUI Marine had been.  It was great getting the call at the airport on the tannoy calling me to the desk for my upgrade to Thomson Airways Premium.  I couldn’t quite stomach the pink champagne at 10am after my early start from a friend’s in Birmingham, but I did enjoy the pre take-off orange juice, extra legroom and noise cancelling headsets, which acted as an insurance policy against any wailing babies on the flight.  Still, I shouldn’t complain, I have subjected fellow passengers to my sister’s noisy children in the past!

It was great getting back to the Clearwater office and seeing old friends and colleagues – and this was also a great opportunity to catch-up with Ben on our social media project, which we were preparing for a scheduled presentation during our Learning and Development week.  Obviously Mexican food/margaritas, trips to the beach and Universal Studios all added to a great long weekend.

Back to Birmingham Airport and on to Brighton, and I still had another three weeks of my placement in E-Commerce to go.  We celebrated the launch of iExplore (the next big thing in adventure travel), and tied up other aspects of my placement.

At the end of July we had our Learning and Development week – which was not only a great opportunity to learn new ways of thinking about things like product development and negotiation but also gave us a chance to showcase our social media idea which is now on the cards for integration into iExplore. Watch this space!  The final day of the week was spent in Port Solent and following a mid-programme review of our performance across the placements, we headed out onto a fairly calm sea on the swanky Sunsail F40s.  We were lucky enough to be joined by the 2011 intake of Specialist and Activity Sector grads for this.  I think our boat was the more competitive of the two – and so without a doubt we won the race.

Following the L&D week I had hoped to get more TUI flights to Cuba or Central America, but no luck, so a last minute search meant I headed off with university friends to Thailand for Bangkok, diving and jungle trekking.

Now I am in the Atrium at Specialist Holidays Group, working on a Florida specialist brand and also on improving our ancillary sales across all brands.  I’ll talk about all that in my next post, which I’ll make sure is super-soon.

Also – check out the TUI UK& Ireland grads’ new blog.  You’ll see them all resplendent in their rep uniforms as they head out on their Thomson, First Choice and 2twentys placements. is the address!

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