A Spotlight on TRS Susi Triogo-Rossier

 

 

After Brexit, European students now need a passport to travel to the UK, which might discourage many of them since previously they could use their European ID to travel. This change makes it harder for European students to visit and study in the UK. On a positive note, we have seen a big increase in educational and school groups from the UK and the USA in the last two years and we are looking forward to welcoming back educational groups from China as well

Tell us a bit about your role and how it supports the business

I am responsible for finding and developing new partnerships with different agents, such as OTAs, tour operators or travel technology companies, as well as managing relationships with our existing partners.

Since it’s a family business, I also get to work in different areas like customer service, finance, sales, and marketing, which makes my work interesting and varied.

What has been your career highlight to date?

One of the highlights so far was being part of the team that created our new brand after merging Thames River Services and Circular Cruise. Seeing how smoothly everything came together and the huge increase in online sales, exceeding all expectations, was very rewarding.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given? 

See challenges as opportunities to grow.

If you were not working in this sector what other industry would you have pursued a career in?

I think I would have chosen a career in psychology. I’ve always been interested in the human mind and behaviour.

What are the emerging trends within your sector and have these changed since Covid-19?

Due to Covid-19, there is a growing preference for domestic and local travel. We have also noticed an increase in advanced bookings and a need for flexibility. Our customers can find peace of mind in our flexible terms, allowing them to reschedule or cancel last-minute if necessary.

Tell us one thing about your business that others might not already know

Thames River Sightseeing is formed by three private hire companies that are competitors in this business segment.

Also, our directors are part of The Company of Watermen and Lightermen of the River Thames. Some of them hold the title of Royal Waterman, performing ceremonial duties, including during the coronation of King Charles.

As a membership association what one thing do you think we have done that has made a real difference to you as a business?

Thanks to BETA workshops and networking events, we’ve made great connections and some of them have become our clients or partners.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges, threats and opportunities for youth, student and educational travel in the next few years?

After Brexit, European students now need a passport to travel to the UK, which might discourage many of them since previously they could use their European ID to travel. This change makes it harder for European students to visit and study in the UK. Additionally, inflation may lead to higher travel costs, affecting the affordability of educational trips and other activities like river cruises. As a result, some European students might start considering alternative English-speaking destinations, such as Ireland.

On a positive note, we have seen a big increase in educational and school groups from the UK and the USA in the last two years and we are looking forward to welcoming back educational groups from China as well.

What is coming up for your company in the next 12/18 months?

In the next 12/18 months, we have exciting plans ahead! We’ll implement our new booking system in all ticket offices, finalise rebranding, create attractive packages with other attractions and enhance our presence on social media.

Find out more about BETA member Thames River Sightseeing here

Published 01 October 2023