Spotlight On: Anna Fawcett

Name: Anna Fawcett
Title: Global Head of Marketing
Company: Topdeck 
Member Since: November 2003



Travel is the number one most aspirational activity for young people, and access to travel is near universal.

What has your company been up to in the past 12 months?

TopdeckThe last 12 months have been a whirlwind of activity for Topdeck. Not only did we carry tens of thousands of happy customers, release 4 new destinations (Mexico, India, Sicily and Malta) and win a BYTA award for best use of social media, we’ve also been in the midst of a full brand repositioning and transformation!

Early in 2019 we began the process of planning, and doing in-depth research into Gen Z. We’ve been working day and night to land on the new positioning of “Feel Real” where we are offering our customers the travel experience of a lifetime, where they can find themselves, grow, gain new perspectives and make lifelong friendships. As part of this process, we have completely re-designed our look and feel, our TOV, our brochures and website. Our crew training and product operations has been tweaked to align better to the new proposition and we’ve launch three new “Feel Real” destinations – Galapagos & Ecuador, Georgia and Sri Lanka! We also have an exciting brand campaign our in markets now!

What are the current or emerging trends within your sector?

It’s a great time to be in travel now. Travel is the number one most aspirational activity for young people, and access to travel is near universal. However that does mean that there is a lot of competition our there and youth now, are very different from generations before them. A few key trends that are emerging are:

  • The value of experiences over ‘things’. 
  • A higher expectation of travel and travel companies, very much driven by unrealistic social media images/posts.
  • There is a serious trend of mental ill health surfacing during trips, so staff and need new and improved training to address this.  
  • JOMO travel – the Joy of Missing out – youth are slowly becoming quite happy to live in the moment, without their phones and just experience in real life. 
  • Youth are extremely discerning about brands – they can smell a fake at 100 paces and want you to talk to them as friends and individuals. Read: personalisation. 
  • Sustainable and responsible tourism as a norm, rather than a feature.
How does your role support the business?

As the Global Head of Marketing I set the marketing and brand strategy for all our markets and managing the in-market international teams delivering against that strategy. As well as that, I support the GM in his long-term strategic market planning. 

What has been your career highlight to date?

Having the opportunity to live and work in New York City as Marcomms Director for VisitBritain. Nothing can quite prepare you for New York as a place to live and there is no better way to understand a consumer, than to live in their world for a while.

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

Don’t let perfect get in the way of great.

Where is your favourite place to travel to?

This is far too hard to answer!! I have so many! My favourite place in the world is Edinburgh – I lived and studied there. What a beautiful contrast of old and new, you feel like you’re in a modern fairy tale at all times. I left my heart in Scotland, it has a way of doing that!

Thailand is a beautiful place to visit to find yourself, the people are so kind and welcoming. All bets are off there, it’s chaotic, but there is a serene beauty in it somehow.

New Zealand – I’m from here originally, so nothing quite beats going home to the farm; where it’s so quiet, at night you can hear your heart beating…until a cow moos!

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

Music and arts. I actually came from the music and arts industry. In NZ I used to run Laneway’s music festival and was the Marketing Manager for Tim Bray’s children’s theatre company. I moved over to Edinburgh to worked at the Edinburgh festivals and that was my introduction to the crossover of cultural events and tourism…..and here I am now.

What’s next for your company?

Getting our new “Feel Real” proposition, and “Time to get outta here” campaign out to the world. We’re also launching an exciting new destination in May – stay tuned!

Find out more and connect with Topdeck here

Anna also sits on BETA’s Board of Directors, a voluntary role, nominated by members to help set policy and strategic direction for the association.