WHITNEY MCCASLAND

YTP SAT DOWN WITH THEIR FIRST OFFICIAL SUCCESS STORY, WHITNEY MCCASLAND TO TALK TRAVEL AND LIFE.  LEARN HOW SHE ENTERED THE INDUSTRY AND WHERE SHE'S GOING IN OUR MONTHLY EDITION OF MEMBER HIGHLIGHTS.

 

Whitney's Biography:

Dorchester Collection's, Whitney McCasland moved to New York City from Lubbock, Texas two years ago in hope of finding a new life challenge.  A graduate of Texas Tech University, she fell into the travel and hospitality industry by chance and hasn't looked back.  A member of YTP since January of 2012, she was the first member to find an internship and later a job through the organization.   


Travel Talk: 

Where did you grow up?

Lubbock, Texas. A college town about five and a half hours west of Dallas. 

How did you end up in the travel industry?

I happened to be in the right place at the right time. When I first moved to the city I was going out with friends and we ventured to a karaoke bar near Time Square where Ovation Travel was having their holiday party. That is where I met Wazha Dube and we became instant friends. He then started inviting me to YTP Events and I became a frequent attendee, about 3 months later Ovation Vacations posted they were looking for an intern, so I applied and got the position. I worked there for about a year and had decided I wanted to try to see what the hotel world was like. When I told Jack Ezon, he then sent me to The Dorchester Collection, knowing they were looking for someone to take over the Sales Coordinator position in their Regional Sales Office. With the reference from him and Ashley McCreath I got the job!

What does your role entail?

As a Sales Coordinator I pay the office bills and keep track of the office expense report. I manage the office inventory, help set up the catering for sales calls, help with agent requests when my bosses are out of the office. I also help with entering new leads to the hotels through our internal system. 


Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I HOPE TO BE LIVING IN EUROPE STILL WORKING IN THE HOSPITALITY/TRAVEL INDUSTRY. 

Give us one prediction you have about the travel as industry?

It will continue to grow. It is such a great business to be in and I think more and more young people are starting to catch on and coming up with great ideas to expand the industry. 

What advice would you give to aspiring YTPs?

To keep a positive attitude and meet as many people as you can. There is always something new to learn from each individual you meet and you can never have too many friends in this industry. 

The Fun Stuff: 

If you could pack your bag tomorrow and go anywhere, where would it be?

Ahh that's a tough one! It’s between Rome or Paris, but I'd have to say Paris. 

What’s your biggest hotel pet peeve?

It is kind of weird but I would say the replacement of the hand soap on a daily basis when I am staying for longer than one night. I never realize it's been replaced until I'm already washing my hands and have to reopen it with wet hands. I also find it a little wasteful of a perfectly good bar of soap.

What’s your go to activity to kill time at the airport?

I always sit down to read and then quickly find myself distracted by people watching. There are some interesting characters at the airport.

ERINA PINDAR

YTP BOARD MEMBER KAREN MAGEE SAT DOWN WITH ERINA PINDAR TO TALK TRAVEL AND LIFE. WE WANTED TO SHARE THEIR CONVERSATION WITH YOU IN OUR FIRST MONTHLY MEMBER HIGHLIGHT POST.

 

Erina's Biography: 

SmartFlyer’s Director, Erina Pindar, oversees the company’s Affiliate, Industry Relations, and Communications Programs, as well as designing travel for SmartFlyer’s VIPs.  Erina calls New York City home, but has also lived in Jakarta and Singapore.  She was voted as one of Travel Agent Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 in 2010 and has spoken at the New York Times Travel Show and International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) on social media & travel. 
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Travel Talk:

Where did you grow up?

All over, is that an answer?  I was born in Jakarta, boarding school in Singapore, then high school in Charlotte, NC and finally NYC for college.  

How did you end up in the travel industry?

Trial and error.  I was lucky to have had an opportunity to start as an assistant in travel PR for Hawkins International, headed by the amazing Jen Hawkins.  Though, it was a lot of fun, I quickly realized that PR wasn't for me, but travel is.  From there I moved on to my first agency job, with Barbara Gallay's Linden Travel. 

What does your role entail?

First and foremost, I work with our VIPs, styling FIT trips all over the world.  Additionally, I oversee our Affiliate, Industry Relations, and Communications program - which includes social media, say hi to me at @missSmartFlyer on Twitter and Instagram!

What do you love most about your job?

The type of travel that I get to do.  I feel incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to travel the way our clients do.  And of course the amazing people I meet along the way - it's such a passion driven industry and especially in the younger set, it's an incredibly tight-knit community. 

Why do you believe it's so important to use a travel agent?

travel is much than a simple purchase.  it's an investment of not only your money, but also your time, so why not invest the time to find a great travel agent that you can work with.  Once you find an agent that understands you and your travel habits, likes and dislikes, you won't want to be without one ever again. 

What advice would you give to aspiring YTPs?

It's a fun, young, sexy industry - we all have a good time, but there's a lot of hard work that happen behind the scene.  Assuming that this is a "fun and easy" industry to be in is a mistake.  

What makes you most excited for the future of the travel industry?

Every year, I see more and more young people entering the industry.  I think that's incredibly exciting.  I've watched the landscape of the industry changed dramatically since 2008, we're definitely injecting new blood and reviving this amazing industry.

The Fun Stuff: 

What has been your favorite foodie destination? Madrid and Tokyo, and by default my beloved NYC

What has been your favorite hotel of all time? Armani Milano, stylish, sexy, and flawless service.

What are your favorite destinations for lying on the beach? I love Turks and Caicos for its perfect beach and close proximity to NYC.

Where is your for favorite adventure destinations? Costa Rica

What’s next on your bucket list trip? Istanbul, Greece, Croatia, and Montenegro

What is the one thing you can’t travel without? I need to be connected everywhere I go, so I can't travel without my phone, which is also my music/social media/camera provider. 

What destination surprised you the most? Amsterdam, I've always been curious to go but have never had any specific expectations about it. When I finally did go, I didn't want to leave,  amazing culture/history, great food (some of the best Indonesian food I've had anywhere!), fun shopping, and a really unique city structure.

What is your biggest travel pet peeve? The long lines, but these days my global entry makes life a bit easier.