Anita Emilio always dreamed of working in the travel industry. At age 30, after 10 years in the Art House Movie industry, she took a leap of faith and left to follow her passion. Somebody recognized that passion and provided her with a great opportunity to train her. Initially her salary was cut in half, but there are no regrets. “It is the best sacrifice my family and I have ever made,” says Emilio.
She was always drawn to the world of travel, seeing it as a leveler since everyone can experience it despite their age or upbringing. “It is something that even those who have nothing in common can chat about and I had big dreams of seeing the world. There’s no better way to achieve those goals than to work in the industry. I have been extremely fortunate to have travelled extensively both for work and pleasure.”
Despite choosing not to pursue a post-secondary degree, she credits her success to the notion that if you work hard, good things will happen. This appears to be working for her since she started leading Travellers Counsellors. “Put the world’s nicest yet most driven people in a room, inject incredible leadership, give them the right tools to do the job and believe in them 100%,” says Emilio. Her approach is “built entirely on relationships, with customers, suppliers and each other.”
She still manages to make her company distinctive. “Our agents are the best in the business, with many years of experience and this is their career and passion. We are a family-run business and extend that sense of family to our agents, our head office team, our partners and our clients,” she says.
Work-life balance is an integral part that comes from within. There are “long hours and often a lot of travel for work so you must be very careful to juggle the balance between home and work and know when to say no.” She remarks that the younger generation understands this element.
Emilio remains focused on recruiting in the travel industry and will be launching an online televised broadcast on February 12th; later, she will meet those great candidates. “I personally go out and meet them to make certain that we are right for each other and that it will be a successful relationship,” says Emilio.
When Emilio is not working, she is an avid marathon runner. “Absolutely, running a marathon is proof that when you set your mind to something, anything is possible,” she says. When she is alone with her thoughts, she can think, plan and dream.
“Be strong and daring. Know who you are and be proud of it, don’t do anything your future self would not be proud of. I have left and lost positions when I was asked to do things that were against my values and beliefs. At the end of the day you have to look yourself in the mirror, do it with a clean and clear conscience,” says Emilio. “You can be nice and kind and succeed in the business world.”