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YWIT Awards: Tourism Influencer of the Year: Advice from our Sponsor, Expedia

It will come as no surprise that the tourism industry is Scotland is full of talented young travel writers, bloggers, vloggers and content creators. Part of the Young Women in Tourism Awards, our ‘Tourism Influencer of the Year’ category aims to seek out those talented travel addicts and celebrate all that they contribute to the Scottish tourism sector, and who better to sponsor this category than travel giant, Expedia.

We’ve been chatting to Expedia Scotland Market Manager, Synden Grieve, to find out more about her unique journey into the tourism industry. Read on to find out why she’s completely and utterly hooked on the travel sector, and we’ve got the inside scoop on what the lucky winner of the category will be getting up to at Expedia…

What was your career journey like?

My career journey has been a bit of a roller coaster. I started working in the arts industry after studying fine art at university and if you had asked me then what I would be doing now I would never have guessed I would work for a worldwide travel company or that I would be living in Scotland! Despite this I have no regrets and I would say that every step of the way has been a huge adventure. I have had a lot of different roles both in the tourism industry and out of it and all have been great learning experiences.

What do you love most about working in the tourism sector?

The tourism industry is fun and full of great people. I love the idea of sharing the world with people and that we are a part of people having amazing experiences that they will remember forever and will be pivotal moments in their lives.

At Women in Tourism, we’re all about empowering young women with the skills they need to reach leadership positions. In your words, can you tell us why that’s important?

As current gender pay gap stats have helpfully told us (not that we necessarily needed to be told) the gender pay gap has widened recently in the UK which is hugely disappointing. It is more crucial than ever to ensure we have greater gender equality in leadership roles across the whole sector and beyond. A huge part of this is to enable young women with the skills to reach these positions, and also to have the confidence to reach these roles and achieve within them. It is very exciting to be a part of Women in Tourism’s drive to achieve these goals and to help empower young women in the tourism industry.

What can you tell us about the opportunity the winner will receive at Expedia?

The successful applicant will get to come spend a week with the Expedia team in Scotland – this will include shadowing the three teams we have housed in the office, getting to come out on the road and meet with some of the partners we work with and attend strategy meetings that we hold. They will get an inside look at what a global travel company does and how it all works on the ground as well as at a strategic level.

What advice would you give young women starting to consider a career, or starting out, in the tourism sector?

Be open to new experiences and try as many different things as you can – you never know which networking event or which new part of your role might lead to something exciting and empowering for your career. Also, have fun, get involved and aim high to achieve what you want –  you don’t get new experiences and challenges  unless you have the courage to ask for them – so always ask.

Find out more about the Young Women in Tourism Awards here. Entries close 17 May 2019.

Good luck!