Let us introduce you to Gavin Landry, director of the Americas for VisitBritain. If you’re sending clients to the UK, Gavin might be someone you’d like to get to know. Gavin joined the VisitBritain team in 2017, and since then he’s been working to increase new and repeat visitors from all markets, while also working with UK suppliers to produce bookable regional and seasonal products that are appealing to you and your clients.
Gavin has a degree in hotel and restaurant administration from Cornell University, and his past work includes working on the iconic “I Love New York” program for New York State, where he was previously the executive director of tourism, as well as holding various roles in the industry ranging from running commercial hotels across America, to heading a DMO in Saratoga Springs for over a decade.
His early memories of travel include Disney and Ocean City, but now his favorite memories span across Europe—the Edinburgh Castle in Scotland, and The Dorchester in London currently make his list. And traveling abroad to Cuba and Japan are both at the top of his travel bucket list. Though he claims he’s not materialistic, Gavin admits to collecting magnets while on his travels, but we’ll let him tell you more in this installment of Coffee Time with Industry Vets Q&A series.
Where did you go on your first trip and how old were you?
I have early memories of Ocean City, MD when I was very young but the first big trip I remember was at 7 years old to Disney World in Orlando. I was partly unhappy by not meeting the height requirement for some of the rides!
What is your most vivid travel memory?
Watching the fireworks over Edinburgh Castle in Scotland during what is called a Military Tattoo. A must see.
What was the “Aha” moment that led you into the travel industry?
When considering a career, I tried to look at viable industries where my personal skills were relevant. It was fortunate I graduated from private high school in the mid-1980’s when hotels and tourism was a burgeoning industry.
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
I am not married!
What was your favorite trip you took last year and why?
I really enjoyed going to Stoke-on-Trent, England to the ceramics capital of the world. We had a lovely time at one of my favorite art pottery facilities named Moorcroft. I collect several of the early pieces of Moorcroft so being there in real life was a treat.
Where would you like to go that you have yet to visit?
Japan is high on the list as is Cuba to retrace, Marea, my partner’s, roots.
Do you always buy a souvenir the first time you visit a destination?
I am not materialistic so the answer is no; other than magnets!
You can tell us—do you collect magnets from the destinations you’ve visited?
What do you do to pass the time on the plane ride to your destination?
I like to read, listen to podcasts and of course watch movies.
Who is your favorite travel companion?
Marea, the love of my life.
If there were one hotel room in the world you could call home the rest of your life, which would it be?
The Dorchester in London would be high on the list.
What is the best food you’ve had on a trip? Paella in Barcelona. The strangest? I don’t do strange food, so none!
What can’t you travel without?
Who is the most interesting person you’ve met while traveling?
Truly it would be a compendium of locals. No one famous.
Tropical beach or Snowy Mountain?
Beach but love both.
City or countryside?
Life is too short to exclude either!
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