"Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going."
- Paul Theroux

Views & Interviews

Q&A: In conversation with world traveler, Brendan Cole

October 2018

Brendan Cole is an experienced photographer, content creator, digital influencer and brand development specialist, based on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. He is a world traveler who has visited over 60 countries and lived in North America, the Middle East and Asia. Brendan thinks locally and works globally; his services are offered through his boutique creative agency Nomadica Media.


Q. Considering that your work spins off compelling narratives, are you aligned to the travel industry?

Yes, absolutely. I grew up in the Middle East and I’ve been lucky enough to have spent a good portion of my life travelling. I think that travel and exploration motivate me no matter what I’m doing. (I’m always looking for the next adventure!)

Q. What global trends do you observe in the travel and vacation sector?

I’ve noticed quite a few developments in the past few years. Nowadays, Southeast Asia seems to be the go-to destination for first-time or budget travelers while Eastern Europe and Morocco have become must-see destinations for more seasoned travellers and those who have a bit of money to spend on an adventurous holiday. ‘Influencer’ marketing via social media has also evolved to a point where these influencers definitely impact where people want to go for their next trip.

Sustainable travel is bigger than ever and people are much more conscious of their actions; they want to go to places where they can have a positive impact on the community rather than stay, look and leave.

Finally, I’ve noticed a lot more interest in wanting to visit a place for a longer period of time, now that companies are more open to their employees working remotely. And places where foreigners can easily set up shop for a while are experiencing the benefits of expat money (Da Nang and Hoi An in Vietnam are great examples of this.)

Q. Are people from the US and Europe largely heading East, because of the highly evolved tourism industry?

Tourists from these areas are heading East for two reasons: firstly, their money goes a lot farther out East, and secondly the East is familiar enough to make them feel comfortable (thanks largely to TV and social media) yet foreign enough that it’s an adventure worth undertaking. The highly evolved tourism industry definitely plays a role in this by offering dependable infrastructure and new experiences at an affordable price.

Q. What exactly do you offer operators in the hospitality industry, in terms of services and solutions?

Good question! I primarily offer photography and content creation packages as well as Instagram consulting. My primary objective is to tell your story and get your message out to your audience.

Q. What are your personal takeaways on vacation ownership? Are there leading players in your region?

Vacation ownership used to be more popular where I’m from, especially before the 2008 financial crisis. I think that vacation ownership is a great option for people who know where they want to go and want to visit the same place very often. Getting a timeshare can mean the difference between a vacation every few years, or a great vacation every year. The trick is to be sure that you love the place your timeshare is located.

Q. Do you have any observations for this industry in terms of feedback?

The term ‘vacation ownership’ is great and I am sure this industry is working in a positive manner to strengthen relationships with customers - offering value for money in the many ways it can. Some amount of re-branding is a good thing, to change existing perceptions of this hospitality vertical.

And like it’s happening in larger markets (and yes in India, as well) companies in the vacation ownership industry should gravitate towards the organized sector – to reflect a reputation linked to being reliable, professional and affordable. Because potential buyers will want to be sure that their families and their memberships will always be in good hands.

Q. If you had a timeshare membership where would you like to go?

If I had a timeshare membership, I would look at Eastern Europe so that I could visit Europe often, being able to mitigate some of the large costs involved (such as accommodation). I also have a lot of family there so it would give me more of an opportunity to visit them!

Q. What do you think of India as a destination? What are your must-see locations in the country?

I think India is a great travel destination and has been for a long time. If I had to choose a region of India to explore, it would probably be the remote northern areas, or Kerala in the south because I've heard lots of good things about it - particularly with regard to the development initiatives and strategies that have been adopted by the region.

 

Where to find Brendan Cole on the net
Website
Instagram

 

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