Why travel and hospitality: Greg Fruchtenicht, Bo Van Strijland & Ollie Palmer

Is travel and hospitality a good industry to work in? Don’t ask us, we’re biased. 

To help you decide for yourself, in the second installation of ‘Why travel and hospitality’ friends of Lightning their perspective on what makes travel and hospitality different to other industries – and offer their advice for candidates who are new to the scene.

Greg Früchtenicht (he/him) – COO, Saira Hospitality

Why do you love working in travel and hospitality?

I’ve been fortunate enough to work in both travel and hospitality since graduating university in 2013 and I couldn’t have hoped for a better career to date. The confluence between these two industries is a deep sense of culture. A career in the travel industry not only allows you to physically explore the world, but it allows you to develop a deeper understanding of global communities and societies. The travel industry is a catalyst for curiosity – once the fuse of curiosity is lit, it’ll never go out. Similarly, working in hospitality offers an opportunity to explore and understand new cultures, whether that’s via interactions with a diverse range of guests or via the relationships you build with your team.

What makes it different to other industries?

Truly, no two days are the same when working in the hospitality industry (for better or for worse!). This sense of unexpectedness is a conduit to probably my favourite part of working in the industry: the unique sense of teamwork that the industry develops. It doesn’t matter if you’re working in a hotel, a bar, café or concert hall: your team truly become your family. 

This is also true of the travel industry – I’ve never met someone working in the travel industry who isn’t deeply passionate about their job. When you combine a group of passionate individuals in one room, the sense of teamwork and shared purpose is palpable. It’s a unique environment and everyone has a great story to tell from their latest adventure.

What’s your advice for candidates who are new to the industry?

If you feel a barrier, mindfully push through it, but don’t push through it alone.

I remember my first week working the bar of a local hotel. I was beyond stressed. Previously, I’d pulled pints in caravan parks and waited tables at a local café, but this was a step up and I was feeling the pressure. There were actual SOPs here, which were enforced pretty strictly. I was having those awful work dreams that perpetuated stress levels and after a week I was ready to throw in the towel. 

After a particularly busy shift I had a quiet word with my manager and opened up about the way I was feeling… It was like the world was lifted from my shoulders. After being honest and open, I felt less pressure and began to understand that hospitality is a place where you can truly be yourself, whether you’ve been in the industry for seven days or seven years.

Feeling overwhelmed in a new environment is nothing to be ashamed of. You’re not bad at your job: you’re just learning. Being open and honest with your peers and seniors is the only way to mindfully push through those early work nerves. Trust me, the people you confide in will have felt the same at some stage in their career.


Bo Van Strijland (she/her) – Global Sales Director of Entertainment, Lore Group

Why do you love working in travel and hospitality?

Eight years ago, I started  my career in hospitality with a hotel internship in The Netherlands, never thinking I’d continue my career in this industry. Now, I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. Being in sales has given me the opportunity to grow my skills personally and professionally, meet inspiring people from all around the world, travel, and build long-lasting friendships. I’m so grateful to be in an inspiring environment with a company that supports me and continuously challenges me to become the best version of myself.

What makes it different to other industries?

Working in travel and hospitality gives you exposure to different cultures, endless opportunities globally, and teaches you interpersonal skills that not many other industries offer. The diversity of the industry, on every level, makes it an exciting one to be in.  

What’s your advice for candidates who are new to the industry?

Be kind, genuine, and mindful of others. Take ownership. Be curious to learn from the people around you. Learn from your successes and failures to continuously grow and become better. Most of all, you need to love what you do. In the hospitality industry we work hard, but we also play harder. It’s one of the most diverse industries that will teach you things about yourself and the world that no other job can.


Ollie Palmer (he/him) – Director of Global Sales for Europe, The Standard

Why do you love working in travel and hospitality?

This industry allows me to experience something new every day. From experiences within our hotels (and other hotels!), to seeing new destinations and – for me, most importantly – meeting new people and being a part of an awesome team of professionals. It’s an industry for ‘people’ people – and I love it!

What makes it different to other industries?

This industry absorbs you. Working in travel and hospitality is generally a ‘way of life’, rather than just a career. We do what we do because we have a passion for interacting with people and experiencing new things. In most roles within this industry you feel like you’re on a stage, being you, and doing what you can to make someone’s day, week or once-in-a-lifetime trip.

What’s your advice for candidates who are new to the industry?

Be AUTHENTICALLY you. Of course, you need to be professional and hard-working (this industry certainly requires that!); but, equally, I believe working in travel and hospitality allows you to express your personality. Whether you’re facing the guest, an employee, or client, your character and individuality has a story to tell – so tell it!


Reckon travel and hospitality could be the industry for you? Get in touch for help finding your next role.

Love the industry (in theory), but lost your mojo? Book a Lightning Lounge session for tailored career advice to help you get your spark back. Or follow us behind the scenes on Instagram or TikTok to check out what all the fuss is about.

In the meantime, check out our CEO, Chris (they/she), talking about Allyship in Hospitality at IHS 2022:

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Thea Bardot

18th February

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