Katie Blackstone’s “30-Under-30” Profile in Travel Agent Magazine:
As a specialist in Europe and Southern Africa, Katie Blackstone has been working for Travel Beyond for eight years. Beginning as an intern at 16, she worked her way up to the position of Travel Consultant after gaining copious amounts of administrative experience and, in the words of agency owner Craig Beal, “impressing her clients and coworkers with her maturity and expertise.”
Blackstone knows her colleagues are a great asset to have, so she turns to them for instant information if she is unfamiliar with a new destination or company. “I also use the Signature Travel Network, which we belong to, as a great resource to deal with additional questions,” she says. “I’m always working to develop relationships with different companies that we use.”
These relationships can mean the difference during crises. One of Blackstone’s clients was en route to a flooded property in a remote location in Africa, but thanks to her contacts at neighboring properties she was able to get the client’s itinerary moved nearby without halting their safari.
“If I receive any criticism from clients about a portion of their trip, I have two steps I always follow,” Blackstone says. “First, I reach out to our vendors and make sure they are aware of the situation and let them know how things should be handled in the future (for instance, if clients had an inadequate guide, I would request that the guide no longer work with future Travel Beyond guests). I then take the knowledge that my clients gave me and apply it to all of my future bookings to be sure the issue doesn’t come up again.”