Jennifer Wilson-Buttigieg knows that to keep up with the travel industry’s continual change, as well as thrive in it, you must see opportunity everywhere and in everything. As Co-president & Owner of Valerie Wilson Travel, Jennifer’s forward-thinking approach and “challenge the status quo” mindset has helped cement Valerie Wilson Travel as an industry leader.
In addition to making WINiT’s Top 50 list, Jennifer was named as a Conde Nast Traveler Business/Corporate Travel Specialist in 2021 and Travel + Leisure has listed her as a member of the “A-List” for Business Travel for 10 consecutive years.
How do you feel about receiving this award from WINiT?
I’m so humbled to be recognized by my peers. Having successfully led a woman-owned business and worked with both my mother and sister for the past 30+ years, it is incredible to see the impact we collectively have made on our colleagues and industry partners. It’s all about mentoring, providing opportunities, and paying it forward. WINiT is doing great work in recognizing all women in the travel sector.
What do you love about being in business travel?
I am a huge fan of puzzles, and business travel is like a puzzle. Pre-COVID, business travel was unique and brought about certain challenges to solve, from finding the ideal spot for the board meeting and getting everyone there, to locating the right flight and hotel for the executive stopping by for a quick visit. While virtual meetings are doable, in-person business travel will always prevail. There is nothing that compares to meeting in person with a colleague or potential new partner. In a post-COVID environment, the travel advisor will be even more critical in helping to navigate quickly changing policies and as an advocate “on the road.”
What advice would you give to women just starting their careers in business travel?
Never be afraid to ask for help – whether it’s not understanding an industry acronym or phrase, or having a client arriving early at the hotel, I have personally found success through asking our preferred partners, suppliers, and industry counterparts for special access and additional information. These connections and relationships are truly what make each trip you plan a triumph, and these are the people you can turn to for advice or sharing in celebration. If you don’t ask, you can’t possibly get the help.