Francesco Galli Zugaro, CEO, Aqua Expeditions

227703When and why did you join the industry?

I was introduced to travel via the Galapagos Islands. What better way to immerse yourself in this industry than by this this destination that is an icon for conservation. My love for expedition cruising came from living and working in Ecuador and spending so much time in this archipelago.

What do you like most about your job?

The next adventure and challenge and the satisfaction of meeting our guest expectations and over-delivering on our promise for authentic travel experiences.

What’s one of the biggest achievements of your career so far?

Building my first River cruiser in the biggest city in the world disconnected by roads. Iquitos Peru is the furthest inland seaport in the world. The logistical challenge is similar to the Classic cult movie Fitzcaraldo.

What’s the best advice ever given to you and who gave it?

Build a strong financial forecast and business model before you embark on a new venture. Stick to what you know. My business partner and father in law. Fred Brown.

Who do you admire and see as a role model in the travel and tourism industry?

Shackleton – His pure sense of adventure to explore new destinations is what drives me.

What can people expect from your company and what sets it apart from the rest?

Our company’s biggest asset is our talent. Our guests come to experience our destinations; our staff shape that experience and perfect it.

What destinations are on your travel bucket list?

That list just keeps growing but right now I have to say Africa, Africa, Africa. I have been 9 times and I just feel a sense of attraction to it.

What’s a memorable travel experience you’ve had (good or bad)?

Crossing the Damaraland Desert in Namibia on my own by bicycle for three days. It’s the only place in the world with desert adapted elephants and lions that are free roaming and not in a reserve. It was three days of pure adrenaline and fear.

What are three things you always take with you when travelling?

My lulu lemon pants for inflight sleep, my portable travel Channel Blu cologne and Aqua Expeditions long sleeve 100% pima cotton t-shirt.

Name someone famous you’d like to travel with and a destination you’d like to go with them.

Wade Davis, In-house-explorer at National Geographic. To Borneo.

What direction do you see the industry heading in over the next five to ten years?

Highly produced and vetted authentic travel experiences where guest have the ability to share 24/7 with their friends and colleagues back home.

 

Source = Aqua Expeditions: Francesco Galli Zugaro
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