ADVISOR SHOUTOUTS

OCTOBER 2021

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Rosalena Huarcaya

Cadence

La Jolla, CA

What excites you about the travel industry today? 

I have the utmost respect for our industry.  We have endured the unimaginable, and despite the many challenges, we are stronger and more united than ever.  Our clients feel safe, and are traveling again! 2021 has flown by and the future looks very bright!  

 

Destinations you specialize in: 

I specialize in luxury hotels and resorts worldwide that cater primarily to families, honeymooners, and corporate groups for both US and International clients. I love “destination hotels” which are those that you must add an extra night or two to your itinerary just to enjoy the hotel and all it has to offer (and where your clients will thank you after for convincing them to stay longer)!  I am also a Latin America Specialist, as well as Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, US, South Pacific, and Western Europe. 

Highlight a Bennett + Mercado Hospitality hotel or destination, or share why you enjoy working with our team:

I love everything B+M represents! Personal favorites are the Nayara resorts in Costa Rica, which I will include for 90% of my FITs to Costa Rica for families and honeymooners. And of course, Rancho Valencia which is stunning and where we have been sending our local clients with confidence. 

What is something that your peers may not know about you? I grew up in Lima, Peru, and am fluent in Spanish and English.  I have been in this industry for 20 years+. This year I celebrated my 10th anniversary with Cadence and I couldn’t be more proud to be part of such a supportive community. 

 

How have you adjusted your business since the pandemic? 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have spent a tremendous amount of time helping my clients canceling and/or rebooking their trips.   Staying connected to and supporting my clients has always been important; the personal connection is what people remember and appreciate.  Clients are returning from their recent trips, happy, recharged, thankful, and feeling more confident about planning in advance to take advantage of the best value and availability.  Now that business is picking up I’m looking forward to re-hiring an assistant! 

What are you most looking forward to this year?  

Despite how difficult this past year and a half has been, it has made me realize how fortunate I am to be in this industry, to do what I love.  The incredible support and friendships I have with my colleagues and clients is truly incredible.  Life is short!  Just like my clients, I too, am ready to travel more, take advantage of working remotely, and visit friends around the world.  I’m looking forward to longer stays in a destination and to exploring fabulous hotels to my heart’s content.   

 

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Asan Askin

Ovation Travel

Los Angeles, CA

What excites you about the travel industry today? 

After almost one and half years of avoiding travel, I’m so thrilled to see clients starting to ask about destinations they may have not considered before.  All the pent up travel energy is finally going to be expended and that is such exciting news for everyone working in (and returning to work) in the travel and hospitality industry. 

 

Destinations you specialize in: Adventure focused travel planning in Southern and Eastern Africa, Scandinavia, Costa Rica and Australia & New Zealand, as well as planning FIT itineraries for Mexico, Germany, Turkey, Greece, Spain and incoming travel to the United States.

 

Highlight a Bennett + Mercado Hospitality hotel or destination, or share why you enjoy working with our team:

Nayara Springs is near and dear to me…you can’t beat that hot springs dipping pool.  I cannot wait to go explore Nayara Tented Camp (and the rest of the Nayara collection outside of Costa Rica) in the very near future. 

Why work with B+M:  Everyone on the team understands what we, as advisors, go through in our day-to-day and are 100% behind us all the way.  

What is something that your peers may not know about you?  

I have lived on three continents and speak four languages.

 

How have you adjusted your business since the pandemic? 

Patience has been the key word during the pandemic period, whether it is with vendors, who have been short staffed, or with clients, who sometimes have been short fused after being homebound for so long.  Explaining limitations and setting up expectations for both sides has been the lesson of the pandemic.

What are you most looking forward to this year?  

Getting to see our industry colleagues in live-action form, instead of on Zoom.  Just being outdoors, in general…and of course being able to see my family in Germany for Christmas and New Years.

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Debra Lopez DiNapoli

Solbrilla Travel

First In Service Travel

New York, NY

What excites you about the travel industry today? 

People are finally appreciating the value of a travel advisor! That intense need to travel again is very apparent which proves travel isn’t going anywhere.  To see it coming back in a safer and more sustainable way is also exciting and long overdue. 

 

Destinations you specialize in: 

Anything Wellness! Yes, wellness is a “destination” we all need to visit.

Highlight a Bennett + Mercado Hospitality hotel or destination, or share why you enjoy working with our team:

I would love to highlight Palazzo Margherita, the Francis Ford Coppola property in the town of Bernalda in Southern Italy. It’s a 19th Century Italian Palazzo, need I say more? There is so much to explore in this region which is perfect to wow that client that’s looking for an Italy experience that isn’t super touristy. 

What is something that your peers may not know about you? I have an online vintage business and I enjoy researching artisan markets and vintage shops during my travels which I can incorporate into travel itineraries if the client is interested.

 

How have you adjusted your business since the pandemic? 

Multiple streams of income has always been my thing which is a perfect mindset during times like these. I continue to be flexible and think outside the box.  Travel looks a bit different these days but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

What are you most looking forward to this year?  

Well, with a focus on wellness properties and considering what the entire world just endured, many people are putting their health first! It’s a perfect time to take the plunge and book a wellness getaway for that much needed reset.

 

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Sandra Ortiz

Woodlake Travel

Houston, TX

What excites you about the travel industry today? 

After 28 years in this industry I love the fact that every day you learn something new.  It keeps you on your toes and it is never boring, that is for sure! 

 

Destinations you specialize in: 

Europe, Africa, New Zealand, Caribbean & Mexico

Highlight a Bennett + Mercado Hospitality hotel or destination, or share why you enjoy working with our team:

Turtle Inn Coppola Resort. In May 2021, I had two couples travel to celebrate a milestone birthday at Sofia’s Beach House.  Truly amazing property, off the beaten path and the perfect destination to escape into laid back luxury. Plus thanks to Bennett + Mercado my clients were VIP'd!

What is something that your peers may not know about you? I studied voice and sing opera.

 

How have you adjusted your business since the pandemic? 

I had to pivot and focus on luxury travel closer to home after years of selling exotic destinations.  You don’t have to travel far to have a luxury experience.  There are so many amazing hotels, resorts and experiences in our own backyard.  I researched, studied and even did some of the road trips that I designed for clients these past 19 months.  I tried to look for those unique and special experiences and places to keep the travel dream alive for clients.  

What are you most looking forward to this year?  

I’m excited that the world is opening up and that my clients are excited as well to get back out there.  I can’t wait to see where we will go!