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The Holiday Maker.

Answer Sheet

Here's something else to put on your list of things to get once your rich uncle Fred dies and leaves you all his money, or when you win the lottery - your own holiday consultant. Our travel reporter, Jane Wiggs interviews Billy Andower who has been a holiday consultant for seven years now.

Billy strongly denies that he is just a fancy travel agency. 'Every individual is different, and deserves a different kind of holiday. Before I even think of planning a destination or an activity for my clients, I spend several days with them observing their lifestyle, and discussing possible alternatives for the holiday. Often what I suggest is very different from what they had in mind. For example, I had a client, Mrs Brecon, who had suddenly come into a lot of money. She was planning to spend her holiday lying on a beach in Bermuda. But I could see at once that she was a very active person, and she had not been working for a while and was getting restless. So I sent her on an eco-tourism trip to the Galapagos islands. She loved it.

On the other hand, I had another client, Dave Darmak. Dave's internet company had made him a lot of money, and he wanted to go snowboarding and hang-gliding in the Alps. But he really needed to wind down and recharge his batteries, so I recommended a farm in Tuscany not far from the sea, where there was lovely scenery and lots of time to relax. Of course, that's also the best thing for people who have recently been ill or injured, though I don't recommend Tuscany for them in mid-summer. It's just too hot.'

Not all of Billy's holidays cost the earth. He once sent Mike Harman and another executive from the same business on a cycling holiday in Holland as a bonding exercise, and even recommended to one would-be holidaymaker - Terry Balt, an assistant manager at Vernion Electric - that he spend his holiday at home.

'He had just finished a big project, and was really tense. The last thing he needed was travel to a foreign country and have the hassle of trains, planes and taxis. So I told him to use all the money he was saving on travel and accommodation for eating in the best restaurants in his home town, and taking taxis to see the local sights. He's lived in the town for ten years, and never had time to relax in the park or see a show in the local theatre.'

The biggest challenge, says Billy, is families. Especially when the children and adults want different things. Fortunately, Billy knows many places where child-minding is an art. He suggested to our reporter 'We might take you to see cathedrals and art galleries in Paris, while the children go to Disneyworld, for example. With some recent clients, the Bellway family, the mother, Sally, wanted to spend all day, every day on the beach. I knew her son, Joe, would go crazy with boredom, as it was quite an exclusive place without many other kids about. So I arranged for him to take sky-diving lessons. Once Sally stopped worrying, everyone had a great time!' .

When a Professor Lember came to Billy, he wanted something really unusual to impress his friends. Billy arranged for him to spend a holiday in a scientific undersea habitat near Florida. He could only do it because Prof. Lember is a distinguished marine biologist, whose contribution to research in the habitat was so useful that he did not even have to pay for his vacation.

But what about Billy himself? Billy laughs. 'To tell you the truth, I've been so busy these last five years, I have had time for one break. But I'd been so many exotic places researching holidays for other people, that I took week off at home watching football on the telly!'.

(Text courtesy of Britalia Airways InFlight Magazine)

Which person ..

  1. was sent on holiday to get to know someone better?
  2. worked while he was on holiday?
  3. needed a holiday without travel? (two answers)

  4. was recommended for a cultural holiday?
  5. learned something about the environment?
  6. had no chance to meet other people of the same age?
  7. needed to go somewhere and relax? (two answers)

  8. wanted something as extraordinary as possible?
  9. was really fit after the holiday?
  10. suffered from stress at work? (two answers)
  11. wanted a holiday with excitement and risk?


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