Travelzoo expert’s career tour
A strong passion for travel and an unerring sense of adventure led Nok Lee to start his career at Travelzoo, an internet company offering online travel deals, three years ago.
“I have been a passionate traveller since I was young, as well as a loyal subscriber to the ‘Travelzoo Top 20’, the definitive list of the week’s 20 best travel, entertainment and local deals,” Lee says.
“On graduating from London’s Middlesex University with a media and cultural studies degree, I worked as a journalist. Travel was one of my beats, so when I came across a Travelzoo career advertisement on its website, I seized the opportunity. Now I help define the Travelzoo Top 20 for Hong Kong,” he adds.
Every morning, Lee pores over newspapers, magazines and online news sources to stay abreast of hot topics that will inspire Top 20 subscribers to travel. “To stay on top of industry dynamics, I also review travel adverts for the latest promotions, price points and seasonal preferences. These help me shortlist the best deals for Travelzoo subscribers,” he says.
As senior producer, Lee is responsible for editorial direction. “The search for the Top 20 begins [again] each week. I provide guidance to our deal experts on what Hong Kong subscribers want. Based on this, we then research hundreds of deals from airlines, hotels, cruise lines, cruise agencies and vacation package companies, each week, evaluating each using our rigorous selection and approval process,” he says.
Lee also works closely with advertisers from leading travel and hospitality companies to develop tempting deals that will inspire more travellers to book trips. “We apply the same stringent evaluation process used in deal selection for the advertising content, to ensure that we always maintain an independent position. Our unique process gives us the confidence to stand by every deal that we publish and maintain the highest level of integrity,” he says.
Grabbing seasonal and time-sensitive information, and publishing it ahead of fierce competition that has sprung up in the last two years, is a major challenge. Lee says subscribers expect only the best and most up-to-date deals. “It takes a lot of effort to work with clients in coming up with exclusive deals that continue to impress our subscribers,” he says.
Lee advises those interested in becoming travel-deal experts to pay close attention to the market. “You need to have your finger on the pulse and be sensitive to market changes in the travel industry. You also need to be meticulous when evaluating a deal accurately and not just be blinded by the price. You must be attentive to fine details,” he says.
Lee thinks it is vital to be a savvy traveller in order to understand the best times to visit specific destinations and when to get the best deals. “For example, you need to know the best season to visit the Maldives, the difference between taking a direct flight versus a connecting flight to London, and what you must pay attention to when travelling on budget airlines,” he says. “You also need a strong passion for travel.”