Gossiping with…Travel Legend Nicky Yates

Gossiping with...Nicky Yates
By Linsey McNeill
26/04/2024
Home » Gossiping with…Travel Legend Nicky Yates

Attraction World National Retail Engagement Manager and Travel Gossip’s very own Travel Legend Nicky Yates tell us about her career, her passions and why she’s always in a branded top.

I can’t tell you how made up I was to win the Travel Gossip Travel Legend Award. I have won other awards, but this was more special because it’s voted for by travel agents. I’m looking at it on my shelf now!

My first travel job was an apprentice at Sir Bobby Charlton’s agency, Halba Travel. I’m a massive Manchester United fan, so I was always running upstairs to his office to take him a drink or something. He was the nicest, nicest man. I must have asked for his autograph 300 times!

It’s hard to believe now, but I used to be shy. What made me mouthy a more confident person was that at 18, I went to work overseas as an Airtours rep, which meant I had to stand up in front of people with a mic. That gives you a lot more confidence.

I’m a people person. I love being on the road, going to conferences, meeting agents. If you offered me another £20k a year to work in an office, I’d turn it down.

My first ever mentor was Tony Seaman [previously Attraction World UK MD and later Chief Operating Officer]. He taught me such a lot, but one of the most important things was that he told me it was okay to be me. I’ve also been fortunate to work with many other great people, including [the late] Keith Byrne at Cresta, who was the nicest guy, and Nick Hughes [previously Attraction World Sales & Marketing Director, now at Scenic Group].

I love wearing branded clothing. I literally live in branded gear, I love branded gear. It’s like my uniform, it makes me feel who I am. When I left Attraction World to join Scenic Group, which was very corporate, I was told I couldn’t wear a branded top, I had to dress like a five-star cruise brand. I was told to go in a business suit to a sales call, but if I turned up to my travel agents wearing a suit they’d think I was up on a charge!

I left Attraction World after seven years to join Scenic for a change. Turns out cruising is VERY different! I then joined ChilliMix, it was an LGBTQ operator, which I thought was right up my street, I thought I could really make a difference, but oh my goodness it was a mistake. It was my only wrong turn in travel.

When I left Chillimix, I reached out to Attraction World. I knew I wanted to come back, working here was the best job I’d ever had. Within two weeks, they’d created a new role for me.

Attraction World get me. They encourage me to be who I am and I think – and my friends think – I have the best job in the world. It’s full on, it’s a lot of hard work, but it’s so much fun. 

I want to take up golf. I just feel there needs to be more females in the industry playing golf, to go to some of these golf events that are very male dominated. Michael Young-Richards [Celebrity Cruises Strategic Account Manager] is a friend so on a Monday night we head down to the driving range with his son. We’re going to take a lesson, then there’ll be no stopping us!

I don’t want to manage people. I am a team player and I just want to help people, help my agents, a lot of them are my friends, and I just feel honoured and privileged to get paid to do a job I love.

Outside of work I love socialising, I love cocktails, but family and my fur babies come first. I’ve got three small poodle crosses, Mabel, Olive and Dotty. They are my little world. 

My bucket list trip would be a world cruise. My favourite holidays are cruising, I absolutely love it, and Orlando. I also want to go swimming with pigs in the Bahamas, which we now sell at Attraction World, and I want to see a lot more of America, but when I retire, hopefully many many years from now, I want to try a world cruise.

Quick Questions

Text or talk? TALK – I do love a voice note!

Night out or night in? Both, for different reasons

Beach or city break? Beach

Heels or trainers? 100% Trainers 😊 

Love Island or Married at First Sight? Nooo you can’t make me choose between them, love them both…but, if I had too, MAFS Australia.

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