Meet italktravel Rutherford

Mark van Huisstede – Director

I have been in family business my whole life but in other industries (namely the joinery and window manufacturing  industry) and am proud to be able to say that Hunter Global Travel trading as italktravel Maitland, Rutherford and Newcastle West is also a family run business that I created with my sister and business partner in 2006. Both Karen and I along with my wife Julia are heavily involved in the day to day operations of the travel agencies with my role in the business being the relationship liaison with all our suppliers and business stakeholders, management, HR, Marketing, events and community involvement which I enjoy and do a lot of. I am a member of BNI Express and we are a group of like minded small business owners who network together to support not only our business but that of those around us in our communities.

Travel is a passion of mine and one that I haven been fortunate enough to do a lot of since being in the travel industry. I enjoy traveling with my wife and family and have already created many lifetime memories, something that I am passionate about and encourage others to do so themselves. This industry is exciting and every day presents something new, its one of the many reasons I hope to continue doing this for many years to come! 

Julia van Huisstede – Owner / Manager

Tell us briefly about your favourite holiday experience and what made it so memorable?
I have so many “favourite Holiday Experiences” but one of them that stands out is a recent trip to China and my visit to The Great Wall. Something I have wanted to do since I started in travel and the moment I was up on the wall taking in the  sheer size of it was incredible. A warm day with unusually clear blue sunny skies made it even better!

Tell us about a destination you have always wanted to visit and why?
Cuba & Spain – both different but full of amazing food, history and culture. Just 2 of many destinations I want to explore and learn about. These days I travel to learn about how other parts of the world live, its enriching.  

What do you love most about working for italktravel?
The team I work with, across all four stores we have a vast range of experience and knowledge but most of all I love the fun these girls bring and the high energy to each work day!

How will you help make your clients next travel experience unforgettable?
​There holiday experience starts from the moment my client book’s their holiday, we keep the client engaged and enthused from the planning stage to the trip itself. At italktravel its all about my clients holiday and what they are going to experience!

Karen van Huisstede: Owner / Manager

Tell us briefly about your favourite holiday experience and what made it so memorable?
I have so many favourites, however the one that sticks out the most right now is INDIA! What an amazing country, so diverse from its beauty to its history, the food, the people, everything about the country intrigued me. And the Taj Mahal was definitely a WOW moment and a huge highlight for me!

Tell us about a destination you have always wanted to visit and why?
I love the water, and for the last few years I have dreamt of going to Croatia. Id love to sail the coast and stop at all of the little towns along the way and wander through them, enjoying the lifestyle, people, food and culture.

What do you love most about working for italktravel?
I absolutely love working in travel, the fact that every day is different! With such an array of clients, I can be looking at a relaxing honeymoon in Mauritius one day for an excited couple and the next doing research for a family ski holiday in the Swiss Alps. I love what I do and being part of a family owned company means so much to me.

How will you help make your clients next travel experience unforgettable?
​I love the fact that I get to know my clients, some becoming very close friends, so being part of their booking process for their holiday gives me a real incite into their needs. I then ensure their holiday experience is amazing and exactly what they want! I like to think that I do go the extra mile as there is no better feeling than when my client comes home and tells me how wonderful everything was and that it was hassle free! That definitely gives me a buzz.


Rutherford

Leah Cox – Manager

Tell us briefly about your favourite holiday experience and what made it so memorable?
Southern Africa was my very first overseas trip and it certainly gave me the bug, it had everything a little bit of luxury, nature in all its glory and culturally something so different from home giving me such an appreciation for what I have it opened my eyes to what travel can offer.

Tell us about a destination you have always wanted to visit and why?
Bhutan is such a hidden treasure and has been on the list for about 5 years, before Kate and Will visited. It is so untouched by tourism and the internet that it is one of the few destinations around the world that are really discovering a new world.

What do you love most about working for italktravel?
Being family owned it feels and becomes like an extended family, when I first started the clients that had been travelling for some years were like old friends to many of the staff. All offices have such a welcoming warm atmosphere and the staff know there stuff and if they don’t know they make sure they find out and share the information so when you book you have a team behind you not just that one consultant.

How will you help make your clients next travel experience unforgettable?
So many of us are so time poor these days and live such stressful lives why should booking your relaxing holiday be the same. Once you come in and see us you will be able to book a travel experience free of the worries and stress of having those perfect inclusions and making sure everything runs smoothly because that is my job. Let me get to know your likes and dislikes and I can mould the perfect experience for what you are after.

Bethany Garland – Senior Consultant

Tell us briefly about your favourite holiday experience and what made it so memorable?
My favourite destination is Hawaii, I am very passionate about this destination! It’s a tropical paradise: weather, food, culture, people and the shopping – What else could you ask for? My husband proposed to me here also, so it holds a special place in my heart. 

Tell us about a destination you have always wanted to visit and why?
India – Because its such a different and diverse holiday destination!

What do you love most about working for italktravel?
I love that italktravel is such a family owned and operated brand. It has such a happy, friendly and warm vibe! I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else

How will you help make your clients next travel experience unforgettable?
By planning the clients holiday fabulously, to ensure that there trip of a lifetime runs perfectly!

Suzanne Rock – Senior Consultant

Tell us briefly about your favourite holiday experience and what made it so memorable?Enchanting South America (Argentina & Peru). Up close & personal with a part of the world, so vastly different to ours in all aspects. So rich in history and culture. Loved the people & their beliefs and the amazing Incan Empire (Machu Picchu) 

Tell us about a destination you have always wanted to visit and why?
After being fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to hit the ski slopes of California, I would love to ski the terrain of another iconic ski resort Whistler, Canada or Japan

What do you love most about working for italktravel?
The companies (owners) openness and ease with their approach to open lines of communication and dealings. Positive energy within the business & keeping their fingers on the pulse.

How will you help make your clients next travel experience unforgettable?
Due to my passionate nature I convert each and everyone’s holiday into a “warm and fuzzy” experience they will never forget

Ann Humphreys - Consultant

Tell us briefly about your favourite holiday experience and what made it so memorable?China, what a place. Chaotic, fascinating, exciting, and so different. This is a country that is racing towards the 21st Century with no time to waste. Their history stretches back thousands of years and is such a contrast to all the development and advancements currently going on throughout the country. The food is fantastic and really has to be tried. I have enjoyed every moment of my many trips to this wonderful destination.

Tell us about a destination you have always wanted to visit and why?
Russia. My dream is to travel to Russia and cruise down the river from Moscow to St Petersburg. The Hermitage Museum, The Bolshoi Ballet, the Opera House are all on my must see list.

What do you love most about working for italktravel?
The family feel, we all work as a team and support each other.

How will you help make your clients next travel experience unforgettable?
No matter what destination or experience there is always someone to help out with the difficult questions and are only too happy to share the information. Make recommendations of things that I know will enhance their holiday so my clients come back excited with tales to tell and photos to share.

Alana Brown - Junior Consultant

Tell us briefly about your favourite holiday experience and what made it so memorable?
New Zealand, my mum is from Tauranga in the North Island and it is always lovely to catch up with my family. I love experiencing the Maori culture, and enjoying the atmosphere that New Zealand has to offer.

Tell us about a destination you have always wanted to visit and why?
Africa, is the one destination that’s always been on my bucket list. I love animals – and to see them in there natural habitat would be amazing.

What do you love most about working for italktravel?
It is just such a family orientated business, I love coming to work and being surrounded by such amazing people who have experienced travel and book amazing holidays for people everyday

How will you help make your clients next travel experience unforgettable?
By researching every component of there holiday to ensure that they have a amazing time.