Meet italktravel The Junction

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.


The Junction 

Melanie Mills - Senior Consultant

Tell us briefly about your favourite holiday experience and what made it so memorable?
Choosing a favourite holiday experience is always a difficult one for me as I have been lucky enough to experience a mixture of worldwide cities, rural areas, resorts and attractions in many parts of the world. I loved the spirituality that abounds in Kakadu and Uluru in our Northern Territory; Disneyland is magical and always brings a smile to my face; seeing the pristine waters of the Maldives was an amazing see-it-before-it-disappears adventure; and I love to visit places of cultural and historical significance. I am just as happy experiencing this great country of ours with my family in our caravan, but I love the cultural diversity, knowledge and patience that all travel can provide to us when we open our minds and hearts to it. A favourite travel moment of mine is running along the banks of Wellington Harbour (New Zealand) beside a pod of playing Orca. Money can’t buy those moments that nature gives us.

Tell us about a destination you have always wanted to visit and why?
Bhutan is a destination that has captured my imagination since I learned that this Kingdom measures it’s wealth by Gross National Happiness. Sounds like a great place to be to me! To see the animals and tribes in the wilds of Africa would leave me in awe. Yet, in contrast, the icy starkness of Antarctica would be as equally mesmerising, I’m sure. Any place in this world is great if you allow it to capture your heart and mind.

What do you love most about working for italktravel?
Even after 20 years experience, no one day in this job is ever the same because our world is always changing and my clients needs and wants are changing too. I love that “travel” can mean so many different things to different people and I love sourcing the products and destinations that will give my clients the best chance of each trip providing them with the experiences they hope and wish for. Happy travels to you all.