Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with Manny Paulo, a Senior Product Manager who has been at Collette for 25 years. I asked him why he chose his job, about his life and what his thoughts are on his product. He is passionate about his role and works every day to make our traveler’s dreams come true. As you will see, he provides us with some interesting insights into the life of a product manager.
How long have you been with Collette and what is your career background?
Manny: I have been in travel and tourism all my professional life and have been at Collette for 25 years now. In college at University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth, I majored in languages (Portuguese, Spanish, and French.) After graduation and trying my hand at teaching, I chose to follow my passion and I dedicated myself to full-time regional tour guiding. Collette caught my attention specifically because they were a worldwide company and I was excited to have the opportunity to use my language skills.
What are some of your favorite life experiences in your career?
Manny: My job has afforded me to travel extensively. It is my passion and I am happy to say that Collette has programs in 58 countries and I have visited 52. The educational and cultural experiences along with the human interactions have been priceless. It certainly makes you look at the world from a very different perspective.
You have lived outside the US, what was it like?
Manny: It was a tremendous experience, I recommend it to everyone. It’s a true eye-opener! You learn about their culture, the country’s economy, and see the world through their eyes. Things Americans take for granted can be seen as a luxury in some other countries.
What makes Collette stand out in the marketplace?
Manny: High quality product at a great value and attention to every detail! My goal is to always make our guests’ travel dreams come true. The focus is to provide the guest with the best overall experience. From the pre-tour customer service, to the unique tour inclusions mixing with the must-see’s, and being led by Collette’s professional Tour Managers, these are all the things that set us apart.
What destination do you feel everyone must visit?
Manny: Portugal has it all. It’s a small country with so much to offer – history, food, wine, and welcoming people. It has a passionate culture and is located in paradise; its diverse natural beauty is astounding. The country has 500 miles of golden beaches, more than 160 magnificent castles, and charming fishing villages and vineyards dotted throughout. It also has the warmest climate in Europe with nearly 3,000 sunny hours per year. And, of course, the lush, remote volcanic Azores Islands, they are like Ireland and Hawaii combined. In comparison to other European destinations, Portugal is the least expensive. It is a great value for the money.
Why should potential travelers consider guided travel?
Manny: By exploring a destination with Collette, they get in-depth knowledge of the history, culture, and traditions of the local environment and its people. For the regions I manage, some of the countries have a recorded history dating as far back as 10,000 years. During each country’s peak of greatness, they contributed significantly to the advancements of civilization. By learning about the past, one can have a much better understanding of the present and how the world has evolved over centuries.
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Tags: Collette, Collette Team, Experience It, guided travel, Product Manager