Tia Froehle is tourism sales manager at Visit Anchorage. In her role, she specializes in the following markets: Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, winter, airline support, domestic trade, and consumer shows.
Q: How did you get your start in the travel and tourism industry?
Tia Froehle: The travel industry is in my blood. I followed in the footsteps of my mom, who was a travel agent before retiring from the airline industry after 30 years. She gave me my first travel job as a greeter for Sun Country Airlines, and from there, I was hooked. While earning my degree in recreation and hospitality management from the University of Idaho, I worked my way up from a seasonal sales and customer service agent with Holland America Line/Gray Line of Alaska to the Anchorage sales and service manager. From there, I spent three years as senior sales manager for Alyeska Resort before finding my role as tourism sales manager with Visit Anchorage in 2013.
Q: What does Visit Anchorage offer its customers and community that is unique?
TF: Our department, Tourism Development & Sales, at Visit Anchorage educates travel trade professionals about Southcentral Alaska and helps them become Anchorage Wild Experts (AWEs) with our convenient online destination training programs or at live presentations. We are the Southcentral Alaska matchmakers for our members and these travel trade professionals selling their clients on Alaska vacations. We’re passionate locals. We do this because we live in the destination, not just represent it.
Tourism is a bright spot in our economy, and a significant force for good in the community in other ways. I think that shows through Visit Anchorage’s community support for things such as local charitable organizations and our involvement in the school business partnership program as well.
Q: Describe your leadership philosophy.
TF: If you say you are going to do it, do it. Lead by example and build trust with everyone you work with at your company and within the industry. Also, have fun!
Q: What advice do you have for someone just starting out in the travel and tourism industry?
TF: Completely immerse yourself in the industry and learn from the industry leaders. It is not only any industry, it is a family where you will create lifelong friendships. Always speak with honesty, think with sincerity, and act with integrity, and you will have an incredible tourism career.
Q: Why did you get involved in ABA’s Women in Buses?
TF: Women in our industry are so powerful, resourceful, and compassionate. Coming together, we can be a leading role in the tourism industry. Through ABA’s Women in Buses, it allows us this opportunity to meet each other and work together to make our industry stronger.
Q: What motorcoach, travel, and tourism industry issue would you most like to see resolved, and why?
TF: On the travel and tourism side, I believe most states are experiencing major deductions in their state tourism marketing budgets. As a key sector for economic development and job creation, we need to be able to continue to market our destinations throughout the world.
Tia can be reached at email@example.com.