Name: Steve Smotrys
Title: Vice president, global sales and trade relations
Company, city: Seabourn; Los Angeles, California
First job: Financial analyst at Warner Bros. international theatrical division
Where to next: I keep thinking about our new expedition ships that will join our fleet late this year. I’d be thrilled to go anywhere they’re sailing, but the top of my list is probably Antarctica.
A LITTLE BIT MORE
What actor or actress would play you in a movie of your life?
I’ve been told Matthew Goode resembles me. Not sure if he has the acting chops to pull it off, but he’s got the look.
What would you be doing professionally if you weren’t in your current industry?
I’d say in a leadership role in the world of conservation and sustainability.
What is your favorite book, movie or television show?
Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist inspires you to create a vision and teaches you about the rewards of hard work and the journey in pursuing it. Casino Royale is the perfect James Bond film. And I loved Mad Men for its characters and portrayal of the golden age of advertising framed by the historical events of the 1960s.
What historical figure, dead or alive, would you love to have dinner with?
A proper dinner requires a party of six, so I will take the liberty of inviting Ernest Hemingway, Bruce Lee, Quentin Tarantino, Paul McCartney and Walt Disney.
What is your most recent project, and what was the inspiration behind it?
Collaborating with the whole Seabourn team to find ways to help our travel advisor partners. Obviously, we needed to become more financially cautious, but we fully understand advisors are critical pieces of the travel ecosystem. Their success is tied to ours.
What is your favorite aspect of the job?
Everything we do is with the goal of creating priceless memories, and that puts everything in perspective when I get caught up in the minutia of the day. I also love the amazing people I connect and collaborate with.
What’s the biggest business risk you’ve ever taken?
After spending 13 years in the yield management world, I took a leap of faith to lead the sales team at Cunard. It’s amazing how powerful coming into a different business function with a fresh perspective can be.
Who is someone you admire professionally in the travel industry?
I had the pleasure to work with Jan Swartz, president, Holland America Group, in my revenue management days and always admired what a dynamic leader she is.
AS A TRAVELER
Tell us about a travel nightmare: I have been fortunate to avoid any travel nightmares.
Share a comical travel experience: While staying at Rome Cavalieri, walking through the lobby hallway, I passed a man wearing ragged jeans, a tee and flip-flops. I thought I recognized him but couldn’t place him. That night in the bar I approached a man with his back to me whom I thought was a waiter. “Excuse me, sir, could I order some drinks?” The man I passed earlier swung around, gave me an irritated stare, said, “I don’t work here” and stormed past me. It was then I realized it was Anthony Bourdain.
What is your preferred method of travel — planes, trains, automobiles, cruise ships — and why? Cruise ship, of course! Nowhere else can you pick where you want to go, visit multiple places while only unpacking once, and choose exactly the onboard experience that fits your personality and style.
What has been the best example of customer service you’ve experienced during your travels? Before working for the company, I had the pleasure of sailing on Seabourn Encore. The service was unlike anything I experienced before. Not only was it high-touch but delivered with heart, warmth and authenticity. I’ll never forget it!
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