Name: Christian Leibl-Cote
Position title: Vice President of Services & International Business
Company name: Collette
When and why did you join the industry?
I joined the travel industry in my mid-twenties after transitioning to a new career. I was very lucky. Collette reached out to me and I was very intrigued, since I have always had a strong love for travel.
What do you like most about your job?
It’s such an honor to neeting new people and create great friendships wherever I go – it’s what I truly enjoy about working in this industry!
What’s one of the biggest achievements of your career so far?
I am extremely proud of my team that we have. We have consistently hired fantastic employees that will help us move forward. It’s an achievement that is not always easy to achieve and I’m thrilled that we have been able to accomplish so much.
What’s the best advice ever given to you and who gave it?
Our CEO Dan Sullivan Jr. has always told “Hire better people than you – so you can learn and prosper.” I have always followed this and our team truly reflects that of an innovative, smart, and dedicated organization.
Who do you admire and see as a role model in the industry?
Again, I would certainly recognize that I admire our CEO, Dan Sullivan Jr. Collette was a very small regional operator in the northeast region of the US in the early 1900’s. He took that small company of just a few employees and made a worldwide company with offices now in Rhode Island, Vancouver, Toronto, London and Sydney. He’s a great entrepreneur with a great vision of the future and he understand the travel industry extremely well. He’s a great role model to follow.
What can people expect from your company and what sets it apart from the rest?
You can expect our company to bring innovation. We just introduced Private Chauffeur for any client booking with us. We are always looking for ways for our guests to have the greatest experience traveling with us. We greatly value the hard work and dedication of our partners in travel agents, who help us to achieve goals each and every day. Without them, Collette wouldn’t be who we are today.
What destinations are on your travel bucket list?
Galapagos Islands, Machu Picchu, Egypt, Scandinavian countries and South Africa are on my bucket list right now.
What’s a memorable travel experience you’ve had (good or bad)?
I was in Kenya recently on a Famil with travel agents and we took them on a 10 day Safari. They had the best time- seeing their faces throughout the week was incredible. To be surrounded by lions, elephants, leopards, water buffalo and rhinos was just incredible and a memory I will never forget!
What are three things you always take with you when travelling?
Pictures of my wife and kids is always the first one on the list. I always bring almonds with me from home, just can’t find good almonds like home. I always bring a lot of reading material since traveling is a great way to be able to catch up on all my reading!
Name someone famous you’d like to travel with and a destination you’d like to go with them.
I love history! I would love to travel with Winston Churchill and Theodore Roosevelt and travel to France to see the Normandy beaches and listen to their stories and their strategies.
What direction do you see the industry heading in over the next five to ten years?
The world is getting smaller and more and more people are travelling. It’s an exciting time for the travel industry and there are so many companies providing great trips in the industry. The traveller knows what they want and they are looking for those unique experiences that they can tell their friends and family. In the coming years, we’ll continue to innovate and strategize to establish what the traveller wants and how we can deliver great products to them year after year.
Christian Leibl-Cote, Vice President of Services & International Business