Where the experts holiday: Jeff Redl

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Jeff Redl, sales and marketing manager at Asia Destinations, on Vietnam, Italy and France’s future in the tourism industry


What do you like to do on holiday?

My favourite activity when on holiday is to walk around the city, exploring: I love big cities. When I arrive, the first thing I do is to grab a map at the airport or the hotel. If I did not plan much of my trip in advance, I will have a closer look at the map and draft an itinerary. I enjoy getting lost in a new city, just following my gut instinct. Then when I feel tired I have a look on the map over a cup of coffee and find a way to follow, as much as possible, my itinerary.

Where did you last go?
My last trip was a short one to Singapore. I spent three days visiting places such as Clarke Quay and Marina Bay – both of which, I can recommend.

Do you know where you’re going this year?
My plan is to spend some time touring around Vietnam where I have been living and working, since last September. This country has so much to offer, not only in terms of culture and great cities (Saigon and Hanoi) but also amazing villages, majestic mountains and beautiful beaches.

Hoi An, Vietnam

Of all the places you’ve been to, what was your favourite and why?

Probably Italy for its culture, cuisine, wine and architecture. I have an unforgettable memory of a morning I spent in Sienna. I was travelling alone around Italy sourcing hotels and sites for my previous company. I arrived at the Piazza del Campo early one morning, when a restaurant was just opening: I got to enjoy a fabulous Italian coffee and the calm of a drop dead gorgeous destination, before the tourists descended in their droves. It felt as though the Piazza had been built, just for me!

Which destination do you wish to travel to, but haven’t yet been?
Good question! I don’t have a specific destination in mind – I want to see the entire world! That said a safari in Africa, a trip through Russia on the Trans Siberian and being a spectator at a future Olympic Games, feature pretty far up on my list.



In your own country, what would you recommend tourists see that isn’t in the travel guides?
My country – France – is in danger of having been described to death in travel books. Nonethless there are still some parts of France that have not yet been visited by many people, like La Creuse. This area is often overlooked by the younger generation, but I would recommend it to travellers who are looking for taste of rural French life.

How do you plan your holiday?
It really depends on whether I am travelling alone or with family or friends. When I travel alone I like to book a last minute flight, followed by a room in a centrally located hotel on the internet. I’m all about location: the hotel has to be easily accessible day and night by bus, train or taxi. When I am travelling with others, more preparation is involved and I’ll use every source of information going from guide books to the internet and old fashioned word of mouth.

How often do you go away?
As much as I can, but it’s never enough! I aim to take one ‘weekend’ trip every month and about three to four long holidays, each year.

Who do you travel with?
Most of the time I am travelling with friends – but rarely the same friends. It could be a trip with a new friend I just have met. I enjoy these trips because while you are discovering a new place, you are also learning a little about your new acquaintance! I also like to travel with some of my oldest friends who are living in different cities and countries to me. It’s a great –  and exciting – opportunity to meet up.

Where do you see tourism in your country, in 10 years?
Nowadays it is becoming much easier to travel almost everywhere. The tourism industry is  extremely important for many countries’ income and the competition between them is becoming increasingly aggressive. France has the chance to be one of the most visited countries around the world. However there are still a lot of improvements that need to be made.  For example Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris needs a little ‘TLC’ and the French people need to learn to welcome their visitors with open arms. I am convinced, however, that the government will deliver on this.

Thanks Jeff! For more interviews with industry experts, don’t forget to check back!


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