Expedition Planning Manager - World Challenge
We are currently recruiting an Expedition Planning Manager for our World Challenge business. World Challenge is part of the Education Division of the TUI Travel PLC Specialist & Activity Sector.
As part of the Specialist and Activity sector within the TUI Group, World Challenge provides educational expeditions for school groups. We offer the opportunity for over 400 groups to enter into a programme of learning and development; fundraising; and team building, culminating in a 1-6 week Expedition to one of our exciting destinations in the developing world.
Driving the operations of our business is our planning department, responsible for delivering high quality, risk assessed expedition itineraries to some 50 destinations. Our planning department has undergone an exciting transformation, now working as Continent teams with in-depth specialist knowledge of and commercial responsibility for the destinations in their portfolio.
Our Planning Department is now looking for a destination specialist in either the East Africa or Continental Asia region or to join them as an Expedition Planning Manager.
What You'll Be Doing
Working from our award-winning offices in High Wycombe and using your specialist knowledge, you’ll plan each expedition to your portfolio of destinations, within budget and to strict safety standards. Your aim will be to ensure our young challengers experience an awe-inspiring range of community project work, trekking and cultural adventure.
As an accomplished communicator, you will liaise with in-country agents and build and maintain a supplier network, negotiating costs and ensuring standards are met. As the destination specialist for your portfolio, you will provide briefings to colleagues.
•To develop, plan, organise, risk assess and manage safe overseas expeditions to the countries each Expedition Planning Manager (EPM) has responsibility for.
• To do the above with input from all relevant stakeholders (School Leaders, Students, Commercial team).
• Creating itineraries and budgets for teams travelling to the countries managed by the EPM.
• Preparing for and delivering presentations at Expedition Preparation Conferences to deliver key safety and logistical information to leaders.
• Sourcing, researching and organising projects, treks, transportation, other logistics and rest and relaxation activities for each expedition – all planning must be compliant with company policies and safety standards.
• Liaising with In-country Agents (ICAs) and in country contacts (for example, trekking companies and project coordinators).
• Conducting high quality country specific risk assessments.
• Organising, undertaking and reporting on overseas recces (research trips) to managed destinations, as required.
• Update country literature as required (risk assessments, destination briefs, crib sheets etc.).
• Project managing all aspects of the expeditions for both UK teams and International businesses, which operate on different systems and timelines.
• Majority of admin tasks are completed by admin support as directed by the EPM and CM although an element of admin (including personal admin) will still be required to be undertaken by the EPM.
What We're Looking For
As a destination specialist, you will have experience or knowledge of either East Africa, in particular Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, OR Continental Asia, in particular Nepal, Mongolia, China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. You’ll be motivated by your commitment to your destinations and the delivery of quality expeditions, able to demonstrate effective project management and proactive problem solving skills.
Comfortable presenting to large groups and able to manage a budget, you’ll be positive, flexible and possess a meticulous eye for detail. An excellent communicator, you’ll share our passion for outdoor education and adventure travel.
• Being able to think on your feet – dealing with in country problems such as projects falling through (either prior to expedition on whilst teams are on expedition), treks (too hard, teams unable to undertake) changes to budget, natural disasters in country and handling the situation efficiently should teams need to be diverted.
• Dealing with capacity issues and back to back itineraries.
• Ensuring schools receive the level of service that was promised at the point of sale.
• Have to refer major in country safety issues to the Commercial Director and Safety and Technical Team.
• Ability to problem solve and manage team expectations versus on the ground realities including trek options, project options, working with ICAs and in country contacts and managing developing countries effectively. This is particularly the case during the summer.
• Must be willing to travel independently and on a budget in developing countries.
What We Can Offer
• Stimulating and dynamic working environment.
• Comprehensive induction, mentoring, training and personal development.
• Competitive remuneration, travel and holiday discounts, company pension, large outdoor kit discounts, generous holiday entitlement and lively company events.
• Independent overseas travel as required and opportunities to participate on an overseas expedition.