Off the Beaten Path: Fraser Neave
Director of Product Development | Wells Gray Tours Ltd.
Fraser Neave was lucky to be introduced to group travel at an early age, thanks to his family.
"Having been to five different continents by age 14 with our company, Wells Gray Tours, and highlighted by a trip to the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu, I had already learned so much about different cultures and the educational value of travel," said Neave, who went on to complete a bachelor's degree in Tourism Management while doing community-based tourism development in Ecuador.
"By that time, I knew that I couldn't imagine life without all these travel opportunities, so I started chasing the dream of travel for work."
Now Product Director at Wells Gray Tours, Neave became involved with the National Tour Association in various leadership roles, earning the Top 5 Young Professional Award in 2017 and becoming a Certified Tour Professional. He now serves on NTA's Board of Directors.
"Being elected to the board of directors for the National Tour Association has been a huge honor," said Neave. "We have some truly inspiring people on the board that I've looked up to and learned from. I feel like I've grown as a travel professional and can't wait to continue gaining more knowledge about our industry."
Neave notes how fascinating it is that the world is becoming so accessible and admits he loves far-less-traveled places.
"What intrigues me is that we don't know what the new destinations will be in 10 or 20 years," said Neave. "We've now organized two group tours to Bhutan, a country which was extremely challenging to visit not too long ago."
That's not the only less-commonly traveled destination Neave has helped groups visit.
"A few years ago, we had a cruise group that was going to be in Myanmar for two full days and I was able to find a local tour operator that gave our group fantastic service," said Neave, who recommends visiting Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina—a city that was under siege just 25 years ago. "I rented a car and drove there from Dubrovnik last spring and it was probably the coolest three travel days of my life. What an incredibly beautiful city."
Fraser Neave is one of the 2020 Top 10 Next Gens, as nominated by Groups Today readers for making a difference in the industry with his fresh, progressive perspective. Click here to see the January/February magazine.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Staff Writer for Groups Today.