From an ordinary staff to a travel agency manager

The concept that a successful person needs to have a high education is very common for many people in general. However, it is not necessarily true for all situations, especially in the case of a female manager Tour Cina. She is both the owner and the manager of Cina Travel, a company specializing in air ticket booking, and passport and visa processing and renewing. In an interview with the CambodiaCircles reporter, Tour Cina said that her success is due to her job experiences rather than her knowledge from school.

Tour Cina at her workplaceTour Cina started working when she was 17 years old, and she did not pursue university degree after finishing high school because her workload occupied her spaces. She only got education on some general knowledge and technical English terms from her father.

She has spent three years working in a section which she was responsible for system reservation and air ticket booking in a Singaporean Company called ABACUS and other five years in a Cambodian company.

Talking with laugh, she said she had no ideas working in that job at the first time, but her father encouraged her, so she went for it.

“My father said it is a good job for me as a daughter because we do not need to find our customers, but they come and find us,” she said.

She claimed that she had not been taught by the staffs at those companies about how to run a tour agency because it’s the company strategies in running their businesses, so she had to learn by herself using her observation and experience at the practical working environment.        

“If I waited for them to tell me, I would not be able to learn anything. My everyday tasks taught me, which is the reason why what I am doing today is not taught in any school,” said the 31-yearl-old manager.

She has changed her workplace but she still got the same income which she did not embrace, so she decided to start her own business by opening a tour company.

Cina Travel workplaceShe began her first step with only two staffs, including her. Her staff was working on accounting, processing computer and preparing ticket book, while she spoke face to face with her clients who book tickets.

Tour Sina said that working in a tour sector is not an easy job because sometimes she needs to spend almost a month  checking information for her client.

“It was different from selling bus or boat ticket; selling air ticket is very complicated,” she said. “When a customer comes to me, I need to look into all documents in order to sell one air ticket, check which ways they should go to fit their preferences, how many countries they will get through in order to reach their destinations, whether visa is needed or not, when the deadline of passport is, whether they need to have visa or not, and what their names are,” she added.

“I am so stressful when I do my jobs sometimes because some customers do not buy tickets after their inquiries are answered. They do not care about the company; they just think about cheap prices,” said Tour Sina, adding that this sometimes make her feel so bored that she wants to give up immediately, but commitment is very important for her at her workplace.

Cina Travel officeMore than that, along the way to opening the business, she kept worrying everyday even if she had experiences.

“I am afraid to fall down because all money is my parents’ and mine,” she said. “Money is like the salt; when the salt is dropped into the water, it will melt and could not be taken back.”

She could survive at her first time because people know her [her credit], which is different from some new businessmen who may not survive during their first times in running businesses.

“I am very lucky because I never make loss since I opened my business,” she said, “but that was a very hard time because I had to manage all the works.”

Up to now this travel company has eight staffs including her, who are working together, and she plans to enlarge the business in the future.

“I need to move forward, but my resources and credits are what I depend on to realize this movement,” she said.

Article by: Kim Kotara
Photographs from the interviewee

About Writer:

KotaraKim Kotara is a sophomore of Media Management at the Department of Media and Communication (DMC). She said if she was asked to choose whether to write or speak about her mind, she would choose to write because she could express her ideas more clearly in writing. She started working for the CambodiaCircles in November 2011. "By starting writing from today on, I hope that I can sharphen my writing skills and inform, educate, and entertain my readers through my articles," said Kim Kotara.