Sitting down with Eileen Nason, president and owner
How did your business begin?
I have been a travel agent for more than 30 years, been to six of the seven continents and am passionate about travel. I started working as a travel agent in Maine and moved to Columbia 20 years ago and still help many of my original clients. Within three years of arriving to Columbia, I tripled the leisure travel business in the agency where I worked. In 2007, I opened my own business. My company names are Intriguing Escapes and Destination-Wedding-Experts.com.
What differentiates your business from other specialists in the field?
Though my team and I have the experience to send clients all over the world, I primarily focus on romantic vacations, honeymoons and destination weddings. My agency is the “go-to” place for honeymoons in the Columbia area. The beautiful wall murals and the warm and inviting atmosphere of my office provide the perfect first step in planning a wonderful vacation. I particularly enjoy working with young people getting ready to start their new life together. Matching a couple with a honeymoon or destination wedding at a place they will always remember gives me a great deal of satisfaction. I regularly visit the most popular resorts in the Caribbean since that is where most couples choose for their honeymoons. This provides me with the first-hand experience that can’t be conveyed with pretty pictures in a brochure or on the Internet.
What is your business’s biggest challenge?
One of the biggest is the Internet. Many people falsely believe that there is an additional cost to use a travel agent. In reality, the resorts pay commissions so customers do not pay anything extra to get the services of my staff of experienced agents. These expert agents do all the research and make recommendations unique to each client’s needs. Using the services of a professional avoids the expense and disappointment of making the wrong choice for that special trip.
What is the mission of your business?
Leisure time is one of the most valuable assets anyone has, and everyone in my office wants to ensure that our clients’ travel will be a special experience and uses their precious time wisely.