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Lia Batkin Lia Batkin

Lia Batkin, Co-founder, In the Know Experiences, New York, US

When and how did you get involved in the tourism industry? I launched the company in 2007 with my husband. We were avid travellers and knew that we wanted a company to help us

plan our travel that really focussed on passion points, one-of-a-kind experiences and trips that really take personalisation to another level. We looked around and felt at the time there was not a company out there that did this and targeted a younger savvy demographic. So we decided to start one.

What are the most important attributes of a good travel agent/tour operator?

To ask a lot of questions and listen to what the client is telling you, as well as what they are not telling you, try to pick up on things that really take a trip to another level. Be honest; if you think that what the client is asking for is not something they will be happy with, speak up.

Remove your personal opinions of a hotel or cruise from the equation, as something that you may love, might not be right for the client.

And finally, under-promise and over-deliver.

What is the most frequently asked question that your company receives from customers?

Everyday we have requests for something new and different; a new task to figure out how to complete and wow our clients.

What are the must-visits and must-dos in the US that no one should miss?

A trip to the top of the Empire State Building; there is nothing like seeing a beautiful view of Manhattan.

Drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles; that trip is life changing. Visit the deep South; the food is incredible and so fresh and the hospitality is some of the nicest in the world.

Visit Napa; the food and wine are some of the best in the world.

Which destination is on your bucket list?

Antarctica.