The See Italy Experience

by Sunni Chapman

Building See Italy over the last seven years has been a labor of love. As you know I LOVE what I do, sharing the Italy I know and love authentically with as many people as possible with the goal of changing lives and growing our extended Italian family. The labor I speak of mostly comes from being too successful. Let me explain with a little history.

When I decided seven years ago to focus solely on selling travel to Italy it was just myself and Eric who worked part-time taking care of marketing and everything other than travel. Together we created this weekly newsletter intending to inform the world that we existed and when possible to make real, personal connections with you, our travel agent audience.

We succeeded fabulously and I was soon overwhelmed with work as business grew exponentially.

As you know I am not in this business to make a dollar and move on. My goal is to build something that lasts, guided by ethics and with the long-term vision of positively impacting the world both within the travel industry and without. In order to do these things and continue to provide the See Italy Experience I must hire people who have the same passion, integrity, and moral/ethical compass as myself.

It wasn’t easy, but since 2011 I have been able to find some very talented, dedicated, hard-working individuals who share my passion for Italy and love of people. Along with my husband Michael, Eric, Alice, Jasper, Valentina, Ilaria, Kathy, Chris, Cinzia, Valronica and Chiara have become part of the See-Italy Travel family and we are now 12 strong!

The See Italy Experience

Because of you, we continue to grow and so once again it's time to find another dedicated professional to add to the See Italy team. Now it’s more important than ever to find someone who has the qualities I’ve mentioned and who understands the See Italy Experience. That got me to think about how important it is for everyone on the team to know why the experiences we provide elevate See Italy above any other provider.

Lately because of the many meetings I’ve had with Sicilian vendors I've had a lot of practice explaining what our mission is and why personal connections are so important to us. I have been able to really own what I am preaching. I like to use Airbnb as the perfect example of comparing one company who offers a good product to one who provides a premiere experience which creates memories that last a lifetime.

Airbnb is doing a great job to create daily experiences for their customers but what Airbnb cannot create is connections. Their city experiences are great and leave those clients satisfied that they’ve spent 2 hours doing something that they would have not been able to find or create on their own. But what Airbnb’s daily experiences don’t create are connections, family ties and lasting friendships.

What I mean by that is when clients show up for a tour or an experience with an Airbnb creator, their hosts don’t know their background, family names or any detail about them. What they know is that Mr. and Mrs. Smith will show up at a time and date scheduled in advance, that’s it!!

What See Italy does is create connections that begin well ahead of the scheduled event. We prepare our guides before meeting our customers so that they know what to expect and so they have a little background about each and every customer who they will be serving. We are fostering connections and ties even before the tour begins. It is similar to what friends do when bringing people the hosts don’t know to a dinner party. By preparing both the clients and guides ahead of time we are creating an environment where authentic experiences, connections and even friendships happen naturally.

When hiring a See Italy Travel team member we need to be sure that they know who we are and why we do what we do. How we do it always comes later. Because we only want to grow our business with authenticity, integrity, passion and love it is critical that we know who we are and continue to hire like-minded and like-hearted people who are as excited as we are to introduce others to the Italy we love.

Don’t worry about Airbnb and the usual online portals taking your clients because the people who are searching for your type of business won’t settle for mediocrity especially when they know that you provide the See Italy Experience.


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