Travel Matters to Jobs

As we celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week, we highlight the ways travel has positively impacted jobs in our area. In Greater Palm Springs, approximately 51,866 jobs were supported by visitors in 2017, and approximately 1 in 4 jobs were sustained by tourism.

Recently, the City sat down to learn more about two individuals who make their careers in the travel industry in Indian Wells:

James Gutierrez is the Director of Group Sales at the Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa.

Indian Wells (IW): Where are you from and where did you go to school?

JG: I’m from Southern California, my parents retired in the High Desert many years ago. I went to Twentynine Palms High School but moved away to attend California State University, Chico, where I majored in Public Relations/Communications.

IW: What made you decide to pursue a career in the travel industry?

JG: I was a hungry college student, and a random stop at a Holiday Inn Express got my career started in the hospitality industry. After working at that hotel for the duration of my collegiate years, I developed a passion for hospitality and continued to grow in the industry.

IW: What roles have you held in the travel industry?

JG: I’ve worked in many departments, both front and back of house. I started as a Front Desk attendant, moved up to Guest Relations Manager, Revenue Manager and from there, Assistant General Manager. I’m an extrovert, so naturally, my talkative nature lead me into the Sales and Marketing Department. I’ve held the titles of Sales Manager, Associate Director of Sales, Director of Group Sales and Director of Sales and Marketing.

IW: What is the most rewarding part of your job?

JG: The most rewarding feeling comes from knowing my job holds one purpose, to make other people happy. Serving others is a passion that is self-rewarding!

IW: What do you think makes Indian Wells a unique travel destination?

JG: Indian Wells has an amazing history behind it, from the Indian Wells Country Club to hosting one of the largest tennis tournaments in the world and amazing golf facilities, just to name a few.

IW: What would you say are some of the most important benefits of traveling?

JG: One of the most important benefits is relaxation and disconnecting from the world, even if only for a few minutes. I think that everyone needs to plan and take at least one trip a year to clear their minds and find themselves again.

 

Ashley Sanders-Lerner is the Front Desk Supervisor at the Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa.

IW: Where are you from and where did you go to school?

ASL: I am from Chino Hills and I graduated from California State Polytechnic University Pomona from the Collins College of Hospitality Management.  

IW: What made you decide to pursue a career in the travel industry?

ASL: I decided to pursue a career in the travel industry because of the care I received during my first trip abroad. My luggage was lost, however, each travel professional I came into contact with was there to offer assistance. That feeling stayed with me and I wanted to provide that same level of care to other travelers.

IW: What roles have you held in the travel industry?

ASL: In the travel industry I’ve held positions in Israel and the United States in tour operations and hotels.

IW: What is the most rewarding part of your job?

ASL: The most rewarding part of my job is connecting visitors to the City through sports, food, shopping and/or recreation. I take pride in where I live and I want our visitors to leave wishing they lived here too!

IW: What makes Indian Wells a unique travel destination?

ASL: Indian Wells is a unique travel destination because of the one-of-a-kind sports and recreation events such as the BNP Paribas Open, the Golf Resort’s Shots In The Night, restaurants with great live music and the Desert Town Hall speaker series.

IW: What would you say are some of the most important benefits of traveling?

ASL: Today, the most important benefit of traveling is ensuring peace of mind. Indian Wells is a picturesque city that enables every visitor to indulge and relax.

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