Thursday, November 09, 2006

Travolution@WTM-Furry Poledancing

The first thing I have to say about Michelle Peluso, the president and CEO of Travelocity, is that she makes me feel very, very, very lazy.

Now I'm not going to reveal Peluso's age, as that would lack taste, even in blog-land, but suffice it to say she is young and extremely bright.

So, hat's off.

Peluso also gets credit for flying to London to attend the Travolution conference at World Travel Market.

As most of you probably know, Peluso doesn't tend to make public appearances, so that she made the transatlantic trek for a 45-minute panel is a credit to her sense of what is happening in the European online market (and that she thinks Travolution is fab, which of course, it is).

Maybe it's the time Peluso spent in ol’ blimey when she was attending Oxford with former CEO Brent Hoberman, but, for a yank, she has a great sense of irony and doesn't mind taking the p...

When asked how Travelocity, whose parent company is Dallas, Texas-based Sabre, will manage to keep the Hobermaness (that is to say the entrepreneurial spirit) of Lastminute alive, Peluso said, "We know not to screw with a good thing".

An entrepreneur herself (Peluso founded Site59, which was eventually snapped up by Travelocity), Peluso is also aware that there are certain things better left out of Sabre's view, namely the furry pole (as in dancing pole) in Lastminute's head office.

"Put it this way," said Peluso, "We don't hold meetings in the office with the furry pole when the guys from Dallas are in town".

Good thinking Michelle. I, for one, hope you come back to London soon.

In the meantime, I'll read history and law at Oxford, start a charity, run a marathon, and save the world.

Tricia Holly Davis
Freelance Journalist

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