Meet the boss: Alison Jago, Completely Croatia

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlison in Monaco in 1973Completely Croatia

In our latest Meet the Boss interview, we talk to Alison Jago, founder and head honcho at Completely Croatia. Alison has worked in the travel industry since her early twenties, starting out in the trade press with Travel Weekly (then known as Travel News) on the advertising side. She has also had roles at Holiday Extras, BP Travel Trade Service, P&O Stena Line and Amathus Holidays and she helped launch Lowcostbeds to the travel trade 10 years ago. Alison has been married to “the long suffering John” for 34 years and they have two children, Henry, 24, and Ellie, 22. They moved from London about five years ago to a 15th-century rural idyll in East Sussex.

Q. Please tell us about a great holiday memory from your childhood.

I used to moan about being taken to the South of France for four weeks – yes, really. One of my brightest and best memories is of seeing the Monaco Grand Prix when I was about nine years old (pictured above). It was SO exciting.

Q. What three items are always found in your hand luggage?

My iPad, Daily Telegraph cryptic crossword and a bottle of water.

Q. If you could spend next weekend anywhere in the world, where would you go, and why?

Bruges. I have never been there and everyone says it is a beautiful city. I would love to experience the Eurostar again too so I would be killing two birds with one stone. And there’s the chocolate!

Q. Please tell us about a particularly challenging booking you have handled.

We are skilled at multi-centre holidays, however a six-centre holiday, with people arriving from all over the world, joining and leaving at different points, did keep us all awake at night. Fortunately, it all went swimmingly even though we were paddling like ducks under the water.

Q. What has been your most enjoyable holiday in recent years?

Lindos Blu Hotel – a child free hotel on Rhodes. It was so very good, to the extent that for the first time ever I am returning to the same place this year. Zen-like calm in the hotel, unspoilt beach, warm sea, amazing views and great food. It’s the perfect spot for R&R.

Q. And what has been your all-time worst holiday experience?

A timeshare resort in Malta which was so strapped for cash they were selling holidays. The room had no air conditioning and a green shag pile carpet which was filthy. The swimming pool had black mould all around it. It was literally falling down around the guests. We lasted 12 hours as we had arrived late in the evening – I phoned a contact in the UK who really helped us out and we moved to a five-star resort which was fantastic.

Q. What luxury would you take to your desert island?

Anything Clarins, or possibly Michael Bublé (is that allowed…?)

Q. What one thing would most improve people’s overall holiday experience?

Not having to consider or worry about any aspect of their travel arrangements by using a professional … and relax.

Q. Tell us your favourite hotel – one for business, one for pleasure.

They’re both in Croatia. For business it’s the Hotel More, Dubrovnik. For pleasure it’s Hotel Bozica on Sipan Island.

Q. What is the most exciting project your company is working on right now?

We’re building up our boutique Italian offering. Italy is an ideal – but not obvious – two centre tie up with Croatia.

Thanks, Alison.

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