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Interview with David Sutcliffe of Traveltalk

David SutcliffeA ‘skateboard/punk rocker’ in his youth, David Sutcliffe is now one of three partners who run a small travel agency in Harrogate, England called Traveltalk. Specialising in luxury, tailor-made and adventure travel, Traveltalk was created 25 years ago by David’s colleague, Christine Thompson. After much hard work establishing the company in the area they developed a large core client base and are now, according to David, the leading agency in Yorkshire. What is it that  you do exactly?
My primary task is to be there for our clients, whether it be dealing with a new enquiry or ensuring that their travel plans run smoothly. Beyond that I do the administration tasks necessary to make sure that the agency runs smoothly, allowing the other members of staff to concentrate on dealing with their clients.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I’m a self-confessed travel geek, so I enjoy all aspects of the industry. I love reading the magazines, watching the travel channels and talking to clients about my favourite destinations, but most of all I love having the opportunity to visit places I wouldn’t otherwise be able to. I’ve seen parts of the globe that most people never will and I’m very grateful to be in such a position.
What would you say are the 3 best places you’ve ever stayed?
Savute Under Canvas, Botswana – I stayed at 4 of the &Beyond properties in this amazing country, but this was the highlight for me. Staying in a tent whilst outside you could hear lions and hyenas close by was an experience that will stay with me forever. It was also the first time I’d seen a leopard on safari. Baltschug Kempinski, Moscow – We arrived late into Moscow and didn’t get a real impression until the following morning when I looked out of my bedroom window across the Moscow River to St Basil’s Cathedral, Red Square and the Kremlin. Whilst Moscow might not be as pretty as St Petersburg, you get a real feeling of being somewhere special, somewhere important. Four Seasons Sayan, Bali – After a long journey this was a real sight for sore eyes. Beautifully set in the Ayung river valley near Ubud, this was the perfect place to relax.
What’s been your most memorable dining experience to date?
If you ever find yourself in Ibiza you must visit the Cardamom Club in Santa Eulalia. Superb Indian cuisine in a wonderful setting – chicken jalfrezi with a cold beer, outdoors under a canopy of trees on a Mediterranean evening……paradise!
Have you rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous, either through your work or your travels?
We do have a few high profile clients, but best to respect their privacy. I’ve been shouted at by the late Hughie Green in a hotel in Edinburgh if that counts, but it was a case of mistaken identity, he apologised and even bought me a drink. I’ve also met Iggy Pop and John Peel. Oops, almost forgot… I am currently in an awkward relationship triangle with Jennifer Love Hewitt and Carmen Electra…
What currently ranks highest on your travel wishlist?
This changes on an almost daily basis, but at the moment I would love to see Norway, preferably on a Hurtigruten cruise. The scenery looks like it would literally awesome.
Thank you, David. I can heartily recommend Norway – it’s been 20 years since I was there but I still have fond recollections of the scenery. If you would like to be interviewed on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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