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Interview with Drew Patterson of Jetsetter

Drew PattersonA true travel connoisseur, CEO and Founder Drew Patterson brings more than a decade of experience to Jetsetter, the private sales site that helps leisure travellers discover and purchase some of the world’s best vacations. An industry pioneer, Patterson was part of the founding team at Kayak.com where, during his five-year tenure as Vice President of Marketing, he played an integral role in reshaping the online travel landscape by evolving the distribution model and initializing the concept of “search”.  Prior to that, Patterson cut his teeth as Director of Distribution and Revenue Management at Starwood Hotels, where he forged new distribution channels with online travel agents, including Expedia and Travelocity. Patterson received his Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University before earning his Masters in Business from Columbia Business School.  He resides in New York City. What is it that  you do exactly?
No two days are the same for me. I might start the day building partnerships with suppliers on the inventory side or marketing partners that might get Jetsetter in front of new customers on the audience side. Then, I might have a meeting with our engineering team to talk about new functionality or the marketing team to talk about new products. Jetsetter is growing fast, so I spend a lot of time these days reviewing resumes. In my downtime, I surf the web to see what competitors are doing, what the media is saying about the travel space, and what consumers are talking about in Twitter or Facebook. Finally, I pour over the numbers, making sure the business is on track to beat expectations and communicate progress to our investors.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I really love working with the team I’ve built here at Jetsetter. We have a really smart, experienced, hard working team. But, I also look for people with personality and we spend a lot of time laughing which is what makes me excited to go to work each day.
What would you say are the 3 best places you’ve ever stayed?
Casas Brancas, Búzios, Brazil: There is just something magical about Buzios which is a very relaxed and charming destination. Casas Brancas is more than just a beautiful boutique hotel. The people who run the hotel are incredibly warm and hospitable. The Hotel Gritti Palace encompasses charm and history along the Grand Canal in Venice. I was traveling with a group of friends for art opening and the stars just aligned to create a memorable vacation: great friends, fantastic dinners, spectacular art, no crowds. Perfetto! After several weeks traveling through India, The Westin Singapore was exactly what the doctor ordered. I can still remember how good it felt to take a hot shower; sleep in a big, comfy bed; and eat a Western-style breakfast.
What’s been your most memorable dining experience to date?
My brother’s friend interned at Per Se, arguably the best restaurant in the US. As a thank you from the restaurant, he was invited to bring friends for a complimentary dinner. This was more than a dinner, it was a six-hour tour through the most amazing ingredients and flavors I’ve ever experienced or will ever experience. In addition to the usual tasting menu, the kitchen prepared about 18 other courses. Food was ethereal. Service unimaginable.
Have you rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous, either through your work or your travels?
I am not the guy who notices celebrities. But, I was in LA and checked into celeb magnet Chateau Marmont alongside Jarvier Bardem (before he started dating Penelope Cruz unfortunately). We went to dinner at Nobu that night and were seated next to Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas.
What currently ranks highest on your travel wishlist?
I would like to go to Alaska before it melts.
Thank you, Drew.  That’s been a great insight. And even if you read the most pessimistic reports, I think you’ll find you’ve still got ample time to ‘see Alaska before it melts’.  Afterall, it is home to more than half the world’s glaciers. 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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