Partner Agency interview: Cristina Majocchi
30 October 2015

Cristina Majocchi works for VIVA, which is based in the Italian city of Milan and has been in operation since 1955.

How did you become a study travel agent?

"It was quite a long time ago. I started to be a group leader for Viva and I brought about three groups to the UK. Then they were looking for someone to cover a maternity leave, they called me and I stayed for 24 years. I came from a hotel school so my background is tourism and it was not that far."

What do you like best about your job?

"That you have so many different things around the year. You have the chance to travel, and to speak to a lot of people - agents, teachers and direct clients - and you also get the chance to speak to many educators and find the perfect match. You know it's like giving you the satisfaction of giving the perfect product to the perfect client. You're trying to understand people and match them up."

Why did you want to join the Partner Agency Scheme? 

"That was me. I thought that we had to have something different from the rest of the world. In Italy we are the oldest tour operator in - we're 60 this year. I think we had to have something new and because all of our schools are basically British Council recognised and English UK members, I read on your newsletter about the scheme and said why don't we take part? It gives us a plus, public schools require some form of recognition and because we're not educators our offices can't be recognised by the Ministry of Education. We wanted to find something that certified our level, our quality and our work. It was quite quick - the person who accredited us said it was the quickest ever. They got references in about three hours."

Is it useful?

"It is helpful sometimes when you tell people they say OK, this is the first time I hear about a travel agency being accredited by something like the education system in the UK- it's not very usual."

Would you recommend it to others?

"Not competitors!"


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