This profile of Jasmine Sayah, Operations Managers, Best Tours & Travel, was published in the “How She Leads” supplement from September 2021.
Be fair, be honest and be faithful. My parents instilled those values in me and in our company, Best Tours & Travel. They’ve helped our company grow into the leading tour and motorcoach charter company in our area. We let employee talents shine and we build company morale by sharing the workload. From the top to the bottom of the organization, we all haul luggage and wash buses when needed and most importantly, we retain our customers by being fair and honest.
In 1998, I officially joined the business my parents founded 43 years ago. But my training started long before that. I was a newborn when my parents founded Best Tours, and I remember getting up at 4:30 a.m. on Saturdays to go with my parents to the bus yard and see our passengers off. For me, it was the greatest fun in the world and continues to be today.
I want our entire staff to feel the same way about their work. Using our drivers as an example, finding the right talent, providing ongoing driver safety training and creating an enjoyable work environment leads to increased job satisfaction and high retention. These are significant challenges in our industry given COVID-19 shutdowns and the need for experienced, qualified operators as the economy reopens. We want our entire team to come to work with the training and information they need to do a good job.
It’s important to be a good listener. It is my strength and really is the lifeblood of our business. We offer over 75 tours annually with many selling out within 20 days. Very few tour and charter companies accomplish that. For us, it’s very simple. We keep the conversation going with our travelers, listening very carefully to learn what trips they consider important. We win charter business by customizing our contracts to anticipate and fill specific customer requirements.
It’s also important to connect with peers. As a young female in a male dominated industry, I have had to work harder to prove myself, but growing up in the business helped. I’ve educated myself and I keep learning and networking as a board member of the California Bus Association and American Bus Association’s Women in Buses Council. I proudly serve as a board member of the Saint Agnes Women’s Club and help in local fundraising efforts in serving the needs of our community.
Finally, stay true to your beliefs. I call on God each day for guidance and end my email communication with “Have a blessed day.” For several years now, Best Tours & Travel has co-sponsored Heroes and Helpers, a holiday drive bringing toys and clothing to needy children at Christmas. My 7-year-old-daughter donates out of her own piggy-bank savings. I want to be her best example, teaching her to be strong in faith and to treat others as she wants to be treated.
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