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20 Questions with Mel Watson, Director of Helloworld Travel

Director of Helloworld Travel Mel Watson lets us in on her favourite holiday destinations, Newmarket’s best kept secret and what she loves most about her job.

Why do you love working in Newmarket?

I love the lively atmosphere and the sense of community.

What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone who was looking at starting out in your industry?

Decide on a goal of where you want to be in the future; find the best company, with the best boss and take every opportunity that you can.

What would you do if you weren’t in your current role?

I would probably still be the Commercial Manager at Qatar Airways New Zealand, which was my last role.

Name your top three favourite songs.

While in lockdown, I created my own playlist ‘bubble beats’ and the top 3 played songs from it are: American Pie by Don McLean, I Took A Pill In Ibiza by Mike Posner and Changes by David Bowie.

What was your first job?

Funnily enough I worked in Newmarket for a family business, Wyatt Machine Tools. It was my first job after completing a year studying computer programming at AUT.

What motivates you?

Targets. Big incentives. A business-class boarding pass. And of course, having a happy family!

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

Ljubjana, Slovenia. I was there last year. It is beautiful – Google it!

Where is your favourite place to get coffee or a drink in Newmarket?

Leafé Café or Daily Bread. It just depends on how many steps I want to take!

Describe Newmarket in 3 words:

Best. Shopping. Ever.

What do you wish you’d known before you started your career?

I wish I had recognised my own potential when I was in my 20’s and not my 40’s, and yes I’m now in my 50’s!

How do you start each morning?

With a quick breakfast and school drop off. I have “rushing woman’s syndrome!”

What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve received?

The past is okay – everyone has one. You can learn from it but the future is where all the opportunities are.

What is your favourite holiday destination and why?

I have travelled a lot in my career, but a few places have stuck with me. To Bali with my partner and kids, it was so much fun – I don’t know why I’d left it so long to get there. I also loved River Cruising in Portugal and France, it sounds like it’s for the retired folk, but it’s not! We have another one booked for 2021, I can’t wait!

What is Newmarket’s best kept secret?

Helloworld Travel, 12 Morrow Street.

What would you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Apart from having two beautiful daughters, I am very proud of getting the top job in New Zealand for Qatar Airways when they started flying here in 2017. Another great of acheivement of mine is to have successfully run the UpsideDowns Education Trust, while working full time for 13 years.

Name one item that you can’t live without.

Eyebrow pencil.

It’s 10am on a Sunday morning. Where would we find you and what are you doing?

At Leafé having their omelette (it’s to die for) or pottering around the house willing the housework to disappear.

Who has had the greatest influence on your life and why?

My dad, because he worked hard. He was well respected in his field, he was talented and had a huge amount of integrity.

What is your greatest fear?


What do you love most about your job?

With all its challenges of late, I think the part I love the most is that I’m not in it alone. I work alongside Bruce, my fiancé. I also love our team – full of fun, go getters, all here to help sell people dreams.


12 Morrow Street |  09 222 2257


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