VRWS Leadership Interview of the Day
In approaching the 9th edition of the Vacation Rental World Summit, we’re releasing a series of interviews to leaders, key players and highly motivated people in our industry whose companies make a deep impact in our space and will be present at VRWS.
The aim is to get you some insight into these leaders and the company they founded, manage or work for, as well as getting some behind the scenes on their thinking, their motivation and their drive.
How would you describe your career path and what brought you to Vrbo?
“I have always been passionate about technology, digitalization and e-commerce. Although I am still a big fan of paperback books and human touch, I believe the growth of digitalization is – and will be – a huge help to efficiency and progress around the world. I have spent my professional time working at big e-commerce companies like Groupon and Eventbrite, before joining Vrbo. Now, I am lucky to work in the travel industry in such a vibrant and dynamic sector like vacation rentals! I am grateful to be part of a great change in the work environment and in society.”
Your LinkedIn summary quotes the writer Solzhenitsyn: “Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag”. When did you develop such deep feelings towards traveling?
“I have always loved travel, whatever form it comes in from a sailing adventure or city sightseeing to relaxing trips. In the past 10 years, I have been travelling a lot by myself. I love to get lost in the culture of a place, tasting local food, talking to people and listening to their stories – leaving my phone away and enjoying the moments. I am also a big music lover and the best travel I keep with me as a “memory travel bag” is the one I have been dreaming of for years. In 2019, I had the chance to visit Austin, New Orleans, Memphis and Nashville, all by myself. I have a lot of great memories (and funny stories!) related to that trip.
But nothing compares to the trips I take to my home, Italy. Staying with family and friends and enjoying the amazing beauty (and – yes – food) of my country! This is the best trip, always!”
Let’s say for the purpose of the interview that Vrbo is exhibiting at an in-person event. A property manager approaches you to find out more. How would you describe the benefits Vrbo provides?
“For over 25 years, Vrbo has helped families travel together by helping them find the perfect vacation home to spend quality time away together. Our platform makes it easy for families to book more than 2 million cabins, condos, beach houses and every kind of space in between on the website and app. Vrbo is part of Expedia Group, one of several leading travel brands powering travel around the world.
When traveling with family and groups, we believe that the experience of traveling and staying together, all under one roof, is important. Vrbo does not allow shared spaces, and the idea of no shared spaces means families and groups get the entire place themselves and have plenty of space and privacy to spread out and create memories together. With enough space for everyone, Vrbo vacation homes are ideal for celebrating the most special, important occasions together, like weddings, graduations, or milestone birthdays and anniversaries.”
VRWS 22 is about to land in Porto. What do you expect from the overall experience?
“First and foremost, it’s so wonderful to be meeting again in person talking about the thing we’re all so passionate about – travel – and having the opportunity to grow, innovate, and shape the future of the industry together. Second, I’m grateful to be part of this year’s programming. I am really looking forward to inspirational conversations, relevant insights, deepening relationships and sharing best practices, all the while celebrating the strength and unity of the sector – and above all: our wonderful partners!”
You’ll have the opportunity to listen to Paola live on stage on Sept. 15th at 4:30 PM for a session on Forging the Path to Sustainability in the Short-Term Rental Industry
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