Breaking Travel News
Breaking Trave News interview: Fi Morrison-Arnthal, founder, Ambitions Travel Recruitment & Training
Fi Morrison-Arnthal launched Ambitions Travel Recruitment & Training in 2022

Breaking Trave News interview: Fi Morrison-Arnthal, founder, Ambitions Travel Recruitment & Training

Ambitions Travel Recruitment & Training (ATR) is a new, go-getting new agency.

After launching last year, the company is currently bolstering its position within the UK travel sector, tapping into an expansive network to deliver quality candidates to businesses across the industry.

A series of award wins, free eLearning courses and industry partnerships have accelerated growth at a time when many travel businesses struggle to recruit in the face of continued talent shortages.

The team has also been expanding of late, with ATR welcoming the addition of two new industry experts in recent months.

Talent acquisition operations specialist, Genna Davis, joins following a diverse career spanning travel consulting, national travel account management, travel recruitment and training in the hospitality industry.

Her adaptability and organisational skills make her a valuable asset to candidates and customers alike.

Brand operations manager, Claire Castro, brings years of experience leading international, remote travel recruitment operations support teams.

Joining ATR, she provides online advice and value to their global audience, candidates and customers.

Ambitions founder, Fi Morrison-Arnthal, tells Breaking Travel News: “When we started in 2022, it was great to see how we were received by the industry – and things have continued to accelerate since.

“For our industry, last year was focused on growth, replacing the experience that had been lost during the pandemic, which meant it was a very busy time for recruiters such as ourselves.

“This year, we have seen a change of direction – many of the people who wanted to come back to the travel industry have already done so, meaning we must now attract new talent.

“There are perhaps 100,000 people who have left the industry over the past few years who no longer want to return, so we must replace this expertise.

“We now have the team in place to participate in this process.”

Morrison-Arnthal adds: “The Covid-19 pandemic, of course, coincided with Brexit, so this has caused further complications.

“Prior to Brexit there was a strong pool of labour to draw upon, but this is no longer the case – meaning there is a huge talent shortage.

“At the same time, many companies are seeking to pay pre-Covid-19 salaries, despite the cost-of-living crisis we have seen, while benefits have also failed to keep up with expectations.

“Jobs are left empty as employers are offering the same low salaries and 20-days holiday – when the norm is now 25-days.

“With these rolls unfilled, those who do remain have to pick up the slack, so it is a really challenging environment right now.

“It is extremely competitive in our industry – the market is on the side of the candidate.

“We are seeing counteroffers, both from other recruiters, but also from existing employers – they understand the value of top talent and are willing to match offers in order to hang onto their teams.

“Candidates are in a position to drive the price.

“My clients are asking me to benchmark the correct salaries, as well as benefits, so this is a big part of what we are doing.”

ATR has a second string to its bow when it comes to developing the travel recruitment market in the UK – training.

“We offer a number of free resources on our website, covering topics like how to create a great CV, as well as tips for a successful interview and even how to resign, to leave on a positive note,” says Morrison-Arnthal

“My background, over a number of years, has been training and development and this expertise has gone into the eLearning courses we now offer to candidates.

“We did look at this as a commercial product, but decided to deploy it as part of a wider offering.

“We work with employers to emphasise how important training is – people want to work for a company that invests in them, to develop them.

“However, a lot of small- to medium-sized travel companies do not have that resource, an internal training department.

“This is where we can help.”

“There is a lot of online training for destination, for product, but not for the skills candidates need to thrive in our industry – which is what we offer.

“I love the travel industry and I have knowledge I want to share; I am delighted to be able to do so through ATR.

“We need to attract talent, school leavers, students, people from outside the industry – and our guides will help them to do so.”

To combat skills shortages, companies such as Hays Travel have relaunched apprenticeships, but these are not suitable for all.

Morrison-Arnthal argues: “If you are a little older, with transferable skills, our courses can help you get into the travel industry.

“Ambitions is a new name, but I have been in this industry for three decades, and I want to bring this knowledge to bear.

“This work positions ATR as thought leaders, as people who are passionate about the travel industry.”

ATR has also been attracting support from across the industry, having been nominated for a number of top awards.

Morrison-Arnthal was recently awarded ‘Lone Wolf Business of the Year’ at the Small Business Awards 2023, celebrating the independent strength and prowess of the newly launched agency.

The consultancy was also nominated for ‘Best Start Up Agency’ at Global Recruiter Awards 2023, recognising the hard work, determination and inspiration required to create a thriving new business in a highly competitive industry. 

ATR is also proud to be a partner of Back in time for Bed (BITFB), the flexible working movement for parents, created by Vicky Billing, head of partnerships at Riviera Travel, and head of supplier relations at Panache Cruises, Anna Perrott.

A co-branded guide is already available via their ATR website, offering valuable insights to make parental leave a success, and support for businesses and candidates as they navigate the parameters of flexible working.

With a positive impact on the long-term career satisfaction, loyalty and wellbeing of staff, businesses can gain competitive advantages.

This guide will help all parties to achieve a more flexible approach and demonstrates why a more human touch to resourcing is so important in attracting the best talent, reducing turnover, to increase productivity and profitability. 

Morrison-Arnthal adds: “Within our industry, a great deal of travel is expected, which can be hard with small children – it can be hard to be away.

“We are asked to give up careers, or live with the guilt – neither of which are acceptable.

“So, this is a guide, not about the legal side of maternity and paternity leave, but the human side of the experience.

“We look at, when somebody is about to go on maternity leave, what kind of communication do they expect – do they want to be updated, do they want to go to the Christmas party?

“Just as important, when they are coming back, what do they need to get back up to speed after what can be a year out?

“Understanding the different needs of different employees, not assuming we know what they want and creating a one-size-fits-all approach.

“We must treat people as individuals.”

More Information

The expert travel recruitment consultants at Ambitions Travel Recruitment & Training have worked in the industry since 1992.

As a leading agency in the sector, they are specialists at sourcing all roles in travel, connecting highly qualified candidates to businesses requiring their unique skillsets and expertise.

Find out more here and access the full suite of free downloadable guides at and training courses