Behind The Scene(s) With Thomson Reps
Thomson Scene, our range of party holidays, has just entered its debut season. We caught up with a couple of reps to talk about their first summer with Scene…
As far as the clubbing calendar goes, a summer of sun, sea, and superclubs has just kicked off. And it’s a double score for us here at Thomson Towers – Scene, our collection of holidays for grown-up party people, launches into its very first season, taking the baton from 2wentys, which hung up its glowsticks last year.
Before the epic hangovers kick in, we grabbed a couple of our overseas guys for a chat about the upcoming season. They’re transitioning from 2wentys to Scene and, like us, they’re pretty stoked about it. Here’s what James ‘Basher’ Boyle-Chong, Resort Team Manager in Bulgaria’s Sunny Beach, and Charlie Wise, Team Leader in Zante, had to say…
Left: James, Right: Charlie
How long have you been a rep?
James: I’ve been a rep for 9 years now, working in Magaluf, Ibiza, Zante, Benidorm, Andorra, and Bulgaria.
Charlie: My first summer was in Ayia Napa in 2003 – way back when Freestyle was Thomson’s youth brand.
What excites you most about the switch from 2wentys to Scene?
J: I’m really excited about the new destinations that Scene is bringing to the table. I can’t wait to see places like Goa, Thailand and Croatia going up against the party classics in Magaluf, Bulgaria and Malia.
C: It’s great to be going to places that haven’t been tried yet. There are so many resorts that have a scene, but we haven’t had the opportunity to take people there, until now. Plus, it’ll change even more over the next few years – I’m looking forward to seeing where else pops up to go with our already excellent line-up.
Where’s been your favourite resort, and why?
J: Each resort is special to me in different ways. I loved Ibiza for the clubs, Magaluf for the strip, Zante for the beach bars, and Andorra for the skiing and après.
C: Napa was where I’d always wanted to work, having been there on holiday a few times. But, actually, Zante ended up being my favourite resort thanks to the great teams I worked with, the fact there’s loads to do on the island, and the amazing bars and clubs in Laganas.
Is there a ‘best thing’ about being a rep?
J: I absolutely love the people. It really is the holidaymakers that make it different to any other job.
C: The people you meet, and the experiences you get to have. You come across so many people from different backgrounds – repping allows you to step out of your comfort zone and meet people you’d never have the opportunity to otherwise. I’ve made life-long friends over the years.
What qualities does it take to do your job?
J: You’ve got to be a people person who’s confident, outgoing and willing to go that extra mile for your customers.
C: The main quality you need is energy! You’re working 24/7, sometimes on very little sleep, but you still have to be ready for anything and able to make sure your customers have the best time they can. There are so many different parts to the job, and there are so many things you’re expected to know. You basically have to soak up as much information and knowledge as possible, so you’re in a position to help and offer advice to everyone.
There’s been quite a few TV shows lately following reps in places like Magaluf and Ibiza – how true-to-life are they? Is it really all just check ins and bar crawls?
J: I can’t say they’re true-to-life, no! These programmes make out that reps are on an extended holiday when, in reality, the hours are long and it’s extremely hard work. But at the same time, it’s so rewarding. The only thing that’s portrayed fairly is how much we enjoy our job… it’s the best job in the world!
C: Most of the stuff you see on TV isn’t repping. The shows follow tiny groups of people based in one hotel. We deal with 300 to 400 people a week, in loads of hotels. Sure, elements cross over – we do check ins, and we do take them out, but the TV programmes show about 1% of what actually goes into the job.
Where do you go on your own holidays?
J: As I work away during the summer, I tend to go to destinations that are guaranteed to be hot in the winter, such as Mexico, Egypt and Thailand. That said, I still love a cheeky getaway to places like Tenerife.
C: After the intensity of the summer, I like to get away from the hustle and bustle and just relax. My last trip was a month in the Gambia.
What’s the one memory from your time working overseas that you’ll never forget?
J: I have so many, but the last year I worked in Ibiza I got to see Faithless perform at Privilege, the world’s biggest nightclub, and I went to Ushuaia’s opening party to see David Guetta and Usher. Phenomenal!
C: A club in Ayia Napa called Insomnia used to be our after-party venue. One night we walked in just as garage legend DJ EZ was starting his set. He’s known for his signature intros, and as we walked in to the club, it was blacked out and a strobe light flashed in time with the intro… an amazing way to enter a club!
Lastly, do you reckon you can sum up Thomson Scene in three words?
J: New, party, chilled
C: Unique, clubbing, adventure