This month we catch up with Merete Thorsen, Zaui Group’s Sales Manager. Merete entered the travel industry two years ago as a sales agent. As an avid traveller, she quickly blended with the industry and learned the tricks of the trade. She is genuinely passionate about helping her customers automate and simplify their hotel operations with Zaui Stay.
When she’s not busy talking to clients, Merete can be found indulging in her love of Salsa and hiking. She is also a football fanatic and has played football for ten years. And here is a fun fact—she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro!
How did you first get into the travel industry and sales?
I began my journey as an in-house sales agent for one of the largest hotel chains in Norway— Choice Hotels, back in 2020.
Why were you drawn to Zaui?
As I love to travel myself, the travel industry excites me and we get to work with a lot of amazing customers. Nowadays “everyone” sees the needs and benefits of digitalization; so the combination of tech and travel is the place to be.
Which Zaui Stay features are potential customers most excited for?
Definitely, the floating booking feature where the system itself optimizes the capacity and the possibility to use dynamic pricing. Also, the unique feature of the code locks, which are integrated into the system, giving guests a unique and seamless experience.
How have you been able to learn and grow at Zaui?
Well, coming from the fitness industry where I was for more than 20 years, it has been nothing else than a steep learning curve. Technology, learning about the travel industry and sales! I am still learning every day, both from my colleagues and customers.
What does your typical work day look like?
It often starts with HubSpot and working with leads, calling them or sending them an e-mail, having presentations and meeting with clients. Also, I use some time doing research and finding potential customers that could use our help. The best is to actually meet them face to face, so some days I travel and even join events and meetings in the travel industry.
Your joyous moment at Zaui?
I will say when the whole team went to Preikestolen in Norway; we could finally meet face to face and have some creative days together, get to know each other and strengthen the team spirit. I believe it is so important to have that culture internally to be able to produce and create good moments with the customers as well.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
Salsa dancing, watching the sunset on a summer evening, hiking in the mountains, a good glass of wine with friends, and also teaching my Yoga and Zumba classes.
If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would you choose?
A cliche maybe, but I would choose Putin or Dìaz- Canel in Cuba, so I could make some necessary changes in the world.
What do you do to turn things around when you’re having a bad day?
Listen to my favourite Cuban salsa music.
What advice would you give to new Zauians in their first month?
Be patient, ask questions, and we are all here to make each other better.
What are your passion projects outside of work?
I organize travels to Cuba and GranCanaria with SalsaNor, an organization in Norway with the purpose of spreading the Latin culture and dance. I also volunteer at events like festivals and congresses.
What is currently at the top of your bucket list?
See more of Italy!