From leisure to profession - Jerome Tomlinson’s exclusive journey
At the age of seven, Jerome Tomlinson excitedly went on his very first trip to the happiest place on earth with his family. Disney World in Orlando was such a blast that he had made it his goal to go on new adventures every summer since. It was only a matter of time before his leisurely trips turned professional.
“My more frequent travels to different countries on my own began five years after I graduated from university. The journey has been really great actually. From the different experiences and memories created on each trip, to the people I’ve met and friendships made along the way has made the journey worthwhile for sure,” Tomlinson told Saturday Living.
His favourite places to visit so far are Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and Cancun in Mexico. Both countries, he says, bear similar markings as it relates to culture and are very festive by nature.
“There’s an experience in Punta Cana called ‘Dinner in the Sky’. There, you’re basically strapped in a seat around a table and then elevated by a crane way up in the sky and that’s how you indulge in your three-course meal. Entertainment is also provided while you bask in the breathtaking views of the city,” he shared.
As for Cancun, Tomlinson will never forget jumping out of an airplane and sky diving, “That might be the scariest most thrilling thing I’ve ever done to this day. It was an experience of a lifetime that probably 99 per cent of the population would never dare to try but you know what? I’d do it all over again!”
After sharing exciting content with others, he was encouraged to think about the business element of the activity. “Whenever I travelled, I’d always be posting content online, catching the attention of my followers on social media. I’d often get messages querying the location, booking information or planning options. While assisting them, I realised that this can actually be a lucrative business opportunity,” he revealed.
Today, Tomlinson is the chief executive officer of Exclusive Travel Deals, a company designed to provide travel services and arrangements for avid and new adventure seekers. “We offer packages for flights, hotels, cruises and/or other local and international excursions,” he said. His company also provides free travel planning consultations. “At Exclusive Travel Deals, you only make payment when you are ready to book your trip, with no hidden fees.”
Since opening its doors two years ago, the business has seen exponential growth, gaining recognition locally as well as overseas, while garnering over 100,000 travel fans across all of the company’s social media platforms. Additionally, Tomlinson has been able to form strategic partnerships with companies in similar and different industries.
The reception, so far, has been tremendous and Tomlinson is grateful for the opportunities and the support he has received on this journey.
It is his hope that his brand becomes a household name; one that resonates with people locally and internationally when it comes to travel. He also aims to tap into global markets and expand his business to operate in different countries through licensing and franchising.
“The world is bigger, more diverse and more unique than we actually know and you have to constantly learn to adapt and understand when dealing with persons from different cultures and backgrounds whether it’s a client that’s booking travel or on personal travel journeys socialising, interacting and communicating with other people. You have to be open and accept the fact that different people and situations require different approaches for things to work and not just have a fixed one track sided mindset,” he said.
Whenever the entrepreneur isn’t working, he is looking for the next best experience to try or travelling to execute his mission. Next on his bucket list of places to visit is Dubai, which he plans to visit in a few months, Colombia, Greece, Bali, as well as destinations in Europe and Africa.
His advice to persons who are new to travel is to consult with a travel agent who already has knowledge and experience to provide a guide, “You might use Google and on your own try to book. But oftentimes, you won’t find all the information on the internet, especially the finer details such as travel requirements or restrictions for specific destinations and then end up having difficulties which ends up costing you in the end.”
Oftentimes, he continued, there are misconceptions due to a lack of understanding, “For example, many people don’t know that they can actually travel outside the country with just their passport. Not all countries require a visa or require vaccination to visit”