Brainz Magazine Exclusive Interview
Roberta Perez brings to Nordic Ways not only her huge knowledge and energy, but also her attention to the smallest details, making every program a singular experience. She is active in promoting the Nordic region and is proudly Ambassador of Kiruna.
Roberta Perez, Owner and Founder Nordic Ways
Introduce yourself! Please tell us about you and your life, so we can get to know you better.
I am passionate about tourism and the hospitality industry. I am a mother of three amazing kids, a 16 years old, and 13 years old twins. I also have a dog, Salt, a beautiful girl from Swedish Lapland. In my spare time, I love reading interesting books, and bowling. Music is also present in my daily life, but my big passion is traveling. Explore different places, meet local people and make deep connections. This is what moves me. When I think about the hospitality industry, it is more than offering good services, it is about helping dreams come true and creating customized experiences. Going back in time to the beginning of my career, I started at Disney World. What a school! A perfect combination of storytelling and extreme attention to details. Working on Olympic Games and World Cup, also gave me the opportunity to understand how to plan large events and how important is teamwork for a great result. In addition, these last two years reinforced my belief that creating connections with all stakeholders is the key to a business’s success.
What is your business name and how do you help your clients?
Nordic Ways was created from my vision of the Nordic region. Nature is incredible here! Combined with a strong culture and great social principles, it inspires us to create itineraries and events full of details and “wow” moments. We are an international team with deep knowledge of different cultures and expectations, and at the same time, we are close to the local suppliers, which helps us find the best solution for our clients. We start from the principle that no one’s dreams are the same as another’s. Each one dreams in a different way, so, each travel plan must be different. We want our clients to understand the places they visit and connect with the local culture. One of the things that make Nordic Ways unique is that we are beyond the comforts of our desks. We always visit places to have our own experience of the destinations, restaurants, hotels and tours before we offer them to our clients. We create the best solutions according to their expectations and at the same time, we seek to use local suppliers to encourage the economy of these destinations. It is what we try to do, create unforgettable experiences.
What is your work inspired by?
Our customers’ feedback is what inspires me the most. When we see our clients’ delight, when they are grateful, or when we notice that we created lifetime memories, it makes us extremely proud and gives us the energy to continue. Of course, there are some challenges, but it motivates us to create new solutions for our clients in different situations. I am also inspired by all the creative concept behind Disney World where there is a story in every single detail and the passion to create unique experiences prevails. I love the tourism and hospitality industry and I always challenge my team to think outside the box to reflect and implement better solutions every day. We don’t copy and paste programs; we create a real experience for our clients and connect with them. I believe the ability to keep learning and improving is what makes a business unique in today's market.
If you could change one thing about your industry, what would it be and why?
One of the things here in the Nordic region that need to be changed is the relationship between the players in the tourism and hospitality sector. No one knows each other very well. We all know the name of the companies, but usually do not know the people behind the company, and it is all about people. Through my experience working around the world, I have learned that we need to create a good conversation between the players in our market. The competitors are important pieces of a whole. We have different expertises which can also make us partners in some ways and make our industry stronger. We could learn how to be better with each other. Inspire each other. Together we could create solutions for our clients and at the same time foster our regional industry, bringing new jobs and opportunities to the economy.
Tell us about a pivotal moment in your life that brought you to where you are today.
I can say there were two pivotal moments in my life that led me to create my company and define the way I lead Nordic Ways. The first one was as I mentioned before where everything started: Disney World. That experience made a huge difference in my life because I learned how strong and reputable a business can be in hospitality, and I was inspired all the time. Everything has a reason to be in each place of the complex. As Disney said: “If you can dream it, you can do it.” For a young woman that was the ingredient I needed to stay in this industry. Each tear of emotion I saw from my clients were priceless and every day of work was special. Since the first time I had my feet in this industry, I knew this was where I belonged.
The second pivotal moment in my life was the bad work experiences with abusive communication from a bad chain of bosses in one company where I coordinated several projects. We were also forced to travel back to Brazil with one suitcase with the director's personal items. This kind of negative work made me think that if one day I would have my own company, I would never let people to fear and feel as I once did. Today I am proud to see how our team enjoys working at Nordic Ways. It is not about our clients being always right. The right focus is to care about all people involved: our team, clients and suppliers. It’s not possible to have a successful business if you do not respect all of them.