Co-Founder & Head of Operations
Home base: Seattle
Years in the travel industry: 25
TourismSolved’s co-founder, Robin Harnish, has worn plenty of hats over the course of her three-decade career in travel. Now she’s bringing it all together as our Head of Operations. When it comes to being a founder of a startup, “there is no task too small,” Robin says. “My main role is to help establish our sales process, and implement it for the ongoing management of our clients and their initiatives. We are here to deliver the highest level of customer satisfaction.”
Robin started her career in management at Hertz back in her hometown of Oklahoma City before going on to hold senior and executive positions at some of the early OTAs including Preview Travel (later acquired by Travelocity), Orbitz, and Tripadvisor.
When Robin isn’t busy building the tools and automation for TourismSolved, you’ll find her planning her next big trip—Provence is one of her favorite places in the world—or cooking for her friends and family at home in Seattle.
Learn more about Robin
What is it about working in the travel industry that you love the most?
I love seeing how the industry’s technological capabilities continue to grow and become available to travelers searching online for things to do while they’re already on vacation.
What motivates you to stay in the travel industry?
When it comes to booking things to do—one of the last travel verticals to fully digitize and move online—I want to be a part of making it easier for travelers to find and book experiences with the real locals and experts that share their passions and expertise. I have taken so many tours and experiences, and these are the folks who help us travelers create our best travel memories.
What’s been a big learning moment in your career?
I learned early on in my career that my accomplishments shouldn’t just be measured on what was considered a success, because some of the best learning moments come from failures through trial and error.
What’s one of your proudest accomplishments in your career?
When I look back at all of the teams that I have had the privilege to manage, I’m most proud of seeing what they have each gone on to accomplish as their careers continued beyond my time as their manager. Sometimes that includes working with them at various companies along the way!
How do you see travel changing over time? What’s exciting about these potential changes?
With more information at our fingertips on our mobile devices, I think that it’s going to be easier and easier to connect with the locals and operators that can really bring a destination to life. I think that we’re going to see a shift of power to the small and local businesses as more tools and opportunities become accessible to provide a great customer experience when booking direct.
What 3 things can every tour operator do to make their experience more enjoyable for travelers?
1. Answer all of the travelers' questions. Think of all the things past customers have asked, or what you would ask, and add it to your listings to add confidence and trust during the booking and in the post-purchase process.
2. Make everything easy. Travelers are looking to escape their complicated lives, so make the whole process simple and easy from booking to turning up the day of the experience.
3. Show your passion. It comes through during the experience and it’s something that creates the memories they share after they get home.
What’s something surprising that people might not know about you?
I am dog obsessed, even though I don’t have one. I’m always happy to take care of friends’ dogs when they need me. What they don’t know is that their pup probably became a fan of the Real Housewives (one of my favorite TV series) during their stay!