Coffee Time with Industry Vets: Scott Wiseman

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That's Scott in Morocco in 1999. Of the image, he says, "don't judge the danger because the snake around my neck was small. What you could not see was the Cobra at my feet that was way too close!"
That’s Scott in Morocco in 1999. Of the image, he says, “Don’t judge the danger because the snake around my neck was small. What you could not see was the Cobra at my feet that was way too close!”

Think you know Scott Wiseman, think again….

There’s more to Scott Wiseman, president of Cox & Kings, The Americas, than meets the eye, so we decided to ask him those comical, personal and telling questions to reveal the man behind the suit.

With more than 20 years in the high-end travel, hotel ownership, and franchise and management industries, Scott’s “aha moment” that led him into the travel industry came while working for a decorator and caterer while still in high school. We’ll let him explain in the Coffee Time With Industry Vets Q&A series.

Where did you go on your first trip and how old were you?
Acapulco when I was 16. It was the only trip my parents took my brother and me on. I was amazed at the whole concept of signing charges to your room. On the second day I realized that no one asked me for ID and I was able to order drinks and sign to the room. I made a lot of friends on that trip! I found out later that my father had no idea what signature was on the charges and disputed them all.

What is your most vivid travel memory?
Watching my children’s face on the arrival day into Kenya. They first saw giraffes and wart hogs at Giraffe Manor and got so excited. I could barely contain myself knowing that they haven’t even been to the bush yet and they had no idea what was coming.

What was the “Aha” moment that led you into the travel industry?
I took a job in high school working for a decorator and caterer. I worked 40 hours from Fridays-Sundays setting up weddings and bar mitzvahs and fell in love with the luxury hotels I was working in. I also learned to sleep on dirty linens in the back of a catering truck.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?
My wife and I got married at an early age while working in the hotel industry. We totally took advantage of our employee discount and went virtually free to Sugar Bay Plantation in St. Thomas.

What was your favorite trip you took last year and why?
I was able to tick off two amazing places on my bucket last year – Japan and Bolivia. Both did not disappoint.

Scott in Kyoto, Japan.
Scott in Kyoto, Japan.

Where would you like to go that you have yet to visit?
Antarctica

Do you always buy a souvenir the first time you visit a destination?
I try and find something very local that represents a belief or faith from everywhere that I travel so… I guess I do.

You can tell us – do you collect magnets from the destinations you’ve visited?
No.

What do you do to pass the time on the plane ride to your destination?
I don’t have a steady routine. Depending on the time of day and length of flight I will usually do a bit of work and watch a movie. I try and balance it so I will only work as long as my laptop battery.

Who is your favorite travel companion?
No contest – my wife. It is the perfect travel relationship – I like to plan and do as much as I can and she lets me!

If there were one hotel room in the world you could call home the rest of your life, which would it be?
The Maharani Grand Royal Suite at Rambagh Palace, Jaipur.

If you were a destination, which would it be and why?
Even though I have never been…New Zealand. It is on my bucket list. I feel it would be a great fit with my personality being adventurous, warm and welcoming to strangers, culturally curious and quirky.

What is the best food you’ve had on a trip?
Sunday Brunch at the Oberoi Gurgaon in Delhi.
The strangest?
Ant eggs, grasshoppers and cactus worms in one meal in Mexico.

What can’t you travel without?
Headphones, sport coat, sunscreen

Who is the most interesting person you’ve met while traveling?
I had the opportunity to dine with Jehan Sadat at her residence in Cairo.

Tropical beach or snowy mountain?
Beach…with a view of the snowy mountain.

City or countryside?
City.