• Ryan Haynes

Photographs & Memories - Kristie Goshow: Filling the filofax of life

Updated: Jul 21



Born in Holland, our Memory Maker saw from a young age that the world presented great opportunities, offering the flexibility to come and go while learning about new cultures and places. Travel is part of Kristie Goshow's DNA. In the first episode of the second series of Photographs & Memories, sponsored by Atomize, Kristie - Chief Commercial Officer of KSL Resorts - recalls meeting a lifelong friend as she collected bottles on Zandvoort Beach, connecting across language barriers.


Kristie reflects on how travel can fulfil a thirst for knowledge and curiosity: “If one can be exposed to new places, or see people go and come back - it takes away any fear of leaving your safety zone.” From graduating as a mature student in 1997, to spending nine years living and working in Dubai, Kristie was keen to make the most of every opportunity. “Life’s too short - you’ve got to make sure you have fun in everything you do.”


She looks at the travel that gave her the key landmarks in her life, and fondly remembers the importance of her filofax, red Mini Cooper and a piece of the Berlin Wall. Discover Kristie’s Fawlty Towers moment, when a bathroom curtain came to her aid in a roadside truck drivers’ B&B.


Kristie lives in Orange County, California, with her husband and two children. She started her career working with Scandinavian Airlines and Virgin Atlantic before moving into hospitality. She has worked for hotel brands including Le Meridien, Jumeirah, Viceroy and Preferred Hotels & Resorts. During her stint in the Middle East, she exercised her entrepreneurial passions in launching Table4Me.

Kristie is recognized by HSMAI as one of the top 25 extraordinary minds, and is currently the Chief Commercial Officer with KSL Resorts. Kristie serves as a member of the HTNG Executive Leadership Group, and AHLA’s ForWard Advisory Committee, where it is her mission to advance women in hospitality.


In Photographs & Memories, we chat with a travel and hospitality industry professional, inviting them to share up to three photographs and a treasured souvenir from their travels, representing moments particularly important to them. Join us as we go on a journey through time to explore the significance of each.


A Travel Market Life series, Photographs & Memories is a Haynes MarComs production, hosted and sponsored by Atomize.


For more episodes and details of the series Photographs & Memories, visit https://www.haynesmarcoms.agency/travel-market-life


Program Notes


Michael McCartan:

My Memory Maker today is Kristie Goshow. Welcome to Photographs and Memories with me, Michael McCartan. Each episode, we invite an industry professional to share three photographs and a treasured souvenir from their travels, representing moments, particularly important to them. Join us as we go on a journey through time to explore the significance of each check, the podcast description to view the images of these treasured memories.


Michael McCartan:

Kristie lives in Orange County, California, with her husband and two children. She started her career working with Scandinavian Airlines and Virgin Atlantic. Before moving into hospitality. She has worked for hotel brands, including Le Meridien Jumeirah and Viceroy Hotel Group and Preferred Hotels and results. During her nine year stint in the Middle East, she exercised her entrepreneurial passions by launching Table4Me. Kristie is recognized by HMSAI as one of the top 25 extraordinary minds, and is currently the Chief Commercial Officer with KSL Resorts. Kristie serves as a member of the HTNG Executive Leadership Group and Arliss Ford advisory committee, where it is her mission to advance women in hospitality,


Michael McCartan:

Kristie Goshow Welcome to Photographs and Memories.


Kristie Goshow:

It's a pleasure to be here.


Michael McCartan:

So today you've shed two photographs of us with us, of people in places that represent special moments in your life. And the third photograph of some souvenirs from your travels during the course of this conversation, we'll explore each of the photographs and you will take us on a journey through time reflecting on the significance of each of those photographs.


But before we do so, please tell me how you came to work in the hospitality industry.


Kristie Goshow:

So, great question. Actually, a question I ask myself frequently, how did I get here particularly on, on some of the more challenging days, but I think I was born to travel - quite literally. I was born in Holland while my parents were over in the Netherlands on an assignment. My father worked in petrochemical industry. So it really just started with the point of my birth. And over the course of my life, my father was usually working in different locations around the world on different projects. And I think what that did was it showed me the world was this great opportunity. And there was a lot of flexibility for us to come and go and learn about new people, cultures and places.


Kristie Goshow:

So I was really just, it was part of my DNA from small baby.


Michael McCartan:

Fantastic. And how has the industry changed since you first started from the early days?


Kristie Goshow:

Well, I would say huge amounts and probably be fair to say that the last three years saw an accelerated version of some of those changes that were already underway. But I think probably number one is it's got to be the adoption of technology. And I cast my mind back even to gosh, when we first met each other, Michael, a long, long time ago and really sort of distribution was finding its feet in our industry. And, and we saw new technology come, come to bear, but fast forward to where we are today. And we've got augmented reality, artificial intelligence, predictive analysis, all helping us understand our business more intelligently.


Kristie Goshow:

And, and when I say more intelligently, it's, it's really about understanding consumer behaviours that are far deeper level, the tensions in society, how that's affecting what people buy when they buy, what more they would buy and, and then weaving that back into our product and our service strategy. So that's really the first big change that I would reference here. I think the second and it's very much related to that is empowerment. So if I cast my mind back to the late nineties, there was a company that we know today as Expedia, and they started out by really empowering the consumer to research and book their own travel.


Kristie Goshow:

We see that as commonplace today, but back in, back in the late nineties, early two thousands, there were so many, many properties hotels around the world that didn't even have their own website. So what we've done is we've seen this gradual empowerment of the consumer and the guest across multiple lines of our business. It started with room reservations now it's S and B and spa. And, but the list is sort of growing very quickly. And of course now we're deep into experience distribution. So that would be the second key change. And the third one I'm going to reference is the professionalization of our industry. I, I feel very grateful that I was much some of the very first to attend a course in travel and tourism.


Kristie Goshow:

And this was back in, in the eighties and, and it was just a fledgling B tech course at a college. And at the time many of my friends, my teachers at the school I left to attend the college, couldn't understand why I would give up doing a levels to pursue a college course in this topic called traveling tourism, because it just didn't feel like it had had the depth of, and business acumen associated to it at that point in time and little did we know look at where we are today, but more importantly, tourism is, is hugely vital to the GDP of many, many countries around the world. So never before have we really appreciated the value of tourism receipts.


Kristie Goshow:

And again, look at the situation through COVID and as we stand today. So yeah, hopefully, hopefully that gives you a sense of what I see is going down.


Michael McCartan:

Absolutely. It's it's fantastic. And yeah. Who knows what the future brings with the metaverse and sort of virtual reality and virtual travel? I think that's, that's just a whole new frontier that to wait. So let's have a look at your first photograph. It's one taken many decades ago. I'm guessing with the four of you sitting on a beach or sort of posing on a beach,


Kristie Goshow:

Right? Yes. Gosh, this is a very special photo. That's a real photos obviously, but this one was taken in 1977 on a beach, in a place called Sanford and Zen fault. And I'm not pronouncing that with, with the best Dutch accent at all, but this is a beautiful beach location in, in Holland. And I actually met I'm there with my brothers. So my brother isn't directly behind me. He's actually too, when you're looking at the picture, you'll be to the row to the right of me. The, the other, the boy and little girl were two children that we met on the beach and the little girl at the front there.


Kristie Goshow:

Her name is ironically Nancy Hollins, which you believe so Nancy and I met when we were collecting bottles on the beach to take back to the restaurant so that we could get some money back because one of the tourists would leave. There'd be a bottles and soda bottles around. And we had a lot of fun doing that. But what was interesting about that meeting was Nancy couldn't speak much English at all, and I couldn't speak any Dutch, but as children always do, regardless of culture boundaries, places, we find a way to connect. And we really built this wonderful friendship on that beach. And we stayed in touch as pen pals because back then we didn't have computers and we couldn't send the emails.


Kristie Goshow:

So we would regularly write to each other over the years. And, and still to this day, we are communicating, but now we use WhatsApp versus versus the postal system and Nancy still the same good friend all this time later. And it's, it just shows you the power of travel actually and friendships, but it was a beautiful moment.


Michael McCartan:

That's amazing, incredible what you've managed to stay in touch all these years. Fantastic. And given the fact that you were born well, how, how important was the fact that you were Born in Holland in sort of stimulating your moves around the globe? You've lived in many, many places was, was, was, was there something in being born outside of, of, of England that actually stimulated that lust for travel?


Kristie Goshow:

Yeah, I think when you, when you've been exposed to different places, whether that's through birth or through different cultures that your parents may introduce you to, and that might be in the country of your home place, but when you are shown there's other ways to live one's life and, and the beautiful, the beautiful side of those other ways, I, I think it gives you this sort of thirst for knowledge, you become more curious and more importantly, you recognize small child. You're always looking for, I think just naturally as individuals, you, you want to feel safe. So if you can be exposed to new places or you see people go to a new place and come back, and that takes away any fear of, of leaving one safety zone, because you can, you can come back and everything's fine.


Kristie Goshow:

So you go where you have that learning and you come back. They were my big takeaways at a very, very early age.


Michael McCartan:

So let's take a look at your, your second photograph. It's a, it's a group photograph. I don't know how many people are in it, but quite a number. Yeah. Please tell me what's going on there.


Kristie Goshow:

Oh gosh. And, and many of whom I can't remember, but the reason why I should have this one is okay, first and foremost, this was taken 20 years after the last photograph. So you can see me there on the, on the far right with my rather wild trousers. And this was a graduation, a graduation trip down to some hospital in Cornwall. And we decided at the end of, of, of university to get together and just go and have some fun. So we were really just living off a whole load of frustration and anxiety. Most of the people in this picture at the time, I think were probably mature students as was I.


Kristie Goshow:

So I made the decision to go to university when I was 23. So when I graduated in, in 97, of course, I'm, I'm dating myself here. I was amongst some of the, the eldest in our class, but you know, it's important point of difference because I understood the time value of money at that point in time. So my reason for returning was to absolutely get the best degree I could get and to have a lot of fun in the course of doing so. And by the way, that's why I'm wearing this. T-shirt she's happy. There you go. So life's too short. You got to make sure you have fun in everything that you do so that the people in that picture are the future of hospitality and leisure.


Kristie Goshow:

That's, that's who you're looking at there, which can be quite frightening if you actually look at how we're dressed, because we were dressed for the seventies, we decided in 97 to go back out, dressed in the seventies and, and, and frankly have a little bit of fun. So that's it, that's the story behind there. And this was the same year, actually. I think China was going back to Hong Kong rules. So it was quite a few things happening in the world. Sadly princess Diana passed away. And what else happened that year? I think we saw, again, apple had done something quite monumental. Steve jobs returned to apple. He went back so ma maybe the stars were aligning.


Kristie Goshow:

There you go. We were graduating. He was coming back in to, you know, empower soul and here we are today. So


Michael McCartan:

Yeah, it's amazing. You look at the, can you talk about the dress and how sort of eccentric everyone looks in the photograph, but I think that's also symptomatic of, of our industry as well. It's a colorful collage of people and personalities, and I'm sure you've experienced that many, many times.


Kristie Goshow:

Yeah. Oh, without doubt. And I, I, it has excellent point, Michael, because most of the students on my course were from different countries around the world. So within the scope of that picture, there were friends from Germany. Actually 1, 1, 1 lady was, was from Berlin. There was people in that picture from Australia, I think South Africa, all manner of locations. And they added to the beauty and the richness, both of the course, but at the friendships as well. Yeah.


Michael McCartan:

Yes, I do. I do want to ask you about your decision to leave the UK and move to, to Dubai. Was that, did that fall in your lap or was that something that you were seeking to do and Dubai just happened to be the place that gave you the opportunity?


Kristie Goshow:

What a wonderful question. It's in many regards, I've always tried to direct my career a little bit like a personal business plan. And I was harboring this, this desire to go overseas at that point in my career and the opportunity. And maybe sometimes when you think these things, the universe provides and, and I, I received a phone call one day. So fortuitous that, that, that would happen. I received a phone call. So in a way it did land in my lap. And that phone call was from a gentleman called bill Walsh. And actually, you know, it was from Peter Fitzgerald, a bachelor gentleman called bill Walsh.


Kristie Goshow:

And Peter Fitzgerald is we both know we, we had worked together with, at UTL Pegasus. And he said, this gentleman called bell has spoken to me and he's looking for somebody to help him build his distribution over in Dubai for a company called Jumeirah. And he said, I put your name in the ring, Christie. I really think you need to go and have a conversation with him. So bill and I met in London, we had a coffee together, we got some famously. And the next thing I knew, I was sitting in Dubai meeting with many general managers and different members of the Jumeirah team and trying to understand their business and obviously to get a sense of the location, whether or not I would feel comfortable there.


Kristie Goshow:

And, and I loved it. I loved that. I didn't know much about it. I love the sense of adventure and the idea of getting onto an aircraft and just seeing what would happen was the most exciting thing at that point in my life. And I didn't have any other, there was no other strings that I needed to worry about in my life. At that point in time, I had the freedom of movements, which, which I'm very grateful for, and it turns out it was the best decision I could have ever made because in the nine years that followed, there were several landmark moments for me. My career, I met my husband.


Kristie Goshow:

I had my children in the middle east, my, my son and my daughter were both born there. So clearly it was a good decision at that point in time.


Michael McCartan:

Yeah, absolutely. We're running out of time, very, very rapidly. So I'm going to move to the third photograph, which is your souvenirs, and you've cheated a bit and given us three souvenirs. So just tell us all about them.


Kristie Goshow:

Yes, yes. So the first you can see there is as a rather dusty, dirty Filofax facts and it's from 1999. And why did I keep that? That's the big question apart from the fact that it's got some very important addresses in there that probably haven't changed. I picked that one out because it's sort of, I think it explains how we thought about managing our lives at that point in time and with the advent of technology, which is a wonderful thing. I think there are, there are points when we just wish for a more simple life. And so that for me is really a reminder of how important it is to be able to look at your life outside of technology as well. So, you know, and it was something wasn't, it, everybody had to file effects.


Kristie Goshow:

At that point in time, they walked into a meeting, would they find the facts at a given point? They would never be seen without a, the facts. And now of course, nobody wants to sort of walk out of the house without their phone and they'll go into every meeting with their phone. It does remind me though that we have to find ways to simplify our life, keep it together. And there is a lot of history written into that little book from 1999, but I will never part with, so the second on, there is a little model of a red mini Cooper with a white roof. And I keep that because it's a reminder of my very first brand new car that I could afford to buy.


Kristie Goshow:

And it was when I first arrived in Dubai in the, I think the first of six months or so, I managed to pay off my student, student loan. And once I had done that, I was able to go and buy my very first brand new car. And it was a proud moment. It was this achievement, another one of life sort of landmarks, where I could spoil myself a little bit. And I kept that car for the full nine that fall. I'll leave it there, which I think tells you a little bit about how I operate, which is, you know, I want to be careful get the best value out of things.


Kristie Goshow:

Look after things, because I think if we invest in, look after the things that we own respect what we have that good, that good lessons in life that I hope to build, to pass on to my children. And, you know, we, we live in a disposable society today in many regards, whether that's fashion, whether that's food and many other things. So I thought that was an important one to throw in there. And I, that was in 2002


Michael McCartan:

Good stuff. And the third person,


Kristie Goshow:

The third one, that little memento is actually a piece of the Berlin wall map. They tell me it's a piece of the Berlin wall. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, but it looks like it possibly is. And I picked that up not long after the wall had come down. And, and I, I think that was 1989. So that's a really a stark reminder of how we should never let barriers get in the way, get in the way of society, families, doing things that we really want to do. I mean, what a waste that war was. It was when it came down, it was, it was torn down into hundreds of thousands of small pieces and having destroyed many people's lives.


Kristie Goshow:

So it's a little piece that maybe when I picked it up, it was a tourism Amenta. And as I look at it now, it has much, much deeper meaning for me.


Michael McCartan:

Wonderful. Thank you very much. That's excellent. No, as a hotelier, you must've come across some really bizarre moments on property. So before we wrap up, please share your faulty towers moment with us.


Kristie Goshow:

Okay. My faulty towers moment is actually a moment that happens in me. It wasn't necessarily an, a property that I worked in or operated. It's going back to when I was just, I recently graduated a couple of years after I graduated, I had to go for an interview with a company. And part of that was attending a few tests at a local university. And I had to stay in a small hotel bed and breakfast. It was really a roadside bed and breakfast, very similar to a faulty towers. And I came out of my room to use the bathroom because we didn't have en suite bathrooms, shower rooms. I had to share the bathroom on the landing. So I came out of my room to go into the bathroom and I forgot to take my key, the real key.


Kristie Goshow:

Now keep in mind. It was next to my room and I hardly had anything gone. So here I am three to just my underwear and I'm in a bathroom realizing I just locked myself out of my bedroom. And the only way I can go let myself back into my bed and breakfast was to walk down to the kitchen or downstairs to the breakfast room where most of the roadside lorry drivers were having their breakfast, their full English breakfast. So what did I do? I had to take the curtains off the windows in the bathroom, racket around me and walk down into the breakfast room and politely ask for my key or to help me open my bedroom.


Kristie Goshow:

It was a moment clearly. I remember it vividly. I never did it again. So that was my faulty towers moment.


Michael McCartan:

Fantastic. Very resourceful. Gotta hand it to you, but yeah, well we'll play it. Thank you very much. Well, because we're out of time, it's been an absolute pleasure having you on the show and, you know, let me end by thanking you for sharing your photographs and memories with us.


Kristie Goshow:

Thank you, Michael. It's been a pleasure


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