PROFILE #001: JEREMY VIRAY, Regional Director of Communications, The Americas at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

PROFILE #001: Jeremy Viray, Regional Director of Communications, The Americas at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group


In this episode, we talked to Jeremy about what makes working in travel a very attractive choice for young professionals and how he transformed his interest in travel into his livelihood.

We also talked about the glamorous and not-so-glamorous aspects of working in the travel industry and traveling in general. And as someone who leads the brand strategy and PR initiatives for a luxury hospitality brand like the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Jeremy argues that "luxury travel" is accessible to anyone no matter their price point is. 


What excites you about travel as your line of work?

The travel industry, in many ways, relies on what's new and exciting that will inspire travelers to plan their next trip. What attracts me most about working in tourism and hospitality is seeking out unique stories and trends and later, finding creative ways to share what makes them so appealing to travelers. In my experience, these types of stories included everything from a Renaissance monastery turned boutique hotel to an untapped island in the Caribbean. 

What is something about working in travel that people outside of the travel space would be surprised to know?

For people outside of the travel space, they may be surprised to know that the industry is a small, close-knit community. Travel specialists often rely on one another to stay up-to-date on industry news and to expand their professional networks. In the field of public relations, it’s critical to develop and maintain meaningful press contacts. Our media relationships are key to the success in driving awareness about our brand. At the same time, these relationships can lead to further ideas about what’s new in the travel space as well as create connections with other important journalists who may also be interested in writing about our company.

Three pieces of practical advice for somebody preparing for their first international trip.

Planning for your first international trip can be a daunting task. Make sure to do ample research about the destination and have a general idea of the areas or neighborhoods you want to explore. Trips go by quickly, and so you want to be sure to maximize your time! 

Before jetting off, check with your cell phone provider if you can sign up for an international plan. While you're traveling, you'll find that being connected throughout your trip will help when navigating around town.

Finally, plan to carry local currency to get you through the first few days of travel. This will help at restaurants or in taxis that may not accept credit cards.


Listen to the full interview:


This episode was recorded live in front of an audience on Oct. 20. 2016 at &co in Jersey City, hosted by EIGHTY Magazine's Creative Director Marinell Montales with guest Jeremy Viray. Jeremy shared his packing tips in a Show & Tell portion after the chat. Portuguese petiscos were provided by Broa Cafe. Photos by Jose Melgarejo

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