Press Room - Profile: Melanie Colpitts, Partner
Melanie Colpitts has been with the Aquila Team since she went looking for her first summer job in 1992, and landed the role of a Tour Guide. In the more than 20 years since, Melanie has been involved in every aspect of Aquila, from the motorcoach and travel learn markets to Aquila’s initiatives in the cruise market. Melanie was integral in the founding of Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence and the development of Aquila’s Tour Guide Excellence online training, and today, she works with Tour Guides, Tour Operators, and Cruise Destinations around the world to help them deliver excellence to the cruise industry.
In her role as Director of Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence, Melanie develops and delivers training programs for stakeholders in the cruise industry. She puts her vast knowledge and expertise to work designing and leading workshops and consultations with tour operators, ports and destinations around the world, and she leads the delivery of Aquila’s International Tour Guide Excellence Certification Program. In the past year alone, she has worked with groups of Tour Guides in Colombia, Puerto Rico, Belize, Puerto Plata and the British Virgin Islands.
Melanie’s knowledge and expertise of Atlantic Canada’s Tourism Industry has led to significant experience in program development and delivery at home as well. Her work in Atlantic Canada has included the development and delivery of Port Readiness workshops for new and emerging ports, as well as customized workshops for ports and destinations on topics ranging from product development, market readiness, cruise visitor experience, and much more. She has worked extensively with the niche ports of the Atlantic Canada Cruise Association, led the development of the Northern New Brunswick Cruise Strategy, and has been a panelist at events such as the Canada New England Cruise Symposium.
Melanie has also been a leader in Aquila’s own initiatives in the cruise market, and she has been instrumental in the development of Aquila’s successful operational and sales strategies that have resulted in significant growth for Aquila. She developed Aquila’s innovative Tour Guide training program, which has resulted in their guides being named best in the world by Dream World Cruise Destination magazine on five occasions. Her influence has also reached beyond Aquila. Melanie’s involvement in the Bay of Fundy Cruise Partnership and her knowledge about increasing destination awareness – from involving all distribution channels to aligning the development of new tour products – led to significant cruise growth for the Saint John region to its current position of fourth busiest cruise port in the country.
Melanie is actively involved in the tourism community in Atlantic Canada. She has served as the cruise representative on the board of TIANB, and currently represents TIANB on the ACTP Marketing Committee. She is also on the board of the Stonehammer UNESCO Global Geopark.
Our tour guide, Bonnie, was the best tour guide we have ever had on a Princess Cruise shore tour. Our shore excursion was Tuesday Sept. 29th and she provided us with the most insightful experience on the people, the culture, the history and the sights of Saint John, New Brunswick. We really appreciate the job well done by Bonnie.
Joseph S. Kramer
We took the Hopewell Rocks Tidal Discovery Tour led by Sue Crawford. We had no idea what a treat we were in for. The ride out to the rocks was over two hours, but the time flew by as Sue pointed out all of the highlights and history of the area. She was well informed, enthusiastic and engaging. We thoroughly enjoyed spending time with her. We were fortunate to arrive at the rocks at low tide and had an excellent experience as Ranger Rick explained the phenomena of the 40 foot rise and fall of the tide as well as what we were looking at on the ocean floor. This experience was by far the highlight of our vacation.
We had Bonnie as our tour guide and she was so knowledgeable, energetic, and wonderful! We learned so much! The reversing falls was amazing, and the chowder was to die for! It was a great package to see all the best of St. John's! Thanks again!!
Prior to this tour, I already had high expectations of Aquila … I don’t know HOW you did it - but you DID IT! You exceeded even my high expectations! Bravo to the whole team! Many, many thanks to you and your company for this extraordinary adventure.
Rose Poirier, New Brunswick Museum
On a Saint John Tour Program Aquila delivered for the New Brunswick Museum