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Hotseat - Terrance Rey

765_ona_Hotseat~ Let's Travel ~

Owner and operator of AirStMaarten and owner and managing director of Let's Travel, Let's Cruise, Travel Anywhere and Anykey Services, Inc., Terrance Rey served as Policy Advisor in St. Maarten Parliament from 2010 to 2012. He is presently serving as Deputy Secretary of St. Maarten Progress Committee, which was established by Royal Decree.

Where were you born?

I was born on the island of St. Kitts on May 23, 1967. My family is originally from Anguilla and my mother was born in Curaçao when my grandfather worked there at the Shell oil refinery in 1950s. My family finally moved and settled down in St. Maarten when I was three years old. I am now 46 years old; you can tell from the grey hairs in my beard.

Where did you go to school?

After completing MAVO and HAVO here on St. Maarten and VWO at Maria Immaculata Lyceum in Curaçao, I studied economics and business administration at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Besides studying in my student flat on cold dreary days and nights, my student years in Holland were a journey of self-discovery in which partying and traveling were important elements in my life. You can say I was really an out and about guy at that time of my life.

Tell me how did you obtain the name "The Internet Entrepreneur"?

I was still in the Netherlands when I discovered my love for the entrepreneurial lifestyle. I founded my first internet-based company at Erasmus University in 1999 after I had finished my studies there and have been carrying the moniker "The Internet Entrepreneur" ever since. I have founded and run several internet-based companies and served as managing director on the boards of many internet and aviation companies.

You are the founder of AirStMaarten; please tell me something about this.

In 2002, I founded the virtual airline called AirStMaarten, which is solely an internet-based airline concept that is used to fill gaps in the airline and aviation industry as it concerns servicing certain destinations with flights and charters that other airlines and charter companies are not catering to. In 2003, AirStMaarten was instrumental in bringing charter flights into St. Maarten, Curaçao and Aruba via Air Holland, which went bankrupt in 2004. AirStMaarten has since been specializing in the high-end shared charters market to St. Barths and the other surrounding islands of St. Maarten, such as Anguilla, Nevis, Antigua and Tortola.

You are the new owner of Let's Travel. How did this come about?

In 2011, I was approached by the former owners of Let's Travel with the question of whether I would be interested in taking over the travel agency as they were looking to retire. It was always a part of my long term strategy to manifest my online-based AirStMaarten with a physical offline presence, the decision to buy Let's Travel was quickly made and I became the owner and managing director of Let's Travel from June 1, 2012.

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

In 10 years from now, I hope to have a chain of travel agencies throughout the Caribbean and AirStMaarten operating as a full-fledged airline company serving St. Maarten and the greater Caribbean area with daily flights and an online booking platform where people all over the world can book commercial flights and private charters to, from and throughout the Caribbean. Most of the puzzle pieces are already in place to make this a reality. It is just a matter of time, money and lots of hard work before this dream can be implemented.

What do you do in your free time when not on the job?

When I am not working, I am always writing, surfing the internet and creating new concepts. My mind is forever brainstorming ideas for new businesses. It is after many such sessions that I have started concepts and businesses like KwikFix.com, StMaarten-Info.com and StMaartenFlowers.com – but more about these e-commerce activities another time.

As I can't turn off my brain and its perpetual desire to explore the limits of my entrepreneurial creativity, I like to travel as a means of literally "getting away." I love traveling with my family. Travel offers me the opportunity to not only explore new places, sites, scenes and countries, but it also offers me the opportunity to do some serious reading. I love reading; always have – since I was a kid.

Every day I read about 10 newspapers (four offline and six online); so when I go on vacation, I leave the newspapers behind and I read novels, how-to and business books while flying and during my quiet time on the ground.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone, what would it be?

My advice to people is that they should take a vacation every six months. Not because I own a travel agency and it is good for my business, but because it is really good for the mind, body and soul to get away from the hectic life one leads working every day from nine to five. It is good to get away from your normal surroundings and put yourself in new environments and unfamiliar places. This helps enormously to expand and enrich your life with new experiences and new energy. Whenever I come back from a vacation, I am ready to go again and I always promise myself to go again in another six weeks, but that usually never happens. But still, that is always my goal: work hard for six weeks and then take a vacation break again. Fortunately, living the entrepreneurial life affords me the opportunity to travel more often than most people and I always try to make the best of it.

If you could invite three people for dinner, who would they be? Where would you take them for dinner? And what would be the one question you would ask them?

Three people I would like to invite to dinner are Rihanna, Richard Branson and King Willem Alexander. I would invite them to have dinner with me in St. Barths and my question would be if they would like to return to St. Barths again and fly with AirStMaarten. I would prepare the best flight possible for them from St. Maarten to St. Barths (laughs). Sorry, I am a serial entrepreneur. With me, it is all about business!!!