An in-depth interview with a visionary for the Canadian travel industry, who isn’t afraid to challenge conventional ideas, and do things his own way.
As one who has worked in Canada’s tourism industry for more than 20 years, David Boigne, originally from France, has a resume of significant career moments that have shaped his professional life.
After working at Point de Vue Canada until Jonview took over, Boigne was hired by Exotik Tours to turn the outbound department around. A few years later, fate struck again: Exotik Tours was purchased by Thomas Cook.
"I was promoted to vice-president of specialties. However, there were changes in corporate mentality that no longer corresponded to my values and my way of doing things,” Boigne explained. “I like to think outside the box, but creativity was no longer part of this megastructure and I did not want to play the game. I realized that I had reached the end of what I had to accomplish under this banner."
Boigne continued: "I like travel for what travel is. I don’t like it when it becomes a mere commodity leading to an Excel spreadsheet. We must not lose sight of the fact that what we sell is a privilege and an experience."
Two years later, he started 5Continents and hired Michele Rauzon.
A hybrid concept
Boigne’s new concept reflects his work experience in the field – he is known for his personalized and creative group tour planning services - and he draws inspiration from frequent requests from destination-based suppliers who want to be more in touch with their customers and distributors in Canada.
5Continents is a hybrid between an inbound agency and a concierge, something that’s never been done before; the idea is to open an embassy of sorts, which will welcome inbound brands from around the world, big and small, in order to facilitate communication between inbound and outbound agencies.
"Working with a company that is on the other end of the world, acclimatizing to different customs and trading large amounts of money abroad, it can lead to misunderstandings,” Boigne explained. “My role, and that of 5Continents, is to build a bridge to ensure that the customer's expectations are fully met."
Both travel agencies and tour operators will benefit from the services of these on-site receivers in Montreal. This rationalization of the distribution model also allows everyone to benefit from competitive net rates.
According to Boigne, 5Continents will allow independent agencies to enjoy the same benefits as the big players in the industry.
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