Pax Global Media
The Monday Minute is a weekly feature in PAX that highlights the movers, shakers, leaders and rule breakers in Canada's travel advisor community. Wanna be profiled? Wanna nominate someone? Email email@example.com!
Name: Sandy Willett
Business: Vision Travel Waterloo – a division of Direct Travel and Virtuoso
Where do you live? Kitchener, ON
How long have you been a travel advisor? 47 years
What is your specialty? Cruise specialist - rivers and luxury. I'm also a Sandals Certified agent, but like most of us, I sell a lot of other things too!
What inspired you to become a travel advisor?
From a young age I was fascinated with travel and faraway places.
What’s the first trip you ever took?
I went on a trip with my Grandmother in Grade 9 to England to visit family. It was the first time I flew anywhere and was hooked!
What is your current state of mind?
Honestly, overwhelmed. In all my years of being in this business, I have never been this busy.
What travel trends are you seeing these days?
Earlier bookings. Customers looking for more upscale and luxury destinations – they want to spend the money they’ve had for the last two years. On the other hand, I'm seeing an overwhelming amount of inquires from people just wanting to get away this winter. Even if prices have increased so much.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way you do business?
There is so much more to a booking these days with COVID restrictions and rules that still exist for some places.
Of all the bookings you’ve made, which itinerary are you most proud of?
An extensive FIT for customers travelling to Australia, New Zealand and Tahiti.
Where do you see your career one year from now?
Hopefully still doing what I do, but maybe a little less stressful. Future goal is to retire somewhere down the road.
What’s one thing you would change about the travel industry?
I wish agents were viewed more as professionals. Have customers respect our time and knowledge.
What is your motto?
Treat clients with respect and make them happy!
What is your number one piece of advice to other travel advisors?
Try to get to know some personal information about your good clients. So when you talk to them you can say things like, “How are your grandkids?" I have a lot of clients that are now good friends. Lastly, fasten your seat belt and enjoy the ride! This is a crazy business!
Where are you travelling next?
Blue Jays Spring training in Florida, then a Sandals stay and then a cruise!
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