The 'Monday Minute' is a weekly feature at PAX dedicated to highlighting the movers, shakers, leaders and rule-breakers in Canada's travel agent community. Wanna be profiled? Wanna nominate someone? Email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Name: Jen Hardy
Company: Nexion Canada
Lives in: London, ON
How long have you been a travel agent? 22 years
Specialty: I am fortunate enough to specialize in a wide range of travel products. Anything and everything from incentive travel to honeymoons, family/couples travel, wedding groups, and luxury travel. Just to name a few.
What do you love most about being a travel agent?
What I enjoy most about being a travel agent is sharing my travel experiences and industry knowledge with clients in order to provide them with the best travel experience on all levels. There is nothing more rewarding than someone returning from their holiday and genuinely thanking you, as you played a major role in creating a lasting memory. Building relationships with not only my clients, but also supplier partners, fellow agents and other travel industry personnel is something I also love about being a travel agent.
What's one travel trend you've noticed as of late?
The trend I have noticed with my business lately is the demand for of a more personalized and customized holiday. A large portion of my clientele are well traveled individuals and groups. In saying this, they have graduated from the typical all-inclusive holiday packages that provide limited day excursions, bus tours, etc...and are requesting a more personal experience, but still with structure.
Local contacts to a destination are key to setting you aside from other travel agents, especially when customizing travel experiences. I have been lucky enough over the years to build an abundance of contacts all over the globe. Whether it be the owner of a boutique hotel in Greece, a driver in St. Lucia, a restaurant owner in Barbados, or a manager of a well-known resort, all of these contacts allow me to make my clients' experience that much more personal.
My contacts play a major role in taking a good holiday and making it great.
Over the years, how have you had to adapt to changes taking place in the industry?
The travel industry is fast paced and always changing. Over the years, I have found the best way to adapt to changes is to remain calm, do your research, and stay on top of industry news and rumours.
Of all the bookings you’ve made, which itinerary and/or travel package are you most proud of?
I take pride in all of my work - it is difficult narrow down just one. I enjoy preparing functions and excursions for incentive groups. It can be rather challenging to say the least, as some components can be rather tedious (for example: dinner meeting menu selections, decor for banquets, etc...) Therefore, I feel most proud when all the arrangements go as planned and I have earned myself a repeat client.
What's your number one piece of advice to other travel agents?
The one piece of advice I share with other agents is the importance of developing relationships. Communication with your client is key as everyone likes to be heard. An agent must know their clients in order to provide the best suited experience.
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