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: Pauline Blacoe
Company: Shine Travel (TravelOnly)
Location: Keswick, ON
How long have you been a travel agent? 20 years this summer
What is your specialty?
Destination weddings have always been my specialty, from day one. I have averaged 20 to 30 per year! I have also been honoured as one of the top Jamaica Travel Specialists in Canada since the program’s inception eight years ago (with two years being number one).
What do you love most about being a travel agent?
I do love working with brides (most days). It is not just their vacation, it is their wedding! And I’m so honoured when they allow me to be a part of that. I also like the flexibility of working from home. A lot.
What's one travel trend you've noticed as of late?
Travel to Europe. land tours, river cruises and Mediterranean cruises.
Over the years, how have you had to adapt to changes taking place in the industry?
I have had to broaden my horizons and knowledge beyond Caribbean destinations. With the trends (as noted above) that are becoming more popular, I have had to come out of my own little box and experience Europe in order to sell to my clients. I truly believe that it’s so much easier to sell something you know and have experienced.
Of all the bookings you’ve made, which itinerary and/or travel package are you most proud of?
My answer is always the same when I’m asked this question. This particular bride is now a very good friend and an affiliate of mine. I had taken over her wedding, and just a few weeks prior to departure, Mexico was hit with the H1N1 flu virus, which literally shut down tourism. Within a day or so, we had re-directed her whole group (80-plus PAX) to Jamaica, and coordinated a beautiful off-site wedding. All within two weeks before they travelled. I was thankful to our suppliers and all my contacts in Jamaica for making this happen for them!
What's your number one piece of advice to other travel agents?
Experience what you sell. That in and of itself makes you a specialist and sets you apart from others.
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