Brian Joseph of AMResorts says it’s his “mission” to serve and educate travel agents.
“In this industry, we are like family,” the business development manager for Ontario tells PAX. “We celebrate, learn and mourn together, and we support each other as individuals. I meet new people every day, so the family continues to grow.”
Whether he’s booking agency visits, leading meetings or training sessions, hosting webinars, attending trade shows or answering emails, spending time with his travel family is an important part of Joseph’s day.
But his immediate family always comes first. “Every morning, my sons wake me up at 7:00 a.m. I make their breakfast, drop them off at school, and then I begin work,” says Joseph, who lives in Ajax, ON.
Joseph, who was born in Trinidad and Tobago, originally set out to be a banker. He started studying the travel business in 1999, after which he became a travel agent and then, later on, a travel manager.
His duties as a BDM for AMResorts consistently pushes him to think outside of the box. “Anything that I could do to develop business, I would do,” Joseph told PAX in a previous interview.
What does Joseph love most about travel?
“It’s something you can’t hold,” he said. “It’s like liquid or gas. It changes. Every day, every year is a different experience.”
Here, PAX checks in with Joseph to chat about the first vacation he ever took, his Pictionary skills and a memorable meal involving tequila and a scorpion.
PAX: What are three essential items you always travel with?
Brian Joseph: My CPAP machine because I can’t sleep without it, headphones because music relaxes me, iPhone because my whole life is in that thing now.
PAX: What are some of your favourite vacation spots?
Joseph: Mexico – I love the people, the weather, the beaches, the culture, the food and it’s a fairly short flight. I’ve also made a lot of close friends in Mexico; Barcelona – I’ve travelled all over Europe, but there’s something about Barcelona that stands out. I always feel like I belong there. It’s beautiful and there’s a vibe there that I connect with; Jamaica – even though I’m not Jamaican, it geographically reminds me of my childhood growing up in the Caribbean. The country is naturally beautiful, the culture is distinct, the food delicious and Jamaican people are smart, confident, funny and cool. I like that!
PAX: What’s your favourite airport and why?
Joseph: I’ve seen many pretty airports, but I don’t like the process and waiting in them. That clouds my judgement, so no favourite airports.
PAX: What was the first vacation you ever took?
Joseph: Tobago. I was only four and all I remember is looking out the window as we took off and being fascinated by how all the cars below looked like my collection of toy matchbox cars.
PAX: What’s the biggest splurge you’ve ever made on a trip?
Joseph: I don’t shop or splurge a lot. One time on Margarita Island I heard about an interesting tour so I booked a very expensive flight on a very small plane to mainland Venezuela to tour Canaima National Park. Beautiful waterfalls. It’s fun to be spontaneous.
PAX: What’s the most memorable meal you’ve ever eaten while travelling?
Joseph: That’s an easy one. Isla Mujeres México where I had tequila with a scorpion. I was with a couple of travel agents (you know who you are) and they gave me the biggest one when I wasn’t looking. Let’s just say you can chew it, but there’s never a right time to swallow it.
PAX: What’s your biggest travel pet peeve?
Joseph: How do I put this without being gross? I don’t need to smell “anything” from inside anyone, on a plane or anyplace where I can’t get up and leave.
PAX: What are your hidden talents?
Joseph: I’m a very good cook and I can draw very well. Good luck beating me in Pictionary.
PAX: What's your funniest travel anecdote?
Joseph: Early in my travel career I went with my brother to Havana. We needed to know the time, so I went to a local and asked “cuantos años tienes” while tapping my bare wrist (If you don’t know Spanish, look it up). The lady frowned, looked at me funny then turned and walked away. After that, I immediately realized my mistake and was so embarrassed.
PAX: When flying, do you prefer the window shades up or down?
Joseph: Shades up for sure. I’m still that four-year-old kid who enjoys looking out the window. It’s like, there’s a beautiful, majestic show outside and I don’t want to miss it.
PAX: What should travel agents know right now about AMResorts?
Joseph: We have more than 50 beautiful resorts and seven brands to choose from, appealing to many different markets. We continue to open more resorts giving agents even more options. Submit your bookings at AMRewards.com to earn points. You can then redeem them for free nights, booking bonuses, gifts for your clients, marketing materials and more.