“I was totally engaged in the hospitality business, running hotel and restaurant food and beverage operations,” recalls Dallyce Macas, owner of Eminence, a small, boutique travel marketing and sales company. “Then I met the guy I have been married to for almost 35 years, and he was a businessman. He could not figure out why I always came home after 2 am, having to close up the bar and restaurants on certain nights. I needed to transition my people and management skills. We knew a few people working for tour operators and retail agencies. I took a travel course, and the rest is history.”
This change in career lead to Macas founding Eminence in 2012, where she provides Canadian representation for a number of boutique travel companies, including Australis, Explora and Jungle Sutra, with a focus on immersive and active itineraries showcasing regional cultures and wildlife.
“I was tired of having sales representation come up from the U.S. and tell Canadians how to buy travel,” Macas explains. “Canada has many regional differences when selling and marketing travel and Eminence helps navigate the country with local expertise.
Based in Collingwood, Ontario – where she can “indulge in skiing, cycling and hiking liberally” – Macas’ day-to-day duties can vary widely.
“My day can go from drafting a high-level strategy document for a client, straight through to giving geography lessons on how to get from Ushuaia to El Chalten, Argentina. I also give lessons on how to pronounce the name of these far away, remote places too! For example, it’s pronounced USH-WAY-AH, EL-SHALL-TAN.
This week, PAX checks in with Macas on villa lunches in Spain, a pricey purchase in a destination of the same name and what table-top game she’ll win at every time.
PAX: What are three essential items you always travel with?
Dallyce Macas (DM): Kindness, patience and intuition. It can be a grind getting to and from destinations. Brightening someone’s mood along the way is mutually rewarding.
PAX: What are some of your favourite vacation spots?
The south of France: in Provence, the cycling culture, the fragrance of lavender and the food and wine are spectacular. Interior of British Columbia: lakes, mountains, local cuisine and wine lands make for exceptional outdoor experiences year-round. What’s not to love about Canada vacations?
PAX: What’s your favourite airport and why?
DM: Arrivals area at Toronto Pearson. It means I am home safe and sound.
PAX: What do you love about your job? The travel industry?
DM: Educating and enlightening travel professionals about how to think & sell differently. Be creative, suggest new experiences to your clients. Don’t sell out of your own pocket, or your own comfort zone. Any client who has life-changing experiences on a trip is a client for life.
PAX: What was the first vacation you ever took?
DM: London, Paris, Cannes and St. Tropez when I was 18. All my friends were backpacking, and I stayed at great hotel properties and even met a few celebrities along the way. A total VIP experience for the first time on the Continent!
PAX: What’s the biggest splurge you’ve ever made on a trip?
DM: Fine Champagne. From Champagne.
PAX: Most memorable food/meal you ever ate while travelling and where you ate it?
DM: Lunch at La Residencia in Mallorca. A friend and I were on Windstar Cruises, in port for the day. The hotel formerly was one of Richard Branson’s villas, and we were invited for lunch. The meal lasted over 4 hours! We came close to seeing our ship sail without us.
PAX: What’s your biggest travel pet peeve?
DM: When someone says ‘I want to pick your brain’, about a destination. How about we pay a travel professional a fee, and I work with them to help you?
PAX: What are your hidden talents?
DM: Ping pong. Killer.
PAX: When flying, window shade up or down?
DM: Up. Looking out into the wild blue yonder is a privilege.
PAX: What are should travel agents be aware of right now in regards to Eminence?
DM: Eminence represents only unique, premium travel brands suited to the Canadian marketplace. Explora offers incredible value for travellers and exceptional ease of booking and profitability to the travel professional. Explora is an all-inclusive lodge experience: from round trip airport transfers to all meals, open bar & premium coffees, all of the top-notch guided activities are part of the package price. Best of all, travel professionals are making a commission on the full package, not just the nightly room rate. Canadian travellers love all-inclusive, and travel professionals love a good commission!
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