Most people know Jerry Grymek as the friendly face behind the brand of Discover Dominica and The Florida Keys & Key West.
While he does represent both accounts here in Canada, he's actually the vice president of client services at LMA Communications, a boutique PR and digital agency, which also happens to have a pretty awesome llama logo.
It's a position he's held for the last 15 years.
"Travel and hospitality has always been in my blood—my mom even worked for a European resort and separately as a travel agent at one point so I can say it runs in the family," Jerry says. "Ever since I was in school, I always thought about how large and great the world is. I loved the idea of learning while you travel to expand my local world here with a great understanding. I love the motto 'Think Globally, Act Locally'."
These days, Jerry handles everything and anything on a number of key tourism accounts, including Dominica, The Florida Keys & Key West, Visit Philadelphia, CheapOair, and a variety of hotels across North America.
Here, PAX Checks In with Jerry to learn more about the seriously impressive meal he devoured in Nova Scotia, the sweet treat he can't fly without, and a random encounter in Dominica with someone he never thought he'd see again.
PAX: What are three essential items you always travel with?
Jerry Grymek (JG): Comic books, candy (either Twizzlers or Sour Kids), and resistance bands for working out on the road if the hotel doesn't have a gym.
PAX: What are some of your favourite vacation spots?
JG: Florida Keys (it has this amazing mix of Cuban and Caribbean influences - and the seafood is amazing!), Dominica, of course (the nature on the island is refreshing and rejuvenating), and New York (the best of the worst all at once; so much 'energy' within one crammed area).
PAX: What’s your favourite airport and why?
JG: I would say that the Dubai International Airport is quite amazing just for the sheer size and offerings. You can live there!
PAX: What do you love about your job?
JG: I love that no two days are alike - every day will involved something new! The travel industry? The variety of destinations for us to travel and immerse ourselves within different cultures, and of course - the food!
PAX: What was the first vacation you ever took?
JG: It was to Europe and specifically Poland. It was memorable for the difference in work/life balance.
PAX: What’s the biggest splurge you’ve ever made on a trip?
JG: It was actually on a camera. While in the Maldives, the destination was so beautiful that we had to get a proper camera to get the right shots.
PAX: What's the most memorable meal you've ever eaten while travelling?
JG: Eating 8 fresh lobsters in one sitting in Nova Scotia!
PAX: What’s your biggest travel pet peeve?
JG: Flights that get cancelled at the last minute (especially when you are at the airport).
PAX: What are your hidden talents?
JG: I have been known to be a very good and creative cook and also paint. Also, is eating a hidden talent? Because I can surprisingly eat a lot!
PAX: When flying, window shade up or down?
JG: Depending on the mood, but generally up so I can pretend I am flying through the clouds.
PAX: What's your funniest travel anecdote?
JG: This is a true story.
I was at a consumer trade show and spoke with one woman named Anna who talked about never being to Dominica. I talked about some of the best spots on the island, one of which is the Emerald Pool within the National Park. She mentioned that she was hoping to plan a future visit.
Two months later, I was leading a Canadian FAM trip to Dominica and one of our stops was the Emerald Pool. Someone stopped me and asked if I was Jerry from Toronto, to which I replied yes, and it turned out to be Anna! She decided to take a cruise with friends and had a day stop in Dominica. She remembered our talk about Emerald Pool and she decided to plan a visit. What are the odds that we would run into each at that exact time and exact place?
PAX: What are some things travel agents should be aware of right now in regards to Dominica?
JG: There are two things we're very excited about.
The Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) is delighted to re-launch its online training program with OTT, a leading online training and marketing platform for travel advisors worldwide. The program, found at: www.dominicaexpertscanada.com, gives travel partners an immersive view into this beautiful and multi-faceted island located in the middle of the Caribbean Archipelago: Dominica – The Nature Island of the Caribbean.
The engaging learning tool combines five key modules:
1) Discover Dominica: The island is a paradise for travellers seeking a unique escape off the beaten track, exploring the Caribbean beyond its renowned beaches.
2) Land Adventures for all: Dominica is one big outdoor gym and spa; with soft to extreme adventure activities as well as spa & wellness experiences!
3) Water Adventures for all: Great underwater experiences await you with world class diving and whale watching tours.
4) Where to Stay, Events & Cuisine: Experience different accommodation types, events and traditional unique village feasts; exotic local foods & rums.
5) Selling Dominica: ‘The Nature Island’ of the Caribbean – a destination which offers an abundance of activities and experiences that make Dominica a perfect holiday destination for many types of visitors.
Upon completion, travel professionals will become Dominica Specialists and receive a certificate of achievement and will then automatically be entered into a prize draw for a Dominica FAM Trip.
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