Biting Questions with Carmen Magro, Klondike Travel Flight Centre Associates, Whitehorse
Where were you born? In a hospital! (laughs)
Actually in Cranbook in the beautiful Rockies. I've lived in Whitehorse for 11
years, coming here for employment, family and the beauty of the country.
How big is Whitehorse? There are 27,000 people and 6
travel agencies! So it's a competitive market here but 2/3 of our population
are employed by government so they have the time and the money, including a
travel bonus for working north of 60... plus a desire to get out of town.
How long have you been in the business? Part
time since 1998 and full time starting 5 years ago. My husband founded the
How do people react when they hear you live in
Whitehorse? “Why do you live there?" “How cold is it?" “Do you have polar
bears and penguins?" Funny, because penguins exist only in the south polar
Do you have a specialty? In our agency we have
wedding/luxury, corporate, adventure and custom groups and conferences
specialists. You have to be diverse in such a competitive market. We are 3 full
time and 2 part time staffers.
What was your best FAM? A med cruise with my
Dad – he's Italian background and when we disembarked in Naples there was only
1 taxi left. But the fellow managed to find the home of some of Dad's relatives
and we had an amazing time with them. We're still in touch with them – and
with the taxi driver!
What travel trends do you see from the Yukon? A
lot of adventure seekers. South America is popular, Europe, U.K.,
What drives you crazy? People who say all they want
is “Cheap and hot".
What was your biggest individual sale? $35,000
for a couple on a European river cruise with business class flights.
What's the 1st thing you do when you get into
a hotel room? Take pictures and check out the bathroom.
Do you have a magic sentence to close the sale?
“How would you like to pay for that?"
Do you have any time management strategies? I'm
learning! I think my biggest helpful strategy is concentrating and blocking
time, such as saying, “On Friday between 10 and noon I'm going to work on that conference."
I'm learning to turn my e-mail off for a couple of hours - but it's hard.
How do you cope with jetlag? Business class (laughs).
And taking care of myself.
What do you do to keep your clients loyal? Really
good communication, always offering something new they probably can't book on
line. Something different. Anyone can go on line and find “hot and cheap".
What's the best piece of advice you ever received? Listen
to your client and don't sell them something you would like. They might
not appear to be a luxury client but they might be one nevertheless and you
have to listen to them to find that out.
If you had to spend 6 months in a destination, which one
would you pick? A round the world cruise - without a doubt.
If you weren't doing this, what would you be doing?
Some kind of inbound tourism development. The potential is amazing.
If you or someone you know who is a front line travel
agent in Canada would like to be featured in our Biting Questions series,
please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org