Biting Questions with Connie Day, Muskoka Travel, Bracebridge

Open Jaw

You were born in Bermuda – when did you come to Canada? In 1980 – I needed a change. My children were young and I had a brother in Canada and decided it would be an opportunity. I had worked for Air Canada in Bermuda so knew the country and opened a travel agency in Smokey Lake, outside Edmonton, near my brother.

What was your 1st job? When I was a teenager, after school I worked for a company called Pearman Watlington in Bermuda in the accounting office.

How long have you been in the business? In 1970 I started working with Pan Am in Bermuda. I was with them for 2 years - hat, gloves and all.

Tell me about your 1st airplane ride. It was to Boston on Pan Am 707 when it was all china and linens.

How has the business changed since you got into it? On the airline side, I think the quality of the experience has diminished, absolutely. It used to be very special.

Do you have a specialty? International travel & group travel.

If you could have any job in the business what would it be? Doing what I'm doing now - group travel.

What was your best FAM? To Australia and New Zealand. I liked them both – but fell in love with New Zealand.

What drives you crazy? Not having everything tied up perfectly. It has to be absolutely right for my clients.

What was your biggest individual sale? An African trip for a family - about $10,000 per person.

What's the 1st thing you do when you get into a hotel room? I check to make sure that it's clean.

Do you have a magic sentence to close the sale? “I know that this holiday will be memorable." Every single sale, I want to make memories for them.

What's the weirdest question you've ever been asked? “Will we be taking the coach to the Bahamas?" (sighs and laughs)

How do you cope with jetlag? I get to sleep fast and when I get home I give myself a day to get over it. And drink lots of water.

What do you do to keep your clients loyal? I'm always honest with them and give them the best price possible. We have our own airport transfer service which they love. And we know that the little touches make a huge difference.

What's the best piece of advice you ever received? “Always be true to yourself."

If you had to spend 6 months in a destination, which one would you pick? Bermuda!

If you weren't doing this, what would you be doing? Farming. I already have a hobby farm and it's a great way to relax. I love my horses and my sheep. Or I'd be a professional house sitter.

If you, or someone you know who is a front line travel agent in Canada, would like to be featured in our Biting Questions, please e-mail martha@openjaw.com





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