Biting Questions With Joanne Lundy, Director Canada, Discover the World

Open Jaw

Joanne with her son Chris after completing a recent half marathon

Where were you born?  In Victoria.

How long have you been in the business?  I hate to tell you… but my 1st job in the industry was in 1973!

How many people work for you? We have 14 here in Toronto. Discover the World actually has offices in over 60 countries around the world.

What’s the best part of the job?  I like the international diversity, repping airlines, hotels, car rental firms and touching the industry from so many angles.  

What did you want to be as a kid?  I’ve always been fascinated by travel and remember spending my high school geography classes planning trips. 

What was your 1 st ever job? Other than berry picking when I was 13? (laughs) I worked as an usher in a movie theatre in Victoria.

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done? For me, there’s 2 kinds of scary: financial - as when I made the leap to leave Canadian Airlines and go out on my own in ’93 and the physical - as in travelling overland to Afghanistan, Iran and Nepal when I was 18.

What’s your favourite airline? That’s a loaded question! (laughs) Can we skip that question?

Favourite hotel? Lewa Downs in Kenya. The cottages are absolutely breathtaking.

What do people not know about you?  I love to dance – tango, salsa, anything. It’s a great way to meet people when you travel. When I pack, the 1 st things I pack are my dance shoes.

When were you happiest?  So many happy moments… I’m very happy right now. To be healthy and do what you enjoy and have wonderful family and friends - that’s happiness.

What skill or talent do you admire in someone ? Creativity – I love to be around people who have a different take on things.

Is there anything you won’t eat? I don’t think I could eat insects.

What’s at the top of your bucket list? I’ve travelled a lot, but I’d like to visit New Zealand and Australia.

Ever had a brush with fame? A few, but probably the most thrilling, when I was a young girl, coming within a few feet of the Beatles. The screams were deafening! (Not just my screams... all the girls were screaming)

How do you spend your frequent flyer points? Travelling, definitely.

What is your greatest extravagance? Tango shoes. They are the most beautiful shoes, ever.

Who do you most admire in the industry? Bruce Poon Tip, for building his company, ethically.

How do you stay fit when you travel? I’m a runner.

If you could change one thing about the industry what would it be? People have to be so agile and versatile today, the booking channels and air pricing are changing so quickly. It’s about adapting, because I don’t think it’s changeable.

If you could sit next to anyone on a long-haul flight, who would it be? Douglas Coupland. He’s a writer who looks at things differently.

What kind of car do you drive? A Prius.

Do you have a favourite charity? Plan Canada.

What do you hope to be doing in 10 years? I hope to have a little more personal time and I hope in some sense to still be involved in the industry, perhaps on a part time basis. Retirement? I haven’t got time to make those plans yet!

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





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