with Larissa Newell of Maritime Travel in Charlottetown

Open Jaw

Larissa Newell

Where were you born? In Digby, N.S. I’ve lived in PEI for so long that I consider myself an islander – but islanders will always consider me from away!

What was your first job? I worked in my mum’s restaurant in Sandy Cove, N.S. I loved it – I was just a kid and it was so much fun talking to the tourists.   We had an ice cream bar so I got to eat a lot of ice cream!

How long have you been in the business? 11 years – I studied Travel and Tourism at Holland College here on the island.

Do you remember your first airplane ride? I do! With the tourism and travel program you do a trip at the end of the two-year program and that was my first flight and my first cruise and my first time out of the country. I was happy to be travelling with a group of people!

How has the business changed since you got into it?  It’s getting harder. People like to book online but later realize they can have problems and then they come back to us. It’s getting harder to get business.

Do you have a specialty? I did corporate for nine years but have to say I love leisure travel, that people get excited about travel. Plus, the travel benefits are better when you are leisure!

If you could have any job in the business what would it be? What I’m doing -- I really enjoy it.

What was your best fam? I loved Greece, it was my childhood dream to go to there. We saw so much of the country. I’d like to go back and see Santorini which unfortunately we missed.

What drives you crazy? Lots of things!  (laughs) Hold times with airlines are probably my least favourite. And clients who come in and ask you to look up stuff and don’t come back.

What’s the first thing you do when you get into a hotel room? Take a picture. Then post it on Facebook.

 Do you have any time management strategies? I like to do something from start to finish so nothing gets missed or forgotten.

What do you do to keep your clients loyal? I like to get personal with them, I send welcome home postcards for example – little personal touches.  

If you had to spend six months in a destination, which one would you pick? Europe – backpacking and travelling by train. Once you get there it’s so easy to get around.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing? I can’t imagine not doing this. Though back in high school I wanted to work on a cruise ship, so perhaps that would be it!

If you or someone you know is a front-line travel agent in Canada would like to be featured in Biting Questions, please contact us.

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