with Lynn Bolsby, Lvisss Travel (TPI), Oakville ON

Open Jaw

Where were you born? In Toronto, and I now live in Oakville.

What was your first job? Lifeguard and swim instructor in an apartment building in Etobicoke. I did that part time until I was 38.

How long have you been in the business? I started in 1992, working for Regent Holidays as a res agent, then at Northwest Airlines where I did pretty much everything at the airport – baggage, counter, cargo. It was great!

Tell me about your first airplane ride. In high school, we took a small plane down over Niagara Falls and the Niagara Escarpment. The view was cool but I’m afraid to say I lost my lunch!

How has the business changed since you got into it? Speed. The change is so fast now because of the technology.  You had to call into Regent to make a reservation and now there are so many choices. And it’s not necessarily better: everyone wants everything now.

Do you have a specialty? Cuba for sure, with my sixteenth trip last month. And scuba.  I’m into sharks and adventure diving. Plus, I’m determined to start offering Elvis-themed tours.

You’re a big fan? Fanatic, so my friends tell me. I’ve liked him since I was a kid, he was gorgeous, talented and generous with his fans. The only room some Elvis memorabilia is not in at my house is my bathroom. He’s even painted on the tank of my motorcycle! Everything in my life is Elvis. 

If you could have any job in the business what would it be? I like what I’m doing but think I’d like to do something that’s more involved with marine travel, connecting people to the oceans.

What was your best fam? That’s a tough one…China with Scenic or Romania with Skyway. I’ve never seen so many ruins!

What drives you crazy? That speed of everyone wanting everything now and people saying they booked it online “Because I didn’t want to disturb you.”

What’s the first thing you do when you get into a hotel room? Check out the view.

 Do you have a magic sentence to close the sale? “Prices change like they do at the fuel pumps, so I can’t guarantee this price will stay the same.  Let’s book it today while we are talking about it.”

 Do you have any time management strategies? “Don’t procrastinate.  Do it now.”

What do you do to keep your clients loyal? I send postcards when they come home, handwrite Christmas cards so they know it comes from the heart. And I have a referral program with a $25 gift card and groups is $100.  

If you had to spend six months in a destination, which one would you pick? Cuba. The people have made me a better person. Plus, I can dive and have mojitos!  

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing? Well, my part-time job is in the film industry, as location support personnel – a liaison between the production crew and the public. So it would probably be in the film business.

If you or someone you know who is a frontline travel agent in Canada and would like to be featured in Biting Questions, please contact us.

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