with Colton Chia, Director of Partnerships, TPI

Open Jaw

Where were you born? In Winnipeg, the home of Canada’s best hockey team!

How long have you been in the business? Since 2013 when I joined TPI as Sales and Supplier Coordinator.  Before that I was studying international business at university and running my own landscaping and property maintenance company.

How old were you when your dad got into the business? About six. We travelled a lot when I was little.  So many great memories!

How many people are there now at TPI head office?  We are almost 50, in offices across the country.

What’s the best part of the job? That’s an easy one!  Working with outstanding preferred partners and our wonderful head office team.   

What did you want to be as a kid?  A whale trainer at SeaWorld.

What was your first ever job? Making Pizza at a small Italian market in Winnipeg.  

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done? I’ve taken a lot of risks, like taking a term off university to travel Down Under.

Any guilty pleasures?   Ramen or any kind of hot noodle soup.

What’s your favourite airline?  I don’t have a favourite but I must say I like what Air Canada’s doing – they’ve changed a lot and gotten out of that unionized mentality. Their Sales Support team have been fantastic to work with.

Favourite hotel chain? Again, hard to pick but I must say I have a soft spot forShangri-la.  

What’s on your tablet?  Headspace, the meditation app and EatWith, an app that connects you to authentic food experiences with locals.

What do people not know about you? That I play the drums, for fun.

When are you happiest? I absolutely love to cook for family and friends, and also enjoy a good game of tennis.

What would you tell your 20-year old self? “Don’t be afraid to make a decision just because you don’t know what the outcome will be.”

Who do you most admire in the industry? Can’t answer that! But I will say I’ve met many people in the industry whom I admire and who have become friends.

What skill or talent do you admire in someone? People who can speak multiple languages.  I will learn Spanish one day!

What’s at the top of your bucket list?  I would have to say snowboarding in Japan and touring in Southeast Asia.

Ever had a brush with fame? I bumped into P.K. Subban the other day at the Shangri-la in Toronto. He mistook me for the bellman!  

What is your greatest extravagance?  Staying in luxury hotels.

How do you stay fit when you travel? I prefer to go for a walk or a bike ride as opposed to going to the gym.

If you could change one thing about the industry what would it be? Something that a lot of players in the industry are working on: we have to better employ technology so that travel advisors can use their time better and increase their revenue.

If you could sit next to anyone on a long-haul flight, who would it be?  (The late) Anthony Bourdain.

What kind of car do you drive?  I don’t have a car! I take Uber and public transit.  

Do you have a favourite charity? I’ve been very impressed by Sick Kids’ Hospital here in Toronto.

What will be the biggest challenge for the industry in the next 12 months?  Technology and where to focus your resources.  

What do you hope to be doing in 10 years? Sharing the excitement and joy of travel with my future kids!


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