with Julia Dywelski, Director of Sales & Marketing, German National Tourist Office Canada

Open Jaw

She wanted to be an astronaut – until fillings in her teeth made that impossible. Never mind, her country’s tourism office got the benefit.

Where were you born? In Paderborn, a small city in Germany.

How long have you been in the business? Six years in all including five years with a German language school which organized student travel and a similar organization that arranged student hosting with local families. I have been with the GNTO for a year now. 

How many people work for you?There are two of us in Canada.  

What’s the best part of the job? The diversity of what I do -- sales, marketing, PR and representing Germany in Canada.  

What did you want to be as a kid? An astronaut. Unfortunately that didn’t work out because my father told me that once you get fillings you cannot go into space.  Mind you I’ve never googled that!  

What was your first ever job? I had a newspaper and magazine route.

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done? Bungee jumping in New Zealand. Skydiving I love, but bungee jumping?  I got really, really nervous.

Any guilty pleasures? So many! Chocolate, German beer, German wine. I love the sparkling wine and Riesling.

What’s on your tablet? I am addicted to Spotify and they know my tastes, everything from German pop to country.

What do people not know about you? Usually I am an open book!

Any hobbies or interests? I love skiing. Before we could walk our Dad put us on skis. Also movies, restaurants, going for brunch.

What would you tell your 20-year-old self? “Suck it up and get into an engineering program.” But I was terrible at physics.

Who do you most admire in the industry? There are so many I admire in the Tourist Boards, especially the other European countries.  They are so passionate about their destinations.

What skill or talent do you admire in someone? I like when someone is direct. 

What’s at the top of your bucket list? Costa Rica. Or Patagonia. To be off the grid, without a phone.

Do you travel a lot? Not that much. I go to Germany a couple of times a year, and around Canada.

What is your greatest extravagance? I don’t do extravagance -- I spend my money on travel!

How do you stay fit when you travel?  Walking, swimming when I can, getting a good night’s sleep. 

If you could sit next to anyone on a long-haul flight, who would it be? German Chancellor Angela Merkle. I’d love to talk to her about everything, not just politics but how she became who she is. I so admire what she has done for the country. 

What kind of car do you drive? I don’t have a car -- I use public transit. 

Do you have a favourite charity? Anything to do with the environment. And dogs.

What will be the biggest challenge for the industry in the next 12 months? To see how the role of the travel agent will evolve.

What do you hope to be doing in 10 years? I think this job will still be a very good job in 10 years’ time.


Harry Schneider - June 5, 2019 @ 09:15
Willkommen in Kanada

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