Biting Questions with Paula Ellis Hunt, Ixtapa Travel Winnipeg
Where were you born? In Ipswich, England. We came
here in 1970 when I was a toddler.
What was your 1st job? Working at
McDonalds. I no longer go there since I saw the documentary
How long have you been in the business? Since
1990 – almost 25 years!
How has the business changed since you got into it?
In so many ways. We've had to re-invent ourselves since consumers now do their
own research and a lot of what we used to book such as mass market travel
they're now booking online. Agents have to find a niche and become good
Do you have a specialty? Destination weddings
and luxury travel – I love doing those and have the experience to do them
If you could have any job in the business what would it
My dream is to retire so I can travel more! But I think as far as
this industry goes this is the perfect job because you can pick and choose what
What was your best FAM? To the Cook Islands.
Amazing, So beautiful and so far removed from everything. And so much fun.
What drives you crazy? Unrealistic
expectations. The more people know the more they expect. When you pay $500 for
a 5 star all inclusive and complain that the service was a little slow in a
restaurant? Drives me a bit batty.
What was your biggest individual sale? A trip
to Africa and Europe, about 6 weeks in all, for a retirement trip. About
What's the 1st thing you do when you get into
a hotel room?
Jump on the bed! (Laughs)
Do you have a magic sentence to close the sale?
“Shall we go ahead and confirm that?"
What's the weirdest question you've ever been asked? There
have been so many but… one lady had to know how much spinach would be available
at the resort in Mexico. I felt a bit silly asking but I found out!
Do you have any time management strategies? I'm
a list person. I always have a list of what has to be done on each file, both
online and on paper.
What do you do to keep your clients loyal? It
all comes down to good service. I care about them and they can sense
What's the best piece of advice you ever received? “Don't
judge someone else by your own wallet."
If you had to spend 6 months in a destination, which one
would you pick?
That's tough. Either the Amalfi Coast or New Zealand.
If you, or someone you know, who is a front line travel
agent in Canada would like to be featured in Biting Questions, please e-mail