Biting Questions With Lori Gold, The Travel Network

Open Jaw

What was your 1st job?  This is my 1st and only job – I started working here straight from University where I was studying sociology.  Believe it or not, I don’t find the sociology studies of any use in this job!

How long have you been in the business?  8 years.

Tell me about your 1st airplane ride.  I don’t remember – I was 6 weeks old and flew with my parents to Miami. You could say I got an early start!

How has the business changed since you got into it?  I’m seeing that some people are turning away from the internet and back to travel agents.  There are over 50 “five star” resorts in the Riviera Maya – only agents know which ones are truly 5 stars. Plus, of course, queries now come out on social media – “Where should I go for Christmas?” And I’ll message them and get the booking.

Do you have a specialty?  I wish I did and would love to get to that! I do a lot of honeymoons and destination weddings, as well as family travel, but I’ll do any leisure travel. It’s really hard to turn down business.

If you could have any job in the business what would it be? Probably this one. Or if not, being a hotel inspector.

What was your best FAM? Last April to Italy with Italian Dreams Incorporated. As it was the very beginning of the season, we got to stay in the most incredible hotels in Capri, for example. Amazing.

What drives you crazy? When people trust an online review like on Trip Advisor more than they trust me.

What was your biggest individual sale?  Just over $100,000, for a family going to Punta Cana for Christmas. I’ve had three $100,000-plus bookings.

What’s the 1st thing you do when you get into a hotel room? Plug in my devices! And take photos. Then check out the view.

Do you have a magic sentence to close the sale? I can’t think of one. Every situation is different.

What’s the weirdest question you’ve ever been asked? A client was travelling to a resort in Mexico and wanted to know if goats milk was available there.

Do you have any time management strategies?  No. I’m not good at that. But my colleagues and I are self-employed and we can work from whatever to whenever. I’m going away for the next 3 months to Hawaii, Miami and Mexico and will be working – I don’t take holidays and “disconnect”.  I do travel a lot and I have to be available to my clients. Making money on my vacation - what could be better?

How do you cope with jetlag?  I usually don’t go far! (Laughs) Typically my trips are closer to home and shorter.

What do you do to keep your clients loyal?  I try to provide something that other people don’t, such as tidbits of information. I also contact them while they are on holiday to make sure everything is going well and so I can solve any problems while they are there.They really appreciate the contact.

If you had to spend 6 months in a destination, which one would you pick?  Playa del Carmen, because I’ve been there 15 times in the past 6 years and it’s my happy place. It’s a tourist town with a simpler life and I love the weather, the people, the food, the culture. That’s the dream.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing? I used to want to be a flight attendant, but that’s because I wanted to travel. I have much greater opportunity to do that doing what I am now!

If you’d or someone you know who is a front line travel agent in Canada would like to be featured in Up Front, please email

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