The 'Monday Minute' is a weekly feature at PAX dedicated to highlighting the movers, shakers, leaders and rule-breakers in Canada's travel agent community. Wanna be profiled? Wanna nominate someone? Email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Name: Melanie Corey
Location: Fredericton, New Brunswick
How long have you been a travel agent: three years
What is your specialty? Cruises and all-inclusive vacations
What do you love most about being a travel agent?
I love the whole process of finding the right match to my client's wish list. I really enjoy looking after all the details for them so they can just go and enjoy themselves. When I hear how much I simplified their life and how I made their experience memorable for them, it feels very rewarding. I also love meeting and talking with other advisors, as they are a great source of information and support. We have a few laughs about the crazy things that can happen on any given day. This industry is full of surprises.
What's one travel trend you've noticed as of late?
More people are inquiring about river cruises than a few years ago. Travellers are hearing from their friends about what a relaxed and convenient way river cruising is to explore other parts of the world and how wow'd their friends were by the experience.
Over the years, how have you had to adapt to changes taking place in the industry?
Since I am new to the industry, I haven't had to adapt to any monumental changes more seasoned advisors have experienced. The biggest obstacle since I started has been competing with OTCs - getting the message out about our value as advisors can be challenging when everyone can book online themselves. It can be particularly discouraging when they do this after you've done all the research for them.
Of all the bookings you’ve made, which itinerary and/or travel package are you most proud of?
I have a retired couple that has been working their way through their bucket list. I've planned their visit to China to see the Great Wall and South Africa to experience a safari. I'm always excited to hear where they want to take their next adventure.
What's your number one piece of advice to other travel agents?
For new advisors joining the industry, I would say training. If you're not booking, or posting to your social media, then learn. This industry has so much free training available through webinars, online courses, and of course FAM opportunities. Knowledge gives you confidence in your selling. My host agency is great at offering annual training opportunities like Symposium at Sea. It's a great way to meet fellow advisors and receive training from suppliers, and it really gets you pumped about the many sales opportunities. A strong second is to get to know your BDMs. They really are your best friend in the industry. They want to help you succeed.
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