AMResorts’ Carlo Trinidad is no stranger to the travel industry.
Originally from Manila, where his mother owned a travel agency, Trinidad told PAX that while he initially sought to pursue an entirely different career path, the world of travel provided a great option.
“When we moved from the Philippines to Vancouver in 1981, my dad volunteered my time to help out at my Aunt’s Filipino bakery/restaurant,” Trinidad recalled. “I’ve always loved cooking, so I decided to enrol in our high school cooking program and continue in this field with post-secondary education and certification. During these years, I discovered dance and soon realized that this is my first passion in life. I enrolled myself in dance school at the age of 17 and after a few years branched out to musical theatre.
“Even though travel wasn’t my first passion in life,” he continued, “as a youngster, my mother owned a travel agency in Manila. So, 30 years ago, when my parents told me to ‘get a real job,’ I decided to follow my mom’s footsteps and get into the travel industry…and am I ever glad I did!"
Joining AMResorts in 2013, Vancouver-based Trinidad is currently the company’s Western Canada BDM, a role in which he makes British Columbia and Alberta travel agents his “number one priority.
“I’ve always maintained that I exist in my role because of travel agents,” he said. “My day-to-day includes agency visits, trainings, webinars in order to mutually grow the business for our brands and resorts. A big part of my day is answering phone calls and emails from travel agents. I have pride in my work ethic and have built the trust with the travel agent community.”
This week, PAX checks In with Trinidad on family trips spanning two continents, a memorable home-cooked meal in Greece and connecting with fellow air passengers over Marley & Me.
PAX: What are three essential items you always travel with?
Carlo Trinidad (CT): Because I work for a company with a huge presence in the best sun/beach destinations, I am blessed to travel a fair bit to Mexico and the Caribbean; therefore, sunblock (SPF 50 or higher) is a must! I also can’t go without my hair products and mobile phone.
PAX: What are some of your favourite vacation spots?
CT: Being in this industry, we are fortunate to visit many beautiful spots in the world. I love Europe but my faves are:
Beautiful British Columbia! From Vancouver Island to the Rockies, there’s so much to see and do. Plus, supporting local economy is very important to me. I have yet to discover the Queen Charlottes and the northern coast.
Cancun, Mexico: it’s so accessible from Vancouver with year-round flights. There’s so much to see and do; from the white sand and the stunning views of the turquoise Caribbean sea to authentic Mayan towns and villages in the Yucatan peninsula.
The Philippines: With more than 7,000 islands, there are many beach destinations to choose from! Each time we go back, we always spend a few days at a new island destination we’ve never seen, but spend most of our time in Manila. Every time I return to visit, it takes me back to my roots and I love visiting my family and friends back home.
PAX: What’s your favourite airport and why?
CT: For as much as I travel, YVR has to be the best airport in the world! It’s a beautiful and efficient airport and I love the views departing from and arriving at YVR!
PAX: What do you love about your job? The travel industry?
CT: This is an industry which never has a dull moment and always keeps us on our toes. From one season to the next, we must keep up with the ever-changing trends, competition and market conditions. I love that I am able to relay my experience and expertise to the travel agents to correctly sell our many resorts to the right guests.
PAX: What was the first vacation you ever took?
CT: As a youngster in Manila, weekend visits to Hong Kong were frequent, being that it’s just a short flight away. But my first memorable family vacation was a big trip where our parents took us to Taipei, Tokyo (where we rode the bullet train), then to Hawaii and the continental U.S. I remember that when we got to Waikiki, we drove around for what seemed like hours because my parents didn’t book a hotel (and my Mom owned a travel agency!). When we got to the mainland U.S., we visited many major cities - it was my first visit to Disneyland! - while we drove cross-country (my Dad loved long driving) from California to New York and back. Talk about memorable!
PAX: What’s the biggest splurge you’ve ever made on a trip?
CT: Because our personal time is so precious, my partner and I cherish our travel moments together. Instead of splurging on material things, we would rather splurge on the experience itself. On my 50th birthday three years ago, I wanted to be on a river cruise on my special day and that’s exactly what we did. My partner recently turned 50 and we went to Greece this past July to celebrate his special day. We splurged and treated ourselves and stayed at luxury resorts in rooms with private pools.
PAX: Most memorable food/meal you ever ate while travelling and where you ate it?
CT: On our recent trip to Greece, one of the front desk agents at our hotel in Mykonos told us that dining at restaurants in Crete really showcases Cretan hospitality. The evening we arrived Crete, we stopped at a local roadside restaurant on the way to our hotel in Elounda. It was a small restaurant where Dad greeted us with the biggest hug, Mom was cooking in the open kitchen and their son served us. It was as if we were a long lost family reunited. The food was simple but absolutely spectacular: fresh and authentic! After our meal, Dad sat down with us, brought out his pride concoctions of various home-made raki and we had small shots with the family. With great food and great people, we got to experience Cretan hospitality at its best!
PAX: What’s your biggest travel pet peeve?
CT: People who do not respect others while traveling, whether on a plane or in a hotel.
PAX: What are your hidden talents?
CT: Given a chance, I would like to go back to theatre where I can live my artistic side. And I’m also a great cook!
PAX: When flying, window shade up or down?
CT: If I’m flying to or from a picturesque destination, shade up. If I need a nap, the window shade remains up for the people in my row, but eye shade goes down.
PAX: What's your funniest travel anecdote?
CT: Going back over ten years ago, I was on a flight and wanted to watch the movie Marley & Me, as I’m a dog daddy and animal lover. As I started to watch the movie (I had seen it before), it just dawned on me that I don’t want to be seen blubbering in public – if you’ve seen the movie, you know what scene I’m talking about – so I decided to take a nap while the movie kept playing with a low volume. Wouldn’t you know it, I woke up at that scene! It didn’t take much: the tears just started coming down while I was trying to be discreet about it. The guy next to me handed me an airline napkin and I realized that he was watching the same movie – and also crying like me! We had a good laugh about it.
PAX: What are should travel agents be aware of right now in regards to AMResorts?
CT: AMResorts is among the fastest growing luxury all-inclusive resort chains in the industry today, with seven brands and 60+ resorts and a heavy focus on travel agent support. We reward that support with our travel agent loyalty program, AMRewards, via booking registrations on our agent portal amragents.com.
AMResorts is known to have the best rates when booked in advance. We don’t dabble in the last-minute discount game, assuring agents that most of the time, they will not be faced with price drops, maintaining their high revenues and commissions. We are not a mass-market all-inclusive company, either; we are small- to medium-sized resorts focused on attention to detail, quality, and guest experience, which also makes us a great choice for destination weddings, MICE, and family groups. Now that the cold and rainy/snowy days are right around the corner (some of us are already living it!), it’s the right time to book your valued guests to an AMResorts “welcome home” vacation experience!
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