Angela Piercey has been in the industry for 32 years! Piercey says the joy of helping passengers every day with their travel needs is what keeps her passionate about the travel industry decades later.
Angela has been an absolute champion for her clients, her colleagues and her supplier partners as we all navigated through the various and complex pandemic issues. Supporting her clients, determining alternative arrangements, or just simply taking the time to calmly communicate and collaboratively find solutions, Angela showed just how terrific travel advisors are when they are great at what they do.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been in the industry?
I have been in the industry for 32 years… eek. I am proud to say that I am in my 30th year with Travelworld. I live in the beautiful town of Collingwood where together with my husband, Don, we have raised two smart, beautiful, travel crazy daughters that work to travel (a little like their momma).
Why and how did you decide to become a travel advisor?
When I finished high school, my cousin talked me into enrolling at the Canadian Travel School in Mississauga to take a six-month travel agent course. I had not considered a career path at this point so I thought, why not? Growing up in a small town definitely made me want to see the world. My cousin never did work in the travel industry but I’m still here.
What’s your favourite part of being a travel agent?
The joy of helping passengers every day with their travel needs is what keeps me passionate about the travel industry. Whether passengers are fulfilling their dream vacation, planning a once in lifetime family reunion, travelling for work, going on a compassionate trip or leaving for a romantic honeymoon, exceeding their expectations is what I enjoy. Being the first step to helping someone navigate a new adventure will never get old. I love to be needed, and service is in my blood.
What’s a key thing you learned during the pandemic?
Oh boy, this is an easy one. Not to take loyal clients, supplier partnership/friendships, coworkers, or the sheer privilege of travelling for granted.
What will be your first post-pandemic trip and why?
We missed out on renewing our vows on the beach for our 25th wedding anniversary. My family all have vouchers burning holes in their pockets. So, with that being said, it will be a family reunion/ all-inclusive vacation to a luxury resort to wear a white dress on the beach, with sand in my toes and the sun kissing my cheeks.
Do you believe more people will use travel advisors after COVID-19?
100 percent. With all of the government rules, safety precautions and restrictions, not to mention changing schedules, and terms and conditions of the travel suppliers, the public will need us to navigate through these cumbersome processes, in a quick and efficient manner so they can get on with the business of travelling, worry free.
How have you changed the way you work since the pandemic hit?
We value our partnerships with all of our suppliers, all have been good partners; however, some have been exceptional throughout these trying times. Paying commissions on unused travel, waiving fees and supporting us by going above and beyond with client disputes have really shown us that we are valued, respected and most importantly, heard.
Professional fees have had a long-standing presence in our agency, and will continue.
The pandemic has shown airlines, wholesalers, travel suppliers, the government and the general travelling public, that we are invaluable and yes, we are worth every penny earned.
How have you adjusted your business strategy over the past year?
I would say by staying visible to our loyal clients, as well as potential new clientele. We have done this in several ways. We started a monthly newsletter, reached out personally with phone calls to check-in, began weekly consumer virtual travel presentations, and stayed open for business as much as we could. We also keep our social media updated and encourage engagement. The goal is to keep Travelworld relevant and forefront in our clients’ minds so that when it is safe to travel, they will know we are here, prepared, updated, and ready to get them going on those long-awaited vacations.
Do you have anything to add?
Just a big grateful thank you for being chosen to participate in this article. It is a privilege to be part of this industry for as long as I have. I value every aspect of it and will never again take it for granted.