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After going to school for physiotherapy, Barry Davis discovered his true passion as a travel agent. A travel industry veteran since 1998, Davis has come a long from his first gig earning $15,000 per year. More than two decades later, his favourite part of the job remains exceeding clients’ expectations.
Barry has always been a great supporter of our brands and works tirelessly to provide the best service. Over the past two years Barry, like so many, has had to deal with a multitude of suspensions, re-bookings and changes. Throughout this, he has remained a true professional and continues to do what is best for his clients.
Tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been in the industry?
I started with the company in 1998… hard to believe that they’ve kept me around for this long. My starting salary was a whopping $15,000 per year and I spent my early days stamping brochures and tearing tickets as they came off the ticket printer (yes, well before electronic tickets were a thing). 24 years later and I’m still with the same company — albeit a few name changes along the way.
Why and how did you decide to become a travel advisor?
Believe it or not, I went to university to become a physiotherapist. I hated every minute of it and it wasn’t until my biology professor told me ‘this just isn’t for you’ that I realized it was time to quit and find something that I really loved to do. Several months later, one of my friends said to me: ‘my buddy’s wife is a travel agent and it seems like a really cool job’ and the rest is history.
What’s your favourite part of being a travel agent?
There are several parts of this job that I love, but if I had to pick one, it would be exceeding my clients expectations. There is nothing I love more than to have a client return from their vacation and tell me how perfect everything was and how blown away they were by all the extra amenities and surprises that were built into their trip.
What got you through the pandemic?
Honestly, I have no idea and in March of 2020, if someone had told me that this was going to last for two years, I’m not sure I would have stuck around. The thing I kept telling myself was that you’ve come too far to give up now and I just took one day at a time. I convinced myself that if I could last through the pandemic, I would be busier than ever (once it was behind us) and I’m thrilled to report that this is what is now happening. I am also very thankful for the help and support that our head office provided throughout the pandemic as that was instrumental in surviving all the obstacles and problems that COVID presented each and every day.
What trends are you noticing from the bookings you have?
People are spending. They are tired of sitting at home and it’s time to get out and start exploring again. Personally, I’m doing a lot of luxury cruises and high end FIT bookings with private guides, tours — mostly in Europe and a bit in Asia. Regardless of the inquiry we are getting, the one thing that remains constant is people are looking for nothing less than a 5-star experience after being locked down for the last couple of years.
What’s your biggest piece of advice for travel advisors right now?
Don’t give up. Sadly, this pandemic has decimated our industry and we have lost a lot of colleagues because of it. If you have managed to survive, congratulations and I hope you are starting to build your business back to what it was prior to COVID.
Can you share a special travel memory and what travel means to you?
My happy place is Tahiti and after the last couple of years, I can’t wait to get back to my overwater bungalow in Bora Bora. One of my favourite quotes is: It’s better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times and I cannot think of anything better than exploring new and different parts of the world.
What’s still on your travel must do list?
Antarctica is at the top of my list and when I finally get there, it’ll need to be onboard the Scenic Eclipse.
Do you have anything to add?
First of all, thank you so much for the nomination as it means a great deal to me. For those reading this that have just started out in our industry, yes, you have made the right decision in your career as it’s incredibly rewarding — and regardless of what everyone keeps telling you, there is actually a lot of money to be made as a travel advisor. For all you veterans out there, well done and keep ‘er going as it’s going take a lot more than COVID-19 to keep us down.
|Travel Agents, this May It's all about you!|
|Smaller corporate agencies and independents with corporate clients – listen up!|
|INCENTIVES | CONTESTS | WEBINARS | PODCASTS | EVENTS | JOBS|