Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and DailyXtra.ca. Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.
As PAX previously reported, the Travel Edge Network (TEN) has launched a new ambassador program that puts luxury travel advisors at the forefront of industry activities.
The “Champions” program started out with an open call for applications. Travel advisors were then handpicked to join, pending they met certain criteria, such as having strong supplier relationships and showing potential to grow their business.
It’s an exclusive group, from both the United States and Canada, that will represent Travel Edge in various ways, from being invited to attend major industry events and trade shows to having opportunities to serve as resources for trade and consumer media.
READ MORE: Agents become brand ambassadors in Travel Edge's "Champions" program
Among the travel pros that applied to the program, two esteemed Canadians were invited to join – Ajay Karah (Plan A Travel Solutions) and Laura Kelly (Elsewhere by Laura).
PAX connected with both to learn more.
“Success to me is always a team effort"
“I’m most excited about this opportunity because it gives me a chance to learn new skills, while giving back by advocating for Travel Edge and the independent travel advisor,” Calgary, AB-based Ajay Karah of PLAN A travel solutions told PAX.
Karah specializes in customized luxury travel, LGBTQ+ experiences, as well as luxury trains, river and small ship expeditions.
He has extensive background with complicated airfares, cutting his teeth at Flight Centre (FC) and Corporate Traveller in Vancouver, where he is originally from.
His last role at FC was to spearhead an event management department, which led to the creation of their Intravel, Conference & Events [I.C.E] brand.
He also gained custom luxury travel planning experience at Civilized Adventures in Calgary.
While Karah has been in the biz for 23 years, he’s new to the independent side of the business “so making my name and business known as a trustworthy source for potential new luxury travel clients is an exciting aspect of this role,” he told PAX.
“Being a TEN Champion will also enable me to connect with operators and suppliers that can help us all achieve success,” he said. “Success to me is always a team effort.”
French River, ON-based Laura Kelly, of Elsewhere by Laura, specializes in honeymoons, celebration travel and authentic, experiential custom itineraries.
As one who lives and breathes travel, Kelly, who first worked in real-estate before becoming a travel advisor, applies her knowledge and first-hand expertise when designing travel experiences for her clients.
“Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you will make in your lifetime, and I consider an investment in travel just as important, because it is an investment in your time,” reads Kelly’s online bio. “This is time you can never get back, so it should be time well spent.”
Kelly applies this philosophy to every aspect of her life and the services she provides. She believes every trip is special and should be treated uniquely.
“I am excited for the opportunity to be recognized as a TEN champion, collaborating with my peers while representing our amazing team and deepening my connections within the industry,” Kelly told PAX.
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