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: Joseph Kemp (Joe)
Business: Kemp World Travel with TravelOnly
Where do you live: From Oakville, ON, currently resides in Sault Ste Marie, ON
How long have you been a travel agent? 15 years
What is your specialty? Family Travel, Adult Luxury, Wedding & Groups, International Travel, Adventure Travel, Cruise, LGBTQ
What has the COVID-19 pandemic taught you about yourself and the travel industry?
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught me many things but the biggest would likely be patience and keeping a positive attitude. For those of us in the travel industry, we certainly have been hit very hard during this time keeping positive and hopeful for the future is huge. Admittedly, some days are harder than others but over all an upbeat positive attitude has helped.
What has been your biggest challenge during the pandemic?
Personally, the biggest challenge was when everything shut down and having to deal with the fall out of large group and wedding cancellations while maintaining the confidence of our clients and being hopeful throughout the entire process.
What challenges lie ahead as the travel economy gradually re-opens?
Regenerating the confidence of our clients to book and travel again. It has helped being able to personally get to Mexico this July and I will be travelling back to Mexico again late August. Being able to have first hand experience is key to building confidence.
What is one good thing that has come out of this situation?
It has given me a jolt of passion for travel again. Personally not being able to travel was difficult. The situation has made me want to see more of the world and have more first-hand experiences. The time has also, allowed me to par take in many courses and learning events online.
What does the travel industry need to do restore consumer confidence?
100 per cent getting agents to a variety of different locations around the world to experience first hand what changes are in place. These first hand experiences by agents to report back to clients with confidence is incredibly necessary to restore confidence.
What other travel trends do you think may emerge from this situation?
With the pandemic I believe airlines, resorts, hotels etc. will have to step up their game. Providing exceptional service, prices, and great experiences to get people back travelling at the rate they were prior to the pandemic. Also believe Travellers now will be less carefree and more careful.
What advice do you have for travel advisors who are struggling during this tough time?
It is an extremely difficult time for all of us in the travel industry, my advice to those struggling is to try to remain positive and hopeful. Also use the time to educate yourself and learn as much as possible.
When border restrictions are lifted and the risk is low, where are you travelling first?
Well I have been to Mexico (July 2020) and the experience was great. I will be going again at the end of August. However when the risk is lower I would like to travel to Europe.
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