The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many sink-or-swim moments. And Derek Winsor, a travel advisor based in St. John’s, N.L., is definitely a swimmer.
The owner and operator of E and B Travel Service, an affiliate of Travel Professionals International (TPI), has been “swimming” for several months now, you could say, after launching his very own travel talk show last year on social media.
As the show marks its one-year anniversary episode, which airs today (June 3), he’s now doing laps.
“At the beginning, the show was an avenue to provide clients and potentially new clients with updates on COVID-19 and how companies are preparing to welcome people back,” Winsor tells PAX. “However, over the year, it became more about inspiring people to dream about travelling again.”
“Derek’s Travel Chat,” which Winsor hosts and produces himself, is a valuable source for information about destinations and the world’s always-changing travel restrictions.
The livestream program began as pilot project but, over the course of 2020 and 2021, it evolved into a weekly format that airs live, on Thursdays, on a number of social media platforms.
To Winsor’s point, the show, at heart, is about keeping the travel dream alive.
“I wanted to provide people with as many options for destinations and get them to start dreaming about completing their bucket list,” he says. “It has become all of these things, and so much more for me, as an agent. I have been able to connect with so many suppliers and potential clients over this past year.”
Selling is not the main focus of his show (although Winsor hopes, in due time, that it leads to more business when the world starts moving again).
“I feel good about the future of travel now with more people being vaccinated,” he says.
40 episodes & counting
Since its launch, the show has recorded forty episodes, featuring expert guests from the cruise, tour operator and adventure tourism sectors, as well as reps from the Caribbean and Europe.
(Yours truly was a guest on the show last February).
Interviews generally cover the latest in health and safety protocols and what travellers can expect in their post-COVID travels.
Winsor admits the project has been a “big learning curve” in regards to learning new technology, but the travel advisor has clearly found his groove.
He never envisioned that the show would take on “a life of its own” and gain such a loyal audience, he says.
"The world is out there to explore and I am ready to go and take my clients on the vacation of a lifetime,” he says.
Derek’s Travel Chat airs live every Thursday at 1:30 p.m. EST (3:00 p.m. NST).
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