Mel Stewart, Manager, Maritime Travel Burnside, Halifax

How long have you been in the business? 30 years – from when you called the airlines for reservations. I was very well paid back then and earned $23,000.

How has the business changed?  Two ways:  it has become a business. And back then, people were happy to wait two or three weeks for you to research a trip. 

If you could have any job in the business what would it be? The one I have. I love the company and I feel valued and financially rewarded.

What was your best fam? To Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

What drives you crazy? That you can’t speak to a human being at an airline if you have a problem. At Air Canada you’re not “allowed” to speak to anyone.

What was your biggest individual sale? A $57,000 round-the-world retirement trip.

Do you have any time management strategies?  I just prioritize by date of travel.

How do you cope with jetlag? I take No Jetlag pills even on short flights.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received? There are 2 things that will make you a successful manager: controlling your employment costs and your average rate of commission.

If you had to spend six months in a destination, which one would you pick? Budapest – I felt at home and found a peace and beauty there. Put it on your list!

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing? I would love to be an investigative reporter!

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