Christine James of Vacation.com

What is your title? Country manager – I head up the Canadian division which now numbers 460 agencies. I’ve been with Vacation.com for 10 years now, and have BDMs for western and eastern Canada, plus we have our head office in Alexandria, Virginia.

What’s the best part of the job? For me, marketing and supplier relations.

What’s your favourite airline? Domestically WestJet, internationally Singapore or Air New Zealand.

Whom do you most respect in the industry? Top of my list is definitely Michelle Desreux, President, Uniglobe West. She’s a great role model for women in this industry –  a smart business women who knows treats everyone with respect.

What will be the biggest challenge for the industry in the next 12 months? Survival. Our members who are pro-active will succeed.

If you could change one thing about the industry what would it be? The mindset of the retailers:  people who are unwilling to change to the new realities of the business.

What’s your biggest extravagance? Clothes – and trips to the spa!

Describe your dream vacation. Definitely Tahiti.

If you weren’t doing this what would you be doing?  I’d love to have my own version of the TV show What Not To Wear.  Some of my friends use me as their personal fashion consultant!

What are you really bad at? Skiing! At Winterboob I do the spa thing.

Do you have any hobbies or interests? I’ve been scrapbooking for over 30 years and have one from each trip.

Who’s the smartest person you know? My sister is a doctor and director of education at four teaching hospitals in Toronto – and she has three kids!

When were you most afraid? When I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer.  Everyone in the industry rallied to my side and Vacation.com was great – I worked as much as I could through my chemo and radiation and found the focus of work was a tremendous help.  I just went for my six month check-up and all’s well, so “fingers crossed”.

What do you hope to be doing in 10 years? I hope to be semi-retired – I’d go crazy if I weren’t at least consulting in the travel industry.

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