Flemming Friisdahl, VP Sales at Thomas Cook Canada, which includes Sunquest, ALBATours, Holiday House, Network, Fun Sun and Intair.

How long have you been in the business? 21 years. I started delivering brochures with Alltours.  Then I worked for my parents’ company, Nordic Tours, in Egypt, Greece, Kenya and Denmark; then in sales.  Eventually, Nordic merged with Holiday House.

What’s the best part of the job? Getting out of the office, visiting with customers and attending conferences.

What did you want to be as a kid? A truck driver.

Friisdahl is an unusual name.  I was born in Denmark – where Flemming, by the way, is as common a name as Bob or Bill.

If you could have any job in the industry, what would it be? Mine.

Ever had a brush with fame? I used to drive limos, so I’ve met John Travolta, Lionel Ritchie, and a lot of other people I didn’t realize were famous!

Describe your dream vacation. A month in Tahiti, Bora Bora or Asia with my wife.

What skill or talent do you admire in someone? Honesty and integrity.

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done? Actually, we love scary rides and adventures like ziplining.

What do people not know about you? That I’m a real handyman and a gourmet chef!

What will be the biggest challenge for the industry in the next 12 months? Overcapacity and consumer confidence.

If you could sit next to anyone on a long haul flight who would it be? Obama.

What drives you crazy? People who whine about problems but don’t offer solutions.  Drives me batty.

If you could change one thing about the industry what would it be? The ability to convince consumers of the value of what they are getting.  That price matters but value is also important.

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