This piece originally published in the Key Notes on Travel summer issue. In this special section, we take pause to recognize and profile the many dedicated professionals who work to support Canadian travel advisors every day. Selling travel involves wrangling a lot of moving pieces and we tip our hats to those who help bring it all together.
Inside sales team leader and adventure specialist
YEARS IN TRAVEL: 9
What sparked your interest in the travel industry?
I’ve been involved with the travel industry since I graduated with a Master of Public Policy and Administration. I wanted to celebrate the completion of my MPPA and travel was the perfect opportunity to expand my horizons. I taught English in Taiwan, which was a fantastic jumping-off point for travelling Asia and the South Pacific. I then found my way to Mexico where I spent two years working as a sales representative for a major hotel chain. I returned to Canada in 2011, knowing the travel industry was my path forward. I spent several years working as a travel agent before I joined the Adventure Canada team in 2013.
We hear you were once a competitive paddler; how do you bring that competitive nature to your job?
Always be open and accept new challenges, even if it’s out of your comfort zone. You will grow into a more dynamic person. My attention to detail helps me adapt to new concepts and strategies while continuing to provide quality service to our clients. What values and traits do you bring to your team? I’m very holistic. I am good at anticipating and adapting to the needs of the company. When I identify a problem, I come with a proposed solution. It’s important to maintain a positive tone towards resolution in order to disable the opportunity for negativity or problem-dwelling. I also have a can-do attitude and work hard to promote the corporate culture, service standards and financial needs of Adventure Canada.
Do you have a niche?
I specialize in expedition cruises. I have personally been a part of over 25 expeditions including The Northwest Passage, Greenland, Antarctica and the Falkland Islands – to name a few. The field I chose allows me to incorporate my passion for the natural world and appreciation for different cultures. In addition to my position in the office, I get to be a travel guide and Zodiac operator.
Where do you see the future of travel industry heading as a whole?
I’ve found an increasing number of travellers are looking for continued education, to thoroughly experience a destination, and to come away with a deeper understanding of that place. I am excited to work for a company that is leading the way in this type of travel.
Do you have a favourite Adventure Canada destination?
The Canadian Arctic! It’s the last great frontier and it’s never the same. It has gigantic icebergs, polar bears and the most welcoming people. The Canadian Arctic is the most beautiful and exciting place I have ever experienced.
We asked Adventure Canada, why Devon?
Devon has an ability to connect instantly with others. She will take the necessary time to identify the needs and goals of her partners and tailor the approach to provide the best possible outcome. She is creative, which helps immensely when designing custom marketing strategies, client nights and travel experiences. Devon is detail orientated, a team player and driven by results. She will do whatever it takes to make a project a success.