#PeopleofCanary Joel from Expedia Cruises
When did you start Expedia Cruises in Canary District?
We started Expedia cruises in Canary District in August of 2017. So far, it has been going very well. Of course, there was the pandemic. But right now, we’re seeing some good things happening, and we’re very excited.
Why did you choose Canary District?
The reason we choose the canary district is because of the proximity to downtown, and because of the potential for growth due to the future development in the neighborhood. It was the up and coming area within Toronto, a destination that people would want to visit. We thought that that would be fantastic for a growing business, especially a travel business, to be right in the center of this area.
The neighborhood is vibrant; it’s diverse and growing. It’s got services that are coming up and it is quite busy. As a destination, Canary District is just fantastic. We get to engage with people from all parts of the world, right here. And it’s great just talking to people and sharing and hearing their perspective on the on the neighborhood as well.
What was your motivation to start this business?
The key thing is that my wife and I love to travel. We’ve traveled to the Caribbean, we love Europe, we’ve done a lot of cruises in the West Coast. We find that we can bring a smile to people’s faces as we put things together and show them the art of possibilities for their trip. That really made us feel good, and we just love seeing people get excited about what we can provide for them. Our passion is to help people have the best, most stress-free vacation and that is what is driving this business.
As our name implies, it is Expedia cruises, air, land and sea vacation. So, we started with cruises and we have progressed to become an expert at cruise planning. But also over that time, we have also branched out and now we do so many different things, from safaris, to resorts and luxury vacations. We also specialize in custom vacations, if people come in with requests of partly cruise and partly land, we can fit that together for them.
What does your regular day at work look like?
Pretty standard. We come in with coffee in hand, the doors open 11 o’clock and we set up. The phone rings, we take calls, we follow up with people that left messages, and we book travel plans based on their requirements. We put some suggestions out there and people love that. People sometimes have ideas about where they want to go but aren’t exactly sure. And that is where our knowledge and expertise come into the picture. We are creative problem solvers, and we put things together to create the best experience possible for our clients.
What is the thing you love the most about Expedia?
Expedia is a ‘Shop once and have it all’ experience. It’s the one place that you can come and get every single travel need that you have addressed. We are passionate about what we do, we really love planning spectacular vacations.
Do people still have reservations about COVID? Are there any changes to travel requests post pandemic?
We do have that as a question from some of our clients. I’ve traveled seven or eight times this year, and the key thing is whether or not you’re vaccinated.
Post COVID, we are noticing that people are planning longer and more experiential vacations. People have been stuck at home for two years and they want to get out and see the world. I would say right now we are we’re probably 50-50 on cruises and resort destinations, but theres a higher interest in the experiences that accompany these choices.
What’s the best way for customers to reach out to Expedia?
We’re seeing people walking in more now than prior to Covid. Phone calls always keep coming in, and of course, there’s some people who are not able to finish their transaction online and they call us to help them finish that. It’s always nice when people walk in, we like to have that face to face interaction. It’s easier to get to know them, the conversation is easier, and it makes it easy for us to suggest the best deals for them as well.
Are there any seasons for best travel deals?
People travel year-round, but the best time to book is what they call Wave season. That starts in the middle of December and goes all the way to March. That’s the period to get some of the best deals in terms of cruise planning.
Thanks so much Joel for sitting down with us and stay tuned for more #peopleofcanary!