We hope we make it look easy, but there really is a lot of work that goes into each and every tour. Our Target Tours team Justin MacPhee and Laura MacEwen are in charge of making sure both you and the Tour Director have everything needed to ensure the best trip possible. Take a look behind the scenes with Justin & Laura in our latest blog!
What led you to choose to work in the travel industry?
Justin – I believe that the travel industry chose me. After working in the retail industry for a number of years and completing my degree in Business Administration the travel industry wasn’t on my radar. This changed when I travelled with Target Tours on a concert tour to Bangor, Maine. This was the first time I thought about a career in travel. The next summer Target Tours had a position open and the rest is history!
Laura – I wish I had more of a glamorous story, but it’s pretty simple. I grew up minutes from Greenwich National Park in PEI so I was aware of the tourism industry from a young age. As soon as summer rolled around each year, traffic on the road would increase significantly and you knew everybody was heading to the park. My family took our first big family vacation to Florida when I was in grade 10 and I knew then that I wanted to be involved in this fun industry somehow.
What is your favourite task that you do in your position?
J – My favourite task as a tour planner is researching new tour ideas. We really value feedback and suggestions from our clients and take all their tour suggestions into consideration. It is a lot of fun to take these ideas and turn them into a reality. While we have our standard tours like New York City we are constantly adding new ideas or improving past itineraries. This can be challenging at times, but it is very rewarding when you hear stories about how we were able to make someone’s dreams come true.
L – I would have to say going through the booking process with each client. There’s a lot of excitement when your booking a tour, and I love being a part of that.
What piece of advice would you give anyone thinking about booking a Target Tours trip?
J – The advice I would give would be to contact us early. Our office team is second-to-none and are always willing to answer any questions you may have. It is important to get the booking process started early so that you can ensure you have a spot on the tour you want and to take advantage of any current or potential future promotions we may have (learn more about this guarantee by clicking HERE).
L – Know that you are going to have so much fun and meet so many new friends – so don’t be shy! One of my favourite things about this job is hearing about clients that get chatting on our tours and become the best of friends. Many still remain in contact after a tour is over, and schedule visits with one another as well.
What do you think is the most common misconception about group travel?
J – I think the most common misconception would be that you have no time to yourself. This is definitely not the case. With many of our itineraries we try to find a good balance between group activities and free time to explore destinations on your own. We understand that everyone is different and may want to spend their time differently. This is your vacation so we want you to be able to make the most out of it and do what you want to do.
L – I agree! I think the biggest misconception is that you have to spend all of your time with the group. The great thing about our tours is that there is a fair amount of free time on most of our tours. This is great as it allows for you to meet and spend time with your new travelling companions, but time is also given to do your own thing if you wish.
Where do you think the group travel industry is going?
J – I think the group travel industry is beginning to see a change. In the past many thought that group travel was only for a certain type of traveller and that it wasn’t for them. I think more people are starting to see it for what it is – a relaxing and convenient way to see the world with like-minded people.
L- I think that the group travel industry is growing. I believe that many folks used to be hesitant about group travel, in fear that they could book the same trip on their own for a cheaper cost. By travelling this way, you are simply booking a tour, then sitting back and relaxing! Everything is taken care of for you, which lifts a lot of stress for clients. As more and more people have busier lifestyles these days, I believe that people will continue to take advantage of the stress-free way to travel.
What surprised you the most about working with Target Tours?
J – What surprised me most was the amount of detail that is put into a tour from start to finish. Our team works hard to try to ensure even the smallest of details are thought of so that when you are on one of our tours can you can relax and actually enjoy your vacation stress free.
L – How incredible our clients are! It is amazing how well we get to know a lot of our clients. Many of our repeat clients end up treating us like family, and I hope they feel that we treat them like family in return. I mean how many clients drop off freshly baked cookies when they come to book a tour?!