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Friday,  May 17, 2024 9:08 PM 

Monday Minute: Leo Sgovio of Markham Cruise & Travel Centre

  • Agency
  •   04-22-2024  7:13 am
  •   Pax Global Media

Monday Minute: Leo Sgovio of Markham Cruise & Travel Centre
Leo Sgovio of Markham Cruise & Travel Centre seen here in Norway, cruising the Norwegian fjords. (Supplied)
Pax Global Media

The Monday Minute is a weekly feature in PAX that highlights the movers, shakers, leaders and rule breakers in Canada's travel advisor community. Wanna be profiled? Wanna nominate someone? Email!

Name: Leo Sgovio

Business: Markham Cruise & Travel Centre

Where do you live? Stouffville, ON

How long have you been a travel advisor? Seven years.

What is your specialty?

We sell everything that has to do with travel, but mainly specialize in cruising and river cruises.

What inspired you to become a travel advisor?

I had and still have the love and passion to always travel and what better business to be in but the travel industry. I had been planning an annual golf trip for 15 years and it was seven years ago that I said if I can co-ordinate this, I think I can become a travel advisor. I had cousins in the industry, and knowing they would always be there to help me out was encouraging. A big thank you to the DeMarinis boys.

What’s the first trip you ever booked?

The very first trip I booked was an all-inclusive package to Barbados. After the guests came home, and I called to see how everything went, and they replied ‘excellent,’ I was impressed and extremely happy.

What travel trends are you seeing these days?

Today we are seeing more and more people wanting to travel to exotic places and they don’t care what the spend is to get there. As long as they enjoy themselves and have a life-changing experience. The most popular destinations are Italy, Europe in general and river cruising.

Of all the bookings you’ve made, which itinerary are you most proud of?

Designing and creating an FIT all over Italy, from Venice to Sicily. Once again, when the clients returned home and told me they had the time of their lives, I was the happiest advisor ever.

What’s the most memorable trip you ever took?

In Norway, cruising the Norwegian fjords. This by far was one of my favorite trips we took. Thankfully, this was all set up by our consortium Travelsavers. A very close second has to be our South Africa trip. Seeing a place I never imagined going to was absolutely breathtaking.

Where do you see your business one year from now?

Hopefully we can continue to grow our business to the point where I can do a bit more travelling. I have a passion for making people’s dreams come true and I honestly want to continue doing that.

What’s one new skill you’ve acquired recently?

I have had the honour of working with a team that has over 100 years of experience and every day I learn something new from them and even teach them something new. Collectively, we are always helping each other out.

What’s one thing you would change about the travel industry?

The obvious would be making more money by getting paid better commissions. Also, I'd like tour operators to direct guests to book with a travel advisor (as opposed to booking directly with them).

What’s the secret to being successful in this business?

I have been a business owner for 29 years and I ran my prior business the same way I run this business: be truthful, be respectful, and always be honest. 

What is your motto?

The motto of the office is “to make your dreams a reality.” My personal motto is: “If I wouldn’t go there, I will not send you there.”

What is your number one piece of advice to other travel advisors?

As I was once told, listen and soak everything in your mind. If we take one great idea for all our colleagues, we will become much better advisors.

Where are you travelling next?

Our annual golf trip with 11 other guys. We have been doing this for 15 years, and as a very good friend of mine told me on my first golf trip, “Leo, this trip is all about you.” Meaning: do what you want, say what you want, drink what you want, but most importantly enjoy life! Oh, and then back to Italy this summer.

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