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Friday,  May 17, 2024 9:41 PM 

Monday Minute: Patti Hewitt of BST Vacations/Blowes and Stewart Travel Group

  • Agency
  •   05-06-2024  9:49 am
  •   Pax Global Media

Monday Minute: Patti Hewitt of BST Vacations/Blowes and Stewart Travel Group
Patti Hewitt of BST Vacations/Blowes and Stewart Travel Group, seen here on the Chobe River while onboard the Zambezi Queen. (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: Patti Hewitt

Business: BST Vacations/Blowes and Stewart Travel Group

Where do you live? Peterborough, ON

How long have you been a travel advisor?

For 37 years. My first job in the travel business was with Globus Gateway in 1986. After two years there, I transitioned into retail travel and have been a travel agent for 37 years (33 of those years with BST Vacations/Blowes & Stewart Travel).

What is your specialty?

I am confident selling all destinations because I’ve been to all seven continents. I specialize in putting together, selling and escorting customized groups.

What inspired you to become a travel advisor?

I was lucky enough to start travelling at a young age and realized that I loved exploring new places and meeting new people. I knew that the travel industry was where I wanted to be, so I signed up for a three-year travel and tourism course at Fleming College.

What’s the first trip you ever took?

Florida, as a child.

What travel trends are you seeing these days?

Clients are booking a lot earlier these days and they are spending more money for an elevated experience. Upgraded airlines seats are very popular and selling out early.

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

My customized African group itinerary. I spent four nights in Capetown with local tours, four nights at Buffalo Camp in Kapama, three nights on the Zambezi Queen on the Chobe river and two nights in Victoria Falls. Buffalo Camp in Kapama is my favourite place in the world. I’ve taken three groups, a total of 60 people, to Africa and every single person said that it’s their trip of a lifetime and to not change anything for future groups.

What’s the most memorable trip you ever took?

Africa. It’s hard to put into words, but Africa is amazing, and I feel it can be life changing. The South African people are wonderful, and the animal experience is unbelievable!

Where do you see your career one year from now? What are your future goals?

My goal for the next year is to continue to build my groups business and escort a group to Churchill, Manitoba to see the polar bears. I am also putting together an escorted group on a Tahitian cruise.

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

Learning a new airline computer system.

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

The travel industry can be unforgiving at times. If an agent makes an error, it is very difficult getting help, especially from the airlines. Our error, so our cost. It would be nice if there was a little more support.

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

Knowledgeable, enthusiastic and loyal staff.

What is your motto?

Embrace the journey – seize the moment, travel now.

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

Relationships with our clients are so important. Make sure to take the time to build and foster a relationship with your clients so there is trust and loyalty.

Where are you travelling next? 

I am off to Newfoundland with our Founder’s Club line of tours from May 28th to June 11th to immerse ourselves in Newfoundland’s rich history, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality! Then, it's time to dive into the vibrant culture of South Africa with my fourth group from October 15th to the 31st. I am most looking forward to getting back to the Luxury Tented Camp at Kapama Game Reserve! And to cap off the year in style, I'll be soaking up the sun in Jamaica at a private villa for a two-week holiday in December.

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