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Saturday,  April 13, 2024 1:48 AM 

PAX Checks in with Goway's Sam Cottar

PAX Checks in with Goway's Sam Cottar
Thailand, with its amazing spiritual and cultural vibe, world class beach resorts, wellness and spa treatments is another classic favourite, Sam Cottar says.

Sam Cottar has been working for Goway for the last 15 years, where he currently works as a BDM. 

But it wasn't always that way—Cottar worked in advertising and marketing before the travel bug bit him hard in the late 80s, and his first venture into the travel industry was working for Thomas Cook in Bombay, India.

Currently residing in Maple, Ontario, Cottar's main job is to "be a Goway Brand Ambassador and spread the Goway name, network with travel agents/agencies, conduct agent trainings, participate in trade shows/seminars, and being the patient ear to an agent on the road."

This week, we're learning more about a special dinner involving turtles (it's not what you think!), the natural emergency in Kenya his family still teases him about, and the three vacation spots he can't get enough of.

PAX: What are three essential items you always travel with? 

Sam Cottar (SC): Cell phone, toiletry kit, earphones and refillable water bottle.

PAX: What are some of your favourite vacation spots?

SC: Africa will always remain close to my heart as there is no continent that touches you as much. Diverse cultures, amazing people, cuisine, great scenery and of course the wildlife. New Zealand is a current favourite as it is reminiscent of the rolling hills of Ireland, the lakes and mountains of Switzerland and the Fjords of Norway. Thailand with its amazing spiritual and cultural vibe, world class beach resorts, wellness and spa treatments is another classic favourite.

PAX: What’s your favourite airport and why? 

SC: Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is my favourite as it’s easy to get around, it has cool duty free shopping and international eateries and I also loved the Fish Spa. One thing that’s always stuck in my head is hearing the warning sign “Mind your Step” on the walkways. Apparently, there’s a FB page devoted to this.

Enjoying the views in Zanzibar.

PAX: What do you love about your job? The travel industry?

SC: My job allows me to enjoy the one thing that I am most passionate about…travel. Travelling for work, travelling for educating myself and travelling for relaxation. Travel is in my DNA. The most endearing aspect of this industry is that I get to meet so many different people and network with them. I enjoy being on the road and also get to see a bit of our beautiful country. Not so much during our winters though. You don’t want to be driving on the TransCanada Highway from Winnipeg to Brandon, MB during a snow storm!

PAX: What was the first vacation you ever took?

SC: My first ever vacation was when my parents took me to visit my grandparents in Kerala, South India. It took us two overnights on a steam train from Bombay to Cochin. I still remember the distinct smell of coal and steam from the engine, eating traditional breakfast en route, watching the landscape pass by, traveling in a non-air conditioned compartment and interacting with the different vendors that came aboard to sell their wares. Life was a lot simpler and happier then.

PAX: What’s the biggest splurge you’ve ever made on a trip? 

SC: Bought two expensive watches on a cruise holiday. Did I suffer from buyers' remorse afterwards? Definitely not….ha ha!

Taking in the scenery in Rotorua, NZ.

PAX: Most memorable food/meal you ever ate while travelling and where you ate it? 

SC: The most amazing meal was dinner at a barefoot luxury restaurant at the MAIA; an Uber luxury resort in Seychelles. What made it very special were the baby turtles that had just hatched came into this beach side restaurant. They require moonlight to navigate out to sea, but they could not do so that night due to a thick cloud cover. We were all given buckets to place them in and we all stood pointing the lights from our cell phone, iPads and flashlights to carve them a path. It was a goosebump filled, impromptu moment as this event happens only once every year and we were not aware that it was happening that night.

PAX: What’s your biggest travel pet peeve? 

SC: When people don’t respect the zone calls at the gate and butt in.

PAX: What are your hidden talents?

SC: I am a foodie and love sharing food/restaurant tips with my friends and industry colleagues.

PAX: Checked bag or carry-on? 

SC: Carry-On for short domestic travels and checked bag for longer international travel.

PAX: When flying, window shade up or down? 

SC: Never window. Always an aisle in all these years of flying.

PAX: What's your funniest travel anecdote? 

SC: A serious but funny bathroom break story while on Safari in Kenya with my family. My kids still tease me about it. Our guide also nicknamed us the Spotter Cottar family due to our keen eye to spot some very hard to find animals in the bush. By the way, how I wish the owners of the 1920s Cottars Camp in Kenya were my relatives, haha!

PAX: What are 1-2 things travel agents should be aware of right now in regards to Goway? 

SC: Think luxury, think Goway. Let us also cater to your Europe packages apart from South Pacific, Africa, Asia, Idyllic Islands, Latin America. It’s a great time to be booking with Goway as we have several agent incentives including the Passport to a Free Fam, Goway rewards card which entitles them to earn extra money for their bookings, Win a DSLR Nikon camera for your social media prowess and plenty of opportunities to earn money on your rewards card on South Pacific bookings.

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