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Monday,  July 22, 2024   3:29 PM
“A real pioneer & trailblazer”: The travel industry remembers Gloria Pelchovitz
Gloria Pelchovitz sadly passed away on Feb. 14, 2023. (Supplied)

The travel industry is remembering a trailblazer who pioneered success and leadership in the retail travel business space. 

Gloria Pelchovitz, a longtime co-owner of New Wave Travel in downtown Toronto, with ties to Direct Travel, sadly passed away at 3 a.m. on Feb. 14.

Pelchovitz had been battling cancer since February of 2020.

She is remembered for her kindness, vision and entrepreneurship.

Pelchovitz, notably, joined Norman Feferman in opening New Wave Travel’s landmark Toronto agency back in 1980, and was highly influential in propelling the agency’s success in corporate and leisure sales, in addition to solidifying its reputation as a specialist in luxury travel.

The news of Pelchovitz’s passing has brought an outpouring of memories and tributes from former associates and colleagues in the travel industry.

Pelchovitz, for one, was a member of Virtuoso, which issued a statement to PAX yesterday.

“We at Virtuoso are saddened to hear of the passing of one of our members Gloria Pelchovitz,” said Úna O’Leary, general manager, Canada.

“Gloria entered the travel industry in 1969 and she founded New Wave Travel in 1980. Gloria had a passion for exotic travel and loved to watch her company grow. Gloria herself shared that Asia and India held a special place in her heart and her love of selling travel stemmed ‘simply from providing a product that makes people happy.’ Our condolences go out to her family and to our friends at New Wave for their loss.”

“Charming, classy & respectful”

The team at New Wave Travel also shared fond memories of their respected colleague.

“Gloria was one of a kind. A real pioneer and trailblazer in travel and in life itself,” said travel advisor Marla Ceresne. “She always had a smile and was always charming, classy, and respectful.”

Lucy Catalanotto, regional manager of New Wave Travel and Port Hope, said that “Gloria showed me what a strong and independent woman was.”

“I am so happy that she picked me to run her office, and I am truly blessed that we become great friends,” Catalanotto told PAX.

Brian Robertson, president of Vision Travel Solutions, a Direct Travel company, described Gloria as "a wonderful lady who built an amazing travel business with New Wave Travel," which is a Direct Travel company.

"I met Gloria on an SAA fam trip to South Africa back in 1980 when I was a travel advisor based in Toronto," he said. 

Vision Travel Solutions purchased New Wave Travel many years ago and the business "has continued to thrive as a Direct Travel company," he said. 

"She was loved by her former team members and will be missed very much," Robertson said. 

Senior travel consultant Deb Gray called Gloria “a true leader, often smiling and always unflappable.”

“She brought a sense of calm to our office that I know we will always remember and be grateful for,” Gray said.

Travel advisor Jeannie Hing had this to share:

“Our beloved Matriarch of New Wave Travel, and on Valentine’s less. We all have fond memories and our hearts are feeling the pain. We will miss her dearly. Rest in peace, Gloria. You are one classy lady!”

Senior travel advisor Paul Chin-Aleong called Gloria the “backbone of New Wave Travel,” remembering her as “a great leader and mentor who treated us all like family…and one to be admired forever.”

“She threw the best office parties and would always come around to every desk each morning to say ‘Good Morning!’” Chin-Aleong said.

In addition: “She taught me how to sell luxury travel,” Chin-Aleong said. “Even though we knew her time was near, I am still in shock that she is really gone forever, but not from our hearts. May she rest in peace. She will be truly missed.”

Travel advisor Jackie Tai added that Gloria was “dearly loved and admired by her staff.”

“To Gloria, New Wave Travel staff was family and not just employees,” Tai said. “It has been a long journey for her and I am glad that she’s finally at peace and no longer suffering.  Her strength is something to be admired.”

Gloria Pelchovitz’s funeral details can be found here

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