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Friday,  July 19, 2024 4:35 PM 

“This move is huge”: Exoticca promotes Diana Winters, grows sales team in Ontario

“This move is huge”: Exoticca promotes Diana Winters, grows sales team in Ontario
Diana Winters has been promoted to VP of sales for Ontario at Exoticca, which is growing its sales team in Canada. (Supplied)
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

Tour operator Exoticca is hiring two sales directors (BDMs) in Ontario as it grows its presence in Canada, PAX has learned.  

The yet-to-be-named individuals will report to Diana Winters, who has served as Exoticca’s director of sales for eastern Canada ever since she joined the company in April 2023.

Winters, in turn, has been promoted to vice-president of sales for Ontario at Exoticca. She officially took the title on July 1.

“I am thrilled for this opportunity,” said Winters, known as “D.W.” in trade circles, speaking to PAX exclusively. “I've experienced significant growth both personally and professionally during my first year at Exoticca with the unwavering support of Mike Quinto and headquarters.”

She’s looking forward to taking Exoticca’s presence in Ontario “to the next level and beyond.”

"I'm quite excited about bringing more of my passion to the forefront and sharing that with a team,” she said.

From left (of Exoticca): Mike Quinto, managing director for Canada; Diana Winters, VP of sales, Ontario. (Supplied)

Winters’ new duties will involve managing the new Ontario team while working more closely with Mike Quinto, Exoticca’s managing director for Canada.

READ MORE: On Location: “Unknown” Africa – PAX unpacks Namibia with Canadian agents & Exoticca

“With growth being the primary focus, it is my intention to lead my team to success both personally and professionally. I will continue to be hands on,” Winters explained.

Exoticca, which is headquartered in Barcelona, Spain, first launched in 2013 to serve the European market. It made its Canadian debut in 2019. 

The Canadian sales team also includes Aerin Chauncey (who oversees Atlantic Canada), Maryanne Dubé (in Quebec), Sharon Wilson (covering Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba) and Cindy Chau (in British Columbia).

Canadian travel advisors cross the Tropic of Capricorn in Namibia with Exoticca. (Pax Global Media/file photo)

The company offers exciting tours, led by local guides, in nearly 60 countries. PAX recently joined Canadian agents in experiencing one of Exoticca’s itineraries in Namibia, Africa. (Click here to read about our on-the-ground experience).

For travel advisors, all the components of an Exoticca trip, which includes packaged flights, are commissionable.

“This move is huge”

On Exoticca’s restructuring in Ontario, Winters said “this move is huge.”

“Our growth as a company has been exponential and we need to react accordingly,” said D.W. “The rate of growth that we are experiencing is a testament to the product and the amazing team we have.”

“Our commitment to the advisor community is steadfast, and because of that, they are directly responsible for where we are today and where we are heading.”

Exoticca doubles in size   

Alberto Constans, Exoticca’s chief growth officer, said the tour operator has doubled its size in Canada over the last 12 months – “and [we] expect to double again in the following 12.”

READ MORE: Exoticca's Fall Fling returns with more prizes & surprises. Register now!

“I am thrilled with Ontario's growth and confident Diana will excel in her new role,” Constans told PAX. “Her energy, drive and team spirit are of great importance to Exoticca and will certainly continue to be a driving force in this next chapter of her career.”

Alberto Constans, chief growth officer, Exoticca. (Pax Global Media/file photo)

Describing Exoticca as a “Next Gen Tour Operator,” Constans said the company’s intention, globally, is to become the “largest player in all of the English and Spanish-speaking markets.”

“Canada plays a critical role not only because it is already our second-largest source market, but because it offers us a unique platform to grow with strong network partners and top-quality independent travel advisors,” he said.

Support in Ontario East & West 

Mike Quinto, Exoticca’s managing director in Canada, said Exoticca is “continuing to thrive in North America and more specifically, Canada.”

“We’ve had record growth, month over month and year over year, and the demand does not seem to be slowing down,” Quinto told PAX. “Because of this, we are needing to add more support on the ground in Canada, ASAP.”

Quinto said he “couldn't be more excited” to announce Winters’ new role, noting that she will be responsible for hiring the two new BDMs in Ontario, which will “support the agent community.”

As for the two new hires, one person will handle the East; the other will take the West.

“We will be looking for two dynamic individuals who are ready to take their careers to the next level and join what is easily the most incredible company I've had the privilege of being part of,” Winters said.

The job postings for each role can be viewed here and here.

Exoticca’s Fall Fling returns

In the meantime, travel advisors can mark their calendars as Exoticca’s Fall Fling roadshow will return this October and November, landing in select cities across Canada.

Now in its second year, the event will raise the bar in 2024 with more prizes, special guests, learning, tourism boards, food and fun, Quinto said.

“We are expecting to have over 2,000 agents attend these special events across Canada, and trust me, you do not want to miss out this year,” Quinto told PAX. “Spaces are limited, so reserve your spot, right away!”

Click here to save the date. Formal invitations will be sent to agents in the order in which they register, so don’t delay.

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