Graduate – University of Toronto with Bachelor of Arts (English)
Graduate – Ryerson Polytechnical Institute with Bachelor of Applied Arts (Journalism)
Joined Baxter Publishing in 1980 as a staff writer and has spent the last 37 years covering all aspects of Canada’s travel and tourism.
In 1987, he was named managing editor of Canadian Travel Press
In 2005, he was named executive editor for Baxter Travel Media
Specialties include: travel industry technology; distribution issues; the travel agency marketplace; Canadian domestic tourism, the impact of the environment on travel and tourism, etc.
Born and raised in Toronto
Currently resides in Leslieville with his wife, Dianne, two children, Ezra and Noah, a Bassett Hound named Ivy, a rescued beagle-basset cross called Ollie and an adopted gray cat, named Mog.
It’s Bob’s turn to answer your questions:
How many countries have you been to?
Somewhere between 40 and 50 … they wouldn’t let me include the countries I’ve visited multiple times … and I still argue that a theme park should count as a country … shout out to my friends at Disney, Universal, SeaWorld and others … help me out here … I’d probably be well over 100 …well at least 75 …
What are some of your favourite travel experiences to date?
Have always wondered with travel whether it’s the things you do or the people that you meet that make the experience … I tend to favour the latter … have met a lot of exceptional people over the years … and everyone of them has added to my understanding of the world we live in …
What’s still on your bucket list?
Haven’t made one … so nothing … although I might put one together after I win the jackpot in the lottery – any lottery … Seriously, though, I’d like to do the Turner Classic Movie Film Festival in Hollywood one of these days … love old movies … simpler times … I mean, somebody gets shot … you give ’em a brandy and a cigarette and they’re good to go … if it’s a kid, they don’t get the brandy, they get a glass of water instead … but they still get the cigarette … those were the days
What’s your favourite part of the job?
Sitting down and talking to somebody about something that they’re passionate about …
What’s your favourite saying?
At the risk of sounding like a Luddite – as I do have an iPad – my favourite saying is: “I don’t have a smartphone … I like the quiet”
We’ve still got a door!
The Travel Agent Next Door
It’s never easy starting a new business, and Flemming Friisdahl admits that he’s “very happy” that he still has a “door to walk through,” but clearly the planning that The Travel Agent Next Door’s founder and team did upfront has paid dividends…Read >>
Committed to taking care of agents and their customers
Allianz Global Assistance
One of the first things that travel agents need to know about Allianz Global Assistance is that the company is committed to taking care of its partners and their customers.
“There are two main things that travel agents need to know about Allianz Global Assistance,” …Read >>
The Travel Agent Next Door’s model for success
W i n . W i n . W i n .
A headline on a June 2017 Forbes article – “Why Win-Win-Win propositions are the future of business” – made me wonder whether or not Flemming Friisdahl could predict the future?
You see, four years earlier – as he was gearing up for the launch of The Travel Agent Next Door (TTAND) – Friisdahl told me much the same thing…Read >>
WestJet: Taking care of agents from coast to coast
Not to put too fine a point on it, there is a heck of a lot going on at WestJet these days. So, it seemed like a good idea to reach out to Jane Clementino, Director of Agency Sales and let her tell you the latest in the ongoing WestJet story…Read >>
Disney taking agents to Infinity And Beyond!
One of the first things that Claire Bilby, senior vice-president, sales & service for Walt Disney World, told a group of about 300 travel agents and tour operators in Toronto recently was “my team and I are your advocates – you’ve got a friend in us.”..Read >>
Air Canada: Making it simple and seamless
“It’s the best it has ever been,” responded Virgilio Russi when he was asked about Air Canada’s relationship with travel agents. “I think there has been a conscious effort from our side to improve that relationship and to set different parameters to the relationship – the focus has really been on partnership.”..Read >>
CATO: Taking care of business in its own, quiet way
Despite the cliché to the contrary, perception in not always the reality. Consider, for example, the Canadian Association of Tour Operators (CATO). It hasn’t had a very high profile – certainly not in the trade media – but it has been busy working closely with the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO), ACTA and others on the changes that are being made to the province’s travel industry act…Read >>
VisitBritain rolls out new campaign in Canada
‘I Travel For …’
“Why do you travel?”
That’s a question that everybody is asking…Read >>
Cutting through the clutter in search of the big surprise
For those out there who believe that Vision Travel is only about corporate travel, you may want to have a bit of a chat with Lynda Sinclair, vice-president, leisure travel for Vision, who admits that this is a pretty common misconception about the company…Read >>
Canada making postive vibrations for Jamaica
Security measures have no impact on tourists
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett arrived in Toronto during the bitterly cold first week of February with a message that was all about growth and reassurance. Bartlett told Travel Courier that, “I’m here to strengthen [our] marketing efforts and to build new and exciting partnerships to keep the growth momentum …Read >>
Travel with a purpose
If you accept the fact that all travel has a purpose – from simply flying and flopping on a beach to heading to a business meeting or conference in another city – then you’ll also recognize that there are a number (some would say growing number) of your clients who are looking for something more than that…Read >>