Flying By The Seat Of Their Pants

When Gloria Pelchovitz and Norman Feferman met on a cruise back in June of 1980, it was a meeting that marked the beginning of 35 successful years in the retail travel business.

Now that’s quite a feat by any standard.

And if you ask them whether they had a plan at the time for what kind of agency they wanted to operate, they’ll both laugh, before Pelchovitz will tell you that if there was a plan, it was “to fly by the seat of your pants,” reports executive editor, Bob Mowat in this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier.

But let’s back up a bit.

Pelchovitz and Feferman are the co-founders and directors of New Wave Travel – a landmark Toronto agency and Virtuoso member – that has a solid track record and, by all acounts, a great book of business.

However, back in 1980, Pelchovitz was manager at Corson Travel, while Feferman was operating his own agency, New Wave Travel, out of an office in North York and specializing primarily in corporate travel.

Of that meeting on the high seas, Feferman says: “You know sometimes you’re talking about new opportunities; opening up a new business; expanding; new ideas and Gloria suggested that maybe there was an opportunity [for us].”

Pelchovitz readily admits that at the time she was restless and interested in starting her own agency, telling Feferman during that meeting at sea: “I’d like to have my own business, but I’ve no idea how you do that. So he said, well you find the location and I’ll do the rest of it. And that’s what happened.”

Between June and August 1980, Pelchovitz found a office location at 1075 Bay St. and that has been New Wave Travel’s home for the past three and a half decades.

Although Pelchovitz told Travel Courier at the time they moved in they didn’t even have furniture. “We had one telephone. And we were sitting on boxes.”

If it was a case of second thoughts, they didn’t last long.

New Wave’s business grew and, as a result, it kept expanding its office space from that initial 800 sq. ft. until today it has 6,000 sq. ft. of space.

Over the years, the agency has put together a nicely balanced corporate and leisure business, along the way gaining the reputation as a luxury travel specialist.

For the full story, check out this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier by clicking here.