Meet The King of Travel Agents


It started with a call to Ken Nickerson, Trafalgar’s sales manager for Atlantic Canada. St. John’s, Nfld. TPI travel counsellor Derek Winsor wanted to put together a group of 800 for a First World War site tour of Europe centred on the July 1, 2016, 100th anniversary of the battle of Beaumont-Hammel in France, reports Michael Baginski in this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier.

When the mammoth request – initially requiring 18 coaches – reached the ears of Trafalgar’s president in Canada, Wolf Paunic, he thought, “Is he [Winsor] okay, or have I hit the motherlode?”

Paunic and Winsor can laugh about it now as three years of planning is set to come to fruition. In the end the guest count is approximately 150, but there are more spin-off tours to come in the future, and the process was still labourious enough to inspire Trafalgar to name Winsor as its first ever “travel agent of the year” – an inaugural award in 2016, but destined to become an annual honorific.

Winsor was feted as part of Trafalgar’s first annual Travel Agent Day celebrations on May 4 – similarly set to become a yearly event (in rotating cities across the country) — which included a reception for key Trafalgar partners at a downtown bistro in Toronto.

The TPI agent was presented with the “Big T” trophy, symbolizing the tour company, its parent corporation (The Travel Corporation), and its owners, the Tollman family.

“Derek is the king of travel agents this year,” declared Paunic, praising his “meticulous research” and attention to detail in the tour, such as organizing special wreaths that tour participants will be able to lay on monuments, as well as a “real Newfoundland kitchen party in France” as a tour highlight.

“I have to commend him,” Paunic said. “He’s a very good and active businessman… and he generated a fantastic result.”

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