A Product Buyer’s View


In this week’s Travel Courier, western editor, Ted Davis reports that three decades is a long time in which to develop an overview of the travel world from a product buyer’s point of view. But that’s exactly what WestJet Vacations’ Yehudi Altman has done — helming the development of tourism product for the company as director of product development during this time. As he steps back from this position — taking on a manager role with fewer days of work per week — Altman’s observations are instructive to those seeking insight to industry trends.

They’re also instructive as to the nature of the job itself. He had been on the road more than 50% of the time, commuting weekly between Vancouver and Calgary, as well as attending product buyer shows far and wide. He is now pleased with a new three-day work week that gives him more time with family in Vancouver, and credits WestJet Vacations VP Tim Croyle for being supportive and helping to usher in the part-time role.

That’s not to imply that he won’t miss the job of being director. He will.

Altman told Travel Courier, “It was a difficult decision to step down as director of product, given that WestJet Vacations is the ultimate company to work for. I’ve been in the industry 30 years and in that time I have never seen such a company commitment by its employees, who feel like family.”

In his new job, Altman will not be visiting new properties, as there is a team of seasoned buyers to handle that aspect. The key challenges for holiday product developer continue to be marrying rooms to seats and hotel stop sells — aka close-outs, says Altman. Our partners respect our business ethic and can count on us when times are soft in shoulder season.”

For the full story in this week’s Travel Courier, click here.