Marlin Travel (Toronto)
Gillian Gervais was inspired to enter the tourism industry by her own experience as a 19-year-old traveller. “I was backpacking in Australia, and I walked into a travel agency asking for help with a ticket and plans to travel to another part of the country, and the travel agent was amazing,” she says. “I was just like, ‘Wow, this could be something I could do!’”
The experience proved to be a turning point. Upon her return to Canada, she enrolled in the tourism program at Cambrian College in Sudbury, Ontario. She was hired right out of school by Marlin Travel in Sudbury and has been working for Transat for the past 10 years.
Now Gillian aspires every day to be like that Australian travel agent. “This person was just so helpful and found the best way for me to see as much as I could in the little bit of time and with the little bit of money I had,” she says. “I just thought about the way this person dealt with me – I love being able to do that for other people who are in the same situation. I take care of my clients and I love my job. I like helping clients plan their dream vacation.”
She has also continued to travel extensively since. As a self-professed foodie, she says her top destinations are Italy and Argentina. Of course, Gillian also brings her love of food home in Toronto. She says, “I’m always going to the St. Lawrence Market with my husband to get some ingredients, whip up an amazing pasta, try a new wine, have some friends over… We have a karaoke machine, so that's a lot of fun.”
Her favourite tune to belt out is “Hot Child in the City,” she says. “I'll sing with anybody - we have two microphones, so someone picks a song and then I'm right in there singing with them.”