Boeing Next‑Generation 737
Credit: WestJet

Boeing Next‑Generation 737

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MattD

 

NAME: Matt Djorsev
TITLE: Business Development Manager
LOCATION: Toronto
COMPANY: WestJet & WestJet Vacations
YEARS IN TRAVEL: 10

 

For Matt Djorsev, his job can be summed-up with relative ease: On a day-to-day basis, it is his responsibility to keep travel advisors up-to-date on all things WestJet and WestJet Vacations through constant contact, product updates and operational support in an effort to enhance brand performance.

But when it comes down to it, he tells CT, the role of agency sales representative for the airline-tour operator duo is much more complex – though it is evidently second nature for this young professional.

Djorsev, 34, has worked in the travel business for about 10 years, also having spent time with brands such as Disney and Sunquest, primarily in a capacity that’s had him engaging with frontline salespeople on a daily basis. And if you ask the travel advisors with whom he works, it is in large part this peer-to-peer interaction that has them supporting Djorsev – and in turn, WestJet and WestJet Vacations – time and time again.

“He is simply wonderful and supportive to agents,” says Coralie Belman of Let’s Get Out of Here Travel. “He responds quickly to questions and gives ideas and suggestions. One of the things I’ve always enjoyed from him is his personal newsletter that he writes to talk about properties or things coming up; it isn’t a corporate piece but more his reflection and impressions. I have always found his insights to be spot on.”

It’s this sort of “thinking outside of the box” that Djorsev prioritizes in his role, always cognizant of balancing the needs of all partners involved.

Being “readily available to support agents,” is key to his method of operation, he says, noting, “no question is too big.”

“I am always accessible to chat and support them regardless of the time of day or week, and always willing to support them in times of need.”

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It’s no small feat, as Downtown Toronto East and Manitoba fall within his realm of responsibility – consider the vast territory with the combined responsibility of representing an airline and tour operator and you have yourself one lofty position.

That’s not even to mention the consistent evolution of the WestJet brand, which has recently taken delivery of many new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and continues to expand its international network. Of course, in order to be effective, Djorsev himself must always be one step ahead – always on top of news and changes for the sake of best responding to questions that may arise from travel advisors as the company moves forward. Anticipating these needs is exactly why he endeavours to send out the aforementioned bi-weekly newsletter with product updates.

And while he admits it’s a lot to keep up with, WestJet is a brand that Djorsev lives, breathes and loves; in sharing his experience, it’s indisputable that he especially takes pride in being more than an employee, but an owner. He says he cares for travel advisors and in doing so, has developed lasting relationships, establishing a trust and loyalty by always putting their needs first.

“As a WestJetter, I rise to the challenge every day to support trade partners. They know they can count on me to provide the tools they require to be more effective in their roles,” Djorsev says.

Part of this sometimes means bending the rules, which are often mistaken to be black or white. “There is always room for exceptions; every situation is different.”

As one example, he tells of a travel advisor who was not able to secure an accessible room for a client with special needs who wanted to go to Las Vegas. Djorsev took it upon himself to find a solution and worked with WestJetters from other departments to connect with the property in order to get what the client needed. Not only did this ensure WestJet Vacations benefited from the booking, it also allowed the travel advisor to provide exceptional service by delivering on a promise that may not have been possible to fulfill without the support of Djorsev and his colleagues.

So, what are his top values, as a travel professional? “Treating everyone with respect – agents and industry peers alike,” he tells CT. “It should be a universal rule, but especially in an industry as small as ours, it goes without saying.”

Plus, he adds, “It’s also important to understand that agents are generally coming to me for support and clarity after they have exhausted all options and simply need a helping hand, so listening is key.”

 

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