THERE ARE SOME COMPANIES IN THE TRAVEL industry where you might notice a lot of employees have been around a long time. Among these is Goway, a family-owned and operated business based in Toronto. What is it about the company that keeps people around? CT ventured to find out.
Product & marketing manager, Latin America & the Polar Regions
Don Forster has worked with Goway for 12 years. In his tenure, he revived the company’s adventure component and birthed the Latin America product department, among other accomplishments. It’s been in this ability to develop new areas of the business and new partnerships that Forster has enjoyed about working with the company, and he says that to this day, he “loves almost all aspects” of his role. In fact, he points to Goway’s “support, reward for hard work done and opportunities to travel” as its value as an employer. “There is never a dull moment and always something happening on the horizon,” Forster says.
General manager, IslandsEscapes
Richelle Emefe started with Goway in the reservations department and though she left after a four-year stint, she soon returned to join what the team calls the “Goway Boomerang Club.” Since then, she’s worked as a team leader and a reservations manager for the South Pacific, Asia and Islands wholesale departments, and now, she’s general manager for the IslandsEscapes brand. “Even though Goway has more than 400 employees, we are a familyrun business and this shows in the lifetime friendships that are made within this company,” Emefe tells CT, adding that the way the company invests in the growth and development of employees is truly one of its strengths.
Africa & Middle East specialist
Born and raised in Tanzania, Jervin Randria spent 20 years working in the travel industry there before moving to Canada. “Two weeks after landing in Canada, I started working with Goway and I have been here ever since,” she says, noting that it’s been about 10 years now. As a sales consultant for the Africa Division, Randria says, “For me, the next best thing to being in Africa is designing experiences for my clients in Africa. I am passionate about what I do and it gives me great satisfaction when my guests come back raving about their holidays.” Plus, the flexible work environment allows her to save time commuting, though she admits the office also appeals to her because of its diversity. “Goway is always looking forward, never sitting still,” she says when asked what she enjoys about the company. “It’s always evolving and expanding, and staying one step ahead of the game.”
Australia & South Pacific destination specialist
After working in the travel industry for more than six years in Australia, Nidhi Kalaiya made her way to Canada for a working holiday; she didn’t know at the time it would be a permanent move. She’s now been with Goway as an Australia & South Pacific destination specialist for about a year and a half. “Within this time, I have been fortunate enough to have plenty of growth and development opportunities,” she says. “This year, I started cross-selling Europe to assist the influx of enquiries.” Like her colleagues, she says the diversity of people she works with is “one of the greatest things about working at Goway.” “We have a lot of people who are from or have lived within the destinations that we sell and it definitely makes it feel like we have our own little international community,” she says. “The company values its employees by offering incentives, opportunities to specialize in destinations making us experts, educational and growth prospects.”
Senior Asia specialist
A graduate of Sir Sanford Fleming College in Peterborough, Ontario (tourism & travel), Steve Perkins eventually landed at Goway, where he’s been part of the Asia Wholesale team for just over six years. “Primarily, I enjoy that every day is different,” he says. “Different clientele, different destinations, different workload.” Perkins says that in his role, he loves using his knowledge of Asia, and his experience, when working with travel advisors and their clients. “Asia is a wondrous destination that everyone should experience at least once in their lives,” he says, adding that he’s had the chance to experience more of it thanks to FAMs he’s partaken in with Goway. What does he think makes the company a good partner to travel advisors? “Our honesty, ethics and core beliefs.”