Nadya Phelan was born in Canada; because her parents believed that travelling was a form of education, she has spent much of her life globetrotting, including time spent living, studying, and working abroad. After high school, Nadya packed a backpack and travelled solo around Australia on a Working Holiday Visa. Her time there inspired her to return to Toronto and pursue a diploma in Hospitality, Recreation, and Tourism at Humber College where she immersed herself in many hands-on learning experiences. After travelling Europe and parts of North America, Nadya returned to Australia where she earned a business degree in Tourism Management at the University of Western Sydney. Before coming back to settle in Canada, Nadya spent a year living in Ireland and 6 months travelling around South America.
Her previous roles before settling at Goway saw her as an account manager for Development Counsellors International, representing Visit California, Tourism Australia, and Simon Shopping Destinations. As a sales representative, she designed and implemented presentations and trainings for both consumers and travel industry personnel in order to increase sales and build brand awareness. Participating in trade shows, organizing industry functions and escorting travel agent familiarization trips are also key components of her background.
She returned to Goway in September 2015 to step into the role of Product Manager for Goway’s Europe department. With her global knowledge and understanding of the expectations of the Goway Client, Nadya looks forward to taking the newest dedicated division under the Goway brand from strong to stronger.
Travel Research Online (TRO): Tell us about some of your earliest traveling experiences with your parents.
Nadya Phelan (NP): My parents met because my dad sat on a flight next to my mom’s mother and father and struck up a conversation, which lead to an introduction. My father had been flying since he was 16, and his father was a pilot in the First and Second World Wars. I guess you could say flying was in his genes.
He travelled a lot for business overseas and came home telling the most amazing stories of far off destinations; Europe, the Middle East and South America (which means I inherited that love of travel!). We travelled regularly in Canada and the US when I was a child, but I remember my first trip to New Zealand and Australia: getting off the flight and feeling like I was still moving. This trip truly had an impact on me; maybe it was my age or maybe it was the destination, but I remember being fascinated and wanting to learn more about the world.
TRO: What changed for you in Australia that made you decide to choose travel as your career?
NP: When I backpacked through Australia (at that time I was considered young and travelled with a group of people for months) I was debating between studying education and travel and tourism. After travelling, I realized I wanted to educate people on the world and still be able to see it, so I picked travel and tourism. I get to travel and educate and influence people in a positive way about far off places.
TRO: Tell us about your day-to-day role at Goway.
NP: My days can vary tremendously. In general I am in the office early, which allows me to be in touch with our European suppliers. Some days you will find me meeting with Tourism Boards, Suppliers, or Airlines. Or you might find me at my desk assisting a team member with a quote, answering a simple question, or planning our next great offer.
TRO: What services or aspects of Goway do you wish agents were more aware of?
NP: We are a full-service agency. We have some fantastic air contracts, but we also have access to so much more product than we can advertise. We presently have over 445 products on our website, we would like to have this to a solid 500 ASAP, but this is only the highlight of what we can really do as a company for travel agents.
TRO: Does Goway offer any special programs for events or group travel?
NP: We have a groups and special events team that can cater to religious travel, annual group trips, and specialized one-off celebrations. We did have an offer recently for the World Junior Hockey tournament, and a trip visiting various Christmas markets in Europe. We do presently have a program for the Boston College vs Georgia Tech game in Dublin.
We are working on finalizing a few more for next season, including one for culture and history buffs, but you will have to check back with us when we can announce them.
TRO: What can travel agents expect when they book their clients on a Goway tour?
NP: We have been in business for 46 years, and have fantastic partnerships. We are accessible and reliable, and have a 24-hour customer service number for our clients. One of our core specialties is being able to tailor-make any itinerary to optimize the client’s experience using their budget.
TRO: What is your favorite travel destination to date?
NP: This seems to be a regular question, yet I find it the hardest question. I have so many for so many reasons, depending on what I am seeking. I love the people of Ireland, so much that I married one of them! However, Costa Navarino in Greece was stunning: the clarity of the water was outstanding and completely surprised me. The old streets and history of Prague are beautiful, but at the same time how do you not love wandering the streets of Paris soaking in so many iconic sights, or love the food in Italy? I could keep going, but that would end up being a novel. There is a reason I love my position, is that there are so many places to be genuinely passionate about.
For more information on Nadya and Goway Travel, visit them online at www.goway.com.