Travelling With Grit & Resilience

John Simon shares his no-quit attitude approach for dealing with being a travel industry business owner during COVID-19

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In This Episode

 Everyone has been affected by COVID-19 in one way or another, but certain businesses and industries are feeling the impact significantly. How are entrepreneurs who run businesses in these highly impacted sectors making it through these challenging times?

Enter our guest John Simon, owner of Kefi Travel and Canadvac Travel Services, both companies based right here in the Maritimes but who rely on people being able to travel out of and into Canada. John shares with Dave and Greg the experience of acquiring another travel company at the start of the pandemic. He details how he has kept his focus moving forward, and his no-quit attitude approach that is helping him to adapt and pivot as the pandemic continues to impact the travel industry.

We want to thank again our friends OpportunitiesNB who have been working with us to be able to highlight these great businesses stories of resilience during challenging times.


Episode Breakdown

First 10 Minutes
We hear about what Opportunities New Brunswick is doing to help New Brunswick businesses during this time of recovery. We met John Simon, the owner of Kefi Travel and Canadvac Travel Services. We hear about the background of his travel companies and how the pandemic hit on the date of an acquisition closing. Greg asks about what happened next for the companies and how John took advantage of any funding programs available and how they started planning for the future as the pandemic hit. John shares the approach he and his employees took about looking forward.

10 Minutes – 20 Minutes
Greg asks how John has kept hope and resilience to keep moving forward.
John shares how he’s just focusing on not quitting and how it’s hard to know the right plan. Dave shares how resilience and grit play well together to keep moving forward. Dave asks if John thinks he will come out of this stronger. John responds that he wants to be able to tell that story in 2 years. John explains how he’s focusing on what he can do and deal with and pushing forward the best he can. Greg asks if John can stay in contact with his resilient clients and so there’s a strong relationship later on. John explains how he is working with clients to keep on top of mind for the clients who are being resilient.

20 Minutes – 30 Minutes
John talks about how even the staycation packages that Kefi has been offering haven’t resulted in a lot of sales, it has helped Maritimes survive, and that’s important so that those tourism operators are after that. The group talks about the future of the tourism industry and what we need to do as businesses and government to get this sector through the time of low to no revenue to be available after COVID-19. The group talks about the grit needed in mental health to keep moving forward in difficult times.

John Simon

John Simon

President, Canadvac Travel Services & Kefi Travel

John Simon is an experienced international business professional operating in multinational organizations and entrepreneurial start-up businesses. John’s passion for travelling started young with many van-filled trips to Florida and Myrtle Beach in the ’70’s. Things became more serious with several international projects living and working in Europe during the ’90’s. He also spent 12 years planning and leading unique adventures for groups to places like Ireland, France, Greece, Spain, Morocco, Italy, etc – which formed the basis of Kefi Travel Club.

About Canadvac Travel Services

With more than 30 years of experience and a carefully curated portfolio of products, Canadvac Travel Services Ltd. is the leading receptive travel specialist for Eastern and Central Canada. Our local connections and a wide range of products, highlighting smaller accommodations and unforgettable experiences, come together to showcase the uniqueness and diversity of these regions.

Canadvac Travel Services

About Kefi Travel

Kefi Travel is a group of like-minded people who enjoy travel, getting out of their comfort zone, and sharing experiences with friends and family. Kefi travellers get exclusive access to pre-planned adventures, can suggest and take part in planning their adventures, as well as access traditional travel services.

Kefi Travel