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John Lelis, BHM | Travel Consultant

Who is John:
John joined the Great Canadian Travel team on April 15, 2019. Previously he was travel manager at Golden Pinnacle in Edmonton and before that he worked for Selloffvacations and Real Canadian Travel Store also in Edmonton. John finished his Bachelor in Hospitality Management on March 28th, but even if everyone thinks he should be running a hotel he decided that he wanted to do what he loves and stay on this side of the travel industry fence. That is the main reason why he came to GTC.

Born in Guinea-Bissau, then a Portuguese colony, he also lived in Cape Verde for a short while and then he moved to his family’s homeland, Lisbon, Portugal. There he took the Tourism Technical course at college and he has been either selling travel or managing hotel front desks since 1989. In 2009 he came to Canada because he fell in love with a Canadian girl and he never looked back. They got married in 2010 and they have a small dog called Puggy.

They have travelled often: Mexico, Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Puerto Vallarta; Western and Eastern Caribbean cruises; European cruises, Civitavecchia to Barcelona and back; within Canada, Vancouver, Toronto and the Rockies and they still have a huge bucket list of places to go, mainly in the Caribbean and the Bahamas.

What are John’s TOP 5 travel experiences:

  • Inter-Rail in Europe in 1992, starting in Lisbon, passing through all the countries of Western Europe until arriving in Eastern Europe: Barcelona, Spain; Marseille, France; Zurich, Switzerland; Milan, Italy; Vienna, Austria; Prague, Czech Republic and Budapest, Hungary. It was an amazing experience. I went solo but on my way back had made so many friends in so many different place. I still have contact with many of them to this day.
  • Spanish Pyrenees (1985, 2000 and 2007), visiting my grandmother’s hometown, a small village in a valley surrounded by the majestic mountains that separate Spain from France, the heart of Navarre, absolutely breathtaking!
  • Las Vegas in 2009. For a Portuguese kid, looking at the Vegas Strip for the first time was a feeling of almost having to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. Still a favourite of mine.
  • Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, a life-long dream, something I never thought would happen: to dive into the Pacific Ocean waters with the Sierra Madre mountains surrounding us, the whale spotting tour and pretty much everything we did there. Can’t wait to go back!
  • Isla Mujeres, Cancun, Mexico, where my wife and I finally got a “proper wedding” on the beach with only the two of us. We’ve been married since 2010, but the whole beach wedding was magical and it remains the best experience of my life.

What is John’s closing comment?
Where do you want to go today?