interview of Alvin Basque

Interview of Alvin Basque, Director of sales and products

Alvin kindly agreed to be interviewed. It is a very realistic and touching testimony that Alvin offers us on his professional life, but also on his personal life.


Welcome Alvin, it’s a pleasure to do this interview with you today. To begin with, can you share with us your professional background?

I first spent 2 years studying geography and history at the University of Moncton in New Brunswick. Afterthat, I decided to join the tourism industry. I was looking for a change in life. As I have always been interested in travel, I reoriented my career!

I started by taking courses to become a travel agent at Algonquin College in Ottawa. I chose this university because it offered training to become a destination travel agent. That means from Canada to overseas.

Once I finished my training, I applied for a canadian Tour Operator sending Canadian tourists to Mexico and the Caribbean. In this company, I worked as a destination representative for no less than 17 years. I went from being a representative to a senior representative and finally became a Destination Manager.

During this period, I lived in Mexico and the Caribbean. This experience has made me fully trilingual (French, English and Spanish).

We used to receive up to 2,500 people per week in high season. So it was a job with a lot at stake, and a lot of work. With this number of clients, we always had emergencies and we had to be available anytime for our travelers.

Alvin ouest canada


With your international career behind you, can you tell us what is your greatest achievement?

Oh, that’s a good question. (Thinking)

I once won a very big contract with one of the largest TO in Spain. It happenned when I came back to Canada in 2005. I can’t hide the fact that it was a great deal of stress and adrenaline. The contract was complex and required a lot of preparation beforehand. I have to say, I felt quite proud.


Your career is very focused on tourism. Has it become essential for you to work in this environment?

It is true that I have always been in the tourism business. My parents owned a motel in northeastern New Brunswick. Therefore, I had the chance to live in this industry since I was a child.

It has always impressed me to see guests coming from Montreal or Toronto. When you’re 6 years old, you think that’s really far away. I think this has made me very open-minded and curious about other provinces in Canada and new countries.

So, yes, I was naturally attracted to this universe!

Tourism gathers passionate people and you can truly feel it. When we collaborate with other people or when we meet them on fairs or others, I realize the impact of our job. We make thousands of travelers dream and live this dream.

Everyone is happy to work in this industry, we all have a smile, despite recent challenges. That’s beautiful.


It’s been a few months now since you joined the team. What attracted you to Receptour?

I have always had great respect for the brand. In my previous positions, I was regularly in contact with the Receptour team. My relationship with them is not new. I also used to see them at tourism fairs and events. It is a small woorld, you know.

During the covid crisis, I took a training course in transport logistics. I really realized during this training that tourism was my passion and that I could not go away from the industry.

Linda then contacted me to see if I was interested in joining Receptour. My interview with Linda went so well that I accepted the offer. And since I already knew a little about the brand, I knew what I was getting myself into!


travels alvin basque


After several months in the company, how do you feel?

It’s very challenging because we’re trying to get back to pre-pandemic sales. We are working every day to make travelers want to travel again, and to come back to Canada. We are slowly getting back to our 2019 sales, but it’s a long process.

It’s the first time I’ve worked in a facility with a lot of people (laughs). It is certain that this creates a pleasant synergy because we are close to each department. If we have a question or a need, we can get an answer quickly and thanks to this, our projects progress very quickly.


You are a sales and product manager, but which market(s) do you deal with?

I am in contact with the Latin markets. This includes the Latin American countries, Mexico, Spain and Portugal.

It’s a big market and I’m proud that Linda gave me the opportunity to work in such an area.

I work closely with Sharon and Vanessa. Vanessa takes care of all the operational part, and with Sharon, we take care of the customer relationship within this market. As she is also a Spanish speaker, she is a great help. We make a good team! Fun fact, I knew Sharon before I joined Receptour, so we know each other’s way of working and what is the most efficient way for both of us, but also for the company.


What is your favorite Receptour program?

The Canadian Wildlife Odyssey without a doubt.

It is a trip that allows clients to discover what Eastern Canada is really like. We see almost everything of this part of the country, between the cities, the rivers, the lakes without forgetting the nature, this trip includes everything.

Clients can get a glimpse of what the “real” Canada is like. Clients have the opportunity to do the most typical activities such as eating in a sugar shack or visiting an Amerindian site. There are also the more classic activities like Niagara Falls or visiting Montreal, Toronto or Quebec City.

This is one of the tours where travelers will have the opportunity to see whales on a cruise.

In short, I love this trip!


canadian wildlife odyssey


Let’s move on to a slightly more difficult question. If you could teleport, where would you go?

Without hesitation, I will go to the Basque Country!

I hear nothing but good things about it, and it’s a destination that has always intrigued me. Both on the French side and on the Spanish side. I have been to France and Spain, but I haven’t had the chance to go there yet.

I have to tell you a little secret. My family name is BASQUE, and my ancestors came from the Basque Country. It’s a little bit like discovering the country of my ancestors, and my roots.

I have always been attracted to this part of the world. I hear nothing but good things about the Basque Country, and let’s face it, it’s apparently a very good place to eat (laughs).


The interview is now over, would you have a few words to conclude it?

Working in tourism makes everyday different. Customers are not the same, travels are different and challenges change! As it is a job of passion, we are necessarily very happy to receive and make our customers travel. What makes us even happier is when they come back with plenty of great memories.



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