STAY Mar/Apr 2022

STAY Magazine is an independently owned trade publication created to share stories, data and pointed trends within Canada's hotel and accommodations industry.

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Page 32 of 43

It was January 2020 and I had decided to return to the family travel business my grandfather started in 1967. Twenty years in the travel industry and it was time to work on something that I could control, something that I might one day leave to one of my three children. I didn't know, of course, that two months later international borders would shut down, airplanes would remain grounded and the world would essentially shelter in place. One thing became clear to me as we rode the pandemic wave: domestic travel was a sleeping giant and it was slowly starting to stir. The Birth of Landsby A few years before the global pandemic began, I had met with the Destination Canada team and they introduced me to the Canadian Signature Experiences program—a portfolio of authentic, Canadian experiences designed in 2012 for the How to collab with travel & tourism international markets, showcasing iconic Canadian experiences. What really struck me was that as a well-travelled Canadian, born and raised in Toronto with many years in the travel industry, I had not heard of any of these experiences prior to the meeting. Why did they only live as a static PDF on the tourism board website? Why weren't these experiences being marketed to Canadians? So, in the spring of 2020, my mind immediately jumped to domestic tourism. Could this be the push we Canadians needed to finally start prioritizing travel in our own country? Was this the opportunity to do something about those experiences I had been dreaming about since my meeting with Destination Canada? Through my family 's company, I launched a Canadian portfolio with 50 partners from the program and that later led to the birth of Landsby, named after the Nordic word for village. By Jason Sarracini FOUNDER AND CEO LANDSBY March April 2022 | | 33

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