Valerie ******* Travel Industry Management Professional

Toronto, ON LinkedIn

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Valerie Nilsson

416.553.2173  *  *
Results-Focused Travel Industry Management Executive


Highly relationship-focused, with progressive roles within the travel and tourism industries. Recognized for consistently exceeding performance goals and building mutually beneficial, long-term partnerships. Thoughtful, inclusive leader.  Builds trust in others and encourages open dialogue, planning and creativity to achieve results. Optimistic, enthusiastic with strong personal and professional values.  Organized, with an ability to prioritize and enjoys working with others to bring out the best in team members while creating strong connections.



Certified Sales Professional designation (CSP), Relationship Building, Communication, Strategy, Coaching, Implementation & Project Management. Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite, Salesforce, Social Media, Reporting and other technologies.


Guest Experience Manager ▫ Red Bay Lodge                                                                            March -September 2021


¨       Contract position to launch first season of lodge with new ownership. Goal to create exceptional guest experience by setting and exceeding expectations through strong internal and external guest communication and assessing guest’s needs.  Successfully researched and implemented Property Management System and trained staff/owners on software. Integrated payment processor into PMS. Became primary “face” of the lodge.   Drove lodge to “super host” status on Airbnb by ensuring positive reviews of lodge and staff, including self.


Regional Manager – Sales ▫ WestJet Airlines                                                                                                    2013 – 2020


®  Continuously met and exceeded double-digit annual revenue goals throughout 7 years in role. Coached and motivated sales & account management teams to consistently increase revenues on average of 20% each year over established goals of 12%. Team managed an account portfolio of over 150 clients including the Canadian Government and large multi-national companies with direct accountability for sales growth.  Developed and deepened partnerships with travel industry and corporate leaders to strengthen collaborative efforts and promote mutual profitability.   Founded and co-led first ever Client Advisory Board, with backing from Executive Leadership Team, to address airline’s gaps and opportunities within marketing and operations departments.  Envisioned first Corporate Client Implementation Plan from concept to act as liaison between sales and account management.  Organized on and off-site team meetings & team-building events.   Set budgets and forecast recommendations for team.  Sat on and participated in Delta-WestJet Joint Venture sub-working group.


Strategic Account Manager ▫ WestJet Airlines and WestJet Vacations                                                2009 – 2013


®  Expanded airline’s reach with large-scale travel trade partners (online and traditional travel agencies, loyalty companies) by approximately 12-16% over budget each year in role, through development of strategic joint business plans and progressive performance-based incentive programs.  Grew client base with additional partnerships by 20% and retained 100% of partners currently under contract.  Negotiated complex multi-year Agreements designed to grow share, revenue and guest count. Collaborated with partners to implement online/print marketing and sales campaigns to effectively promote brand and service offerings.  Built and executed on annual business plans.  Performed quarterly client business reviews to assess success of campaigns.


Travel Trade Partnership Manager ▫ Avis Budget Group                                                                             1999 – 2009


®  Achieved “Best-In-Class” recognition as one of top 10% individual performers in North America.  Subject matter expert developing joint objectives with national and international partnerships including Online Travel Agencies (OTA’s), airlines, coalition loyalty companies, and key tour operators and travel agency groups through lifecycle of negotiation, contracting and relationship maintenance to exceed growth targets. Utilized an approach of consultative selling, effective customer solutions and promotion of compelling partnership opportunities. Represented brands at all tourism industry-related trade shows in Canada, USA and Europe to promote domestic and inbound leisure travel.



Travel Industry Manager ▫ Carlton Place Hotel                                                                                                                   


®  Category Manager for new and existing account base for travel trade, including targeted travel agency companies, domestic, transborder and international tour operators for inbound business to 524-room Toronto hotel.  Grew account base and revenues in this market by 40% during tenure in role. Worked with Destination Management Organizations (DMO’s) to secure leads and participate in marketing activities. 


Sales Representative ▫ Insight International Tours


¨       Territory field sales building market share with front line travel agents and managers/owners through training, co-op marketing initiatives, incentives, trade and consumer shows and consumer awareness presentations



Leadership,  iLead

80 hours of pre-work and in-class leadership training


Certified Sales Professional, graduated “With Distinction”, Canadian Professional Sales Association


Travel/Tourism Diploma, Canadian Travel School


Professional education programs, including communications, presentation skills, project management, negotiations, servant leadership, situational leadership.



Canadian Professional Sales Association (CPSA), Member                                                                 Present

Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), Member                                                                           Present


Orangeville Curling Club – Board Member, Marketing Chair                                                                  Present

Town of Orangeville – Committee Member, Sustainability Orangeville                                               Present