Turning travel dreams into reality

Lloyd Ferguson, owner of Totem Travel, started by writing airline tickets for his dad—39 years later he still loves the industry

Lloyd Ferguson, owner of Totem Travel in Trail, B.C., enjoys a ski outing.

Lloyd Ferguson is the adventurous owner of Totem Travel. — Photo courtesy Lloyd Ferguson

For Lloyd Ferguson, business isn’t necessarily exclusive of his favourite pastimes. He owns Totem Travel in Trail, B.C., a family business that was established in 1963. Today the business is popular for its bus tour division, with pickup from several different West Kootenay communities, and it also offers leisure and business travel services. This long-time business was a popular winner in the 2014 Best of Business Awards. Ferguson answered some questions about owning a travel-focused business.

What was your first job and what did you learn from it?

Besides cutting lawns and delivering papers, I was handwriting airline tickets for my father before starting in our business full-time by delivering tickets daily. I learned that there's a satisfaction to working hard and the rewards that it pays back. 

What’s your passion outside of work?

I have a lot of different interests, including anything that gets me outdoors—especially if it's adventurous—restoring cars, running and working out, and playing ball. I play in a rock band, and of course, I love to travel and experience other cultures. 

Can you offer some advice to someone just beginning a business venture?

Know what you're best at, don't try to do it all and hire the best people you can find and afford. When you have a team of people who work hard and all get along, you spend very little time on staffing issues, which allows you to concentrate on building your business. 

What do you like most about your job?

Aside from fulfilling customers' dreams, there's something very satisfying about building a thriving business that takes care of its customers, satisfies the career goals of its employees, helps out in the community and allows me to pursue my passions.

Why did you choose to get into the travel business?

Being a family business, it was an opportunity to try this career first to see if I was right for the job and if I liked it. Thirty-nine years later, I still love the travel business. It's challenging and rewarding.

Kristen Mitchell

Kristen studied at College of the Rockies in Cranbrook and has worked in a variety of industries, from agriculture to construction, retail to restaurants. She now brings her understanding of the area to Kootenay Business magazine. View all of Kristen Mitchell’s articles

Related articles

West Kootenay, Grand Forks, Cuisine, Entertainment and Hospitality, Small Business, Tourism Finally, the perfect thyme and the right plate

Taking home four golds from our Best Places to Eat and Drink Awards, The Thyme and Plate is a cut above the rest—and they’ve only been open for nine months.

East Kootenay, Fernie, Cuisine, Entertainment and Hospitality, Small Business, Tourism Line up to get your Mugshots

This cafe is serving up a different kind of mugshots in Fernie, B.C. You won’t mind standing in a lineup for these.

West Kootenay, Castlegar, Slocan, Cuisine, Entertainment and Hospitality, Small Business, Tourism This Winlaw bakery is worth driving for

Nicholas and Wendy Fominoff have set their family’s bakery apart with their handmade treats and lunches. Here is what makes their place so special.