First in Service, better known as F1S, makes its Canadian presence official

First in Service, better known as F1S, makes its Canadian presence official

TORONTO — First in Service (F1S) has announced its expansion into Canada, two years after it first arrived.

F1S began laying foundations in this market in 2019, however the pandemic soon took centre stage.

The New York-based travel agency bills itself as a travel experience company, founded in 1991 by brother-and-sister entrepreneur team Erika Reategui and Fernando Gonzalez. F1S is a top Virtuoso member and also one of North America’s largest independent travel agencies. The Toronto office is the sixth for F1S, joining a network that also includes New York, L.A., Miami, Madrid and Bogota.

So far 25 Canadian travel advisors have joined F1S Canada, says Reategui, President of F1S. Travel advisor Willa Griffin will help lead F1S Canada. “Willa plays an integral role in our positioning in the Canadian market and the success of our operations there. Her crucial leadership within F1S Canada also extends to serving on our board of directors,” says Reategui.

Says Griffin: “Canada’s leisure and corporate travel was steadily growing, but the number of global travel companies coming into our market was not keeping pace. Fernando, Erika and I saw this as an opportunity to infuse new life and excitement into the marketplace.”

Griffin can be reached at willa@f1s.com.

F1S CEO and co-founder Gonzalez says the agency has been building its presence here in Canada over the past two years. “While we are only now formally announcing our entry into Canada, First in Service has been stealthily growing our Toronto-based operations since first opening our offices here in late 2019. During that time – and despite the pandemic – we have been steadily building our presence by attracting top travel advisors from across the country,” he said.