INTERVIEW: Goway founder Bruce Hodge on Travelweek’s early days, Goway’s new projects and more
Goway founder Bruce Hodge at Goway's Toronto office, March 2023

INTERVIEW: Goway founder Bruce Hodge on Travelweek’s early days, Goway’s new projects and more

INTERVIEW: Goway founder Bruce Hodge on Travelweek’s early days, Goway’s new projects and more

Bruce Hodge ‘Downunder’


TORONTO — Without a generous favour from Goway founder Bruce Hodge, the magazine that came to be known as Travelweek might never have gotten off the ground.

Back in the early 1970s Wayne Lahtinen, founder and first editor and publisher of Travelweek (then known as CTM Weekly Bulletin), was in need of office space. But with a start-up on his hands, he couldn’t justify the rent. A serendipitous suggestion from Hodge came at just the right time.

In this first Q&A for Travelweek’s 50th anniversary interview series, Hodge tells us about the deal he and Lahtinen hashed out one night over drinks at the Hotel Victoria in Toronto. He also talks about the secret to five decades of success, what’s new with Goway and much more.

Travelweek: Goway’s unique connection with Travelweek goes way, way back – to the very early days of Travelweek’s existence! In fact, without Goway’s generosity, Travelweek might never have taken off. Can you tell us about that connection?

Hodge: “Congratulations Travelweek on your golden anniversary. I am very honoured to be a (very small) part of the wonderful 50-year story of your business.

“In the early 1970s, Wayne Lahtinen (founder of the ‘Blue Rag’ that is now Travelweek) and I used to frequent a bar in the Hotel Victoria, downtown Toronto. It was a popular watering hole for travel industry people, opposite Goway’s then-location at 53 Yonge Street.

“One day Wayne confessed to me that his business couldn’t justify the rent for an office, which meant he was going to operate from his apartment. I suggested that wouldn’t be a good idea, for a couple of reasons, and offered him free space in my office. Two weeks later Wayne moved in with his business partner [and by 1975, associate publisher and managing editor] Paul Vickers. In time, both our companies grew and we required separate offices.”


Travelweek: Goway celebrated its own 50th anniversary in 2020. From one legacy company to another, what do you think are the keys to success to staying in business in the travel industry for more than half a century?

Hodge: “To continue to grow and develop, I encourage our staff to defy the ‘status quo’ as we can always do better … whether it is developing new product or finding new and more efficient ways to do business. Very early on, we made the commitment to ensure all of our travellers are so satisfied with our services that they will recommend us to their friends, and will use our services next time they go globetrotting. It took time, but we were able to diversify our product and destinations and become a true go-to travel source for real globetrotters.”


Travelweek: What are a few of your own fondest memories from your years in the travel industry? If you had to name just a few!

Hodge: “As a businessman, my proudest memories have been slaying the many dragons that attacked our industry over the years. In Canada there have been at least seven recessions, including the ‘Great One’.  There was also September 11 and recently the COVID pandemic. In our dynamic worldwide industry, I have met many interesting and inspiring characters and made many friends for life. I have never been bored and thank my lucky stars that I chose a career in travel and gave up the opportunity to be an economist in the Reserve Bank of Australia.”


Travelweek: What’s new with Goway right now, and what are you most excited about for the year ahead?

Hodge: “The year ahead is what we have been waiting for, for three years. During COVID, our policy was to ‘not waste a crisis’. We revamped our product line and ‘soft launched’ destinations USA & Canada so that this year, we can truly say we sell ‘all’ the world to Globetrotters.

“We upgraded our infrastructure including our phone system and a new on-line training program (for staff and agents). Our biggest investment has been a new reservations system that after three years development comes online just after Easter. Work has already begun on the new which we hope to launch before the end of 2023. April is the beginning of our financial year when we are launching a 5-year plan to grow 30% each year.

“Also, in 2025, we want to make it a celebration year to make up for our 50th anniversary which we had to cancel in 2020 due to the pandemic.”


For all the latest product news from Goway, see In the weeks and months to come watch for more interviews and memories marking Travelweek’s 50th anniversary. Plus, try your luck with our contest, ‘It Happened This Week’, featuring a new headline (and a new chance to win!) every week from Travelweek’s 50 years of travel industry news coverage.

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