Clark County at Work: Caribbean And Beyond

By Mary Ricks, Columbian news assistant

Published:

 

Owners: Ann Cappa and her sister Fran Cappa.

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Address: In-home office in Vancouver's Northwest neighborhood.

What the business does: As professional travel consultants, sisters Ann and Fran Cappa help their clients turn their travel dreams into reality. The Cappas said they do more than just book travel: They develop relationships with their clients in order to match them with the perfect resort or cruise vacation. They said the only thing their clients have to do is show up at the airport.

Steps to build your business: The travel consultants have a website and a social media presence with Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. They are active members of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce and belong to many networking groups. They stay connected with their clients and prospects in many ways: a monthly newsletter, phone calls, their website, social media, and promotional offerings by e-mail and direct mail. Caribbean and Beyond participates in and supports numerous activities locally.

Greatest challenge: The Cappas said their greatest challenge is to educate the public about the value of using a travel consultant instead of the impersonal Internet. Travel agents save time for travelers, and they noted that their agency is local, with a live person available by the phone.

What's ahead: Within the next several months the women want to create a corporate incentive program that will help local companies reward their valuable employees with travel opportunities. The group cruise business is already an important part of the company's business, and the Cappas want to grow that portion of their agency. They will continue to develop their own skills and resources through continuing education opportunities of webinars, industry conferences and trade shows.

Owner's business history: Ann Cappa was a travel coordinator for more than 35 years for a major manufacturing firm and was responsible for the company's annual travel budget of nearly half a million dollars. She managed more than a dozen employees who traveled extensively both domestically and internationally.

Fran Cappa worked for more than 19 years in communicable disease epidemiology. For five years, she lived and worked in nine countries. That background gives her a wealth of knowledge of the health sector and of cultural traditions from around the world to the travel industry, she said.

Year established in Clark County: 2001.

Employees: Owners only.

Telephone: 360-694-4812.

Fax: 360-690-8575.

Email:acappa@caribbeanandbeyond.com or fcappa@comcast.net

Website:http://www.caribbeanandbeyond.com

Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.