About STI

Office Crew

Our office was established in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1989. The company's founders come from an extensive background in the tour guiding industry. Having guided tours throughout Europe and North America we know what is important to have a successful tour. Being raised in Europe, we know the regions and customs thoroughly; and for our European guests traveling to North America, we are aware of what they expect from a trip across the Atlantic.

From creating the itinerary (which is done as a team with the group organizer) to having the right services on the tour there are many details involved – and we are here to make sure that it will be a great experience for you and your group.

Being a small company we pride ourselves in service, personal touch and our care for details. Value for your money and quality of service are our priorities and we are proud to know that people come back to us time and time again for wonderful tours tailored to their specific needs.

We enjoy working on special projects and finding the perfect set up for each tour. People are different – so each and every tour is different. With this individuality in mind, we go the extra mile to make sure each tour is uniquely memorable. We also realize that for many travelers a certain trip might be the trip of a lifetime, and we want to do our part to make sure the tour is superlative.

We would certainly enjoy the opportunity to work with you on your next tour!

Meet Our Team

Gery Valintner

Gery Valtiner

Having grown up in Austria and being exposed to many cultures all around, the love for travel was born early. A summer job, guiding North American students throughout Europe at the age of 21, turned into a career that brought him via California to Canada. Vancouver is home since 1987 and in 1989 Special Travel International became the platform for specialized group tours. The experience of being a tour guide translates into the perfect background for setting up tours that work. No matter, if it is Europe, the Americas, Asia or Africa, the basic love for travel and other cultures translates into special tours. And ethical travel, trying to interact with people from around the world rather than just “observing without getting involved” are the ideas he tries to relay to fellow travelers.

He accompanies or guides still a number of our tours, being always in touch with what is going on in the world. Maintaining a high standard and love for important details, working with group organizers and simply getting to know many wonderful travelers are a big part of his life.

Traveling, reading, photography and of course golf are the necessary balance.

Pedja Markus

Pedja Markus

Born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia (at that time) he grew up and went to school mostly abroad – Rome, Cairo & Washington D.C. After finishing high school in the U.S. he studied Tourism at the University of Belgrade. After working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Yugoslavia he worked for some of the bigger travel agencies & tour operators in the country, working with travelers from around the world, setting up tours for groups and individual travelers.

He moved to Canada in 1994 and joined Special Travel International where he can apply his knowledge and European experience, working on the special interest groups the company is setting up to various parts of the world.

Albert Kwok

Albert Kwok

Born and growing up in the cosmopolitan city of Hong Kong, he has been in the travel industry since 1978. First in Hong Kong, then London, Okinawa/Japan and now Vancouver.

He has a passion for history, learning languages and travel to off the beaten path destinations from Tibet to Namibia, Tanzania, Corsica or Estonia, just to name a few.

At Special Travel International one of his strengths is dealing with flight requirements for our many travelers.

Angela Susi

Angela Susi

Angela has been a travel counsellour for her entire adult life and part of our team since 2001.  Working in the Freestyle Holidays division of our company she has been taking care of independent travellers, organizing family and corporate groups and taking part of some of our groups over the years.  With her many years in the travel industry she has vast experience in travel to most areas of the world but her speciality is cruises, both river and ocean.  Hailing from Berlin and having travelled extensively throughout Europe she enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise to ensure her clients' travel plans go smoothly.     Angela takes your time and holiday budget very seriously and truly feels that, as travel specialists, we are 'purveyors of dreams'.