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ACV Puts Agents Front and Centre

Operator Set to Launch New Travel Advisory Board

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Air Canada Vacations’ new Travel Advisory Board is launching this month, featuring 25-plus travel agents from across the country.

Craig Landry, president, Air Canada Leisure Group, told Travel Courier the main purpose of the board is for the company to better understand what’s on the minds of the travel agency community, from issues with how they interact with ACV’s call centre or reservations systems to new pieces of technology, policies and deposits.

“If there’s friction in the process, if there’s obstacles in their ability to sell on our behalf, we want to know about it and we want to try and make it better,” he says. “It’s first and foremost about helping them be better at what it is that they do, which of course will help us be more successful as well.”

The names of the participating members were announced last week at the Sun Collection launch event in Toronto.

“These people are going to become advisors that are going to work really closely with us,” he says. “We will meet with them every month [for the first six month, then quarterly]; they will really help us understand even better than we do today what’s on the minds of travel agents, how can we become a better tour operator and partner for them, how can we help them sell.”

He says the impact of the trade can’t be understated, equating to roughly two-thirds of annual bookings with ACV.

“We don’t exist without the trade and so we have a very concentrated effort to try to make sure that we can be as trade-friendly as we can possibly can,” he says.

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