All You Need Is … WestJet

With a nod to next year’s London Gatwick start-up service, a Beatles cover band belted out “All You Need is Love” and a costumed Austin Powers entertained top WestJet partners at the airline’s 3rd annual Travel Partner Awards at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto last night. The soft-sell event for a couple of hundred guests was more celebration than commercial as the airline and its tour division, WestJet Vacations, handed out trophies to top partners and prizes to guests who had to negotiate games like rock-paper-scissors to win. Terrific Canadian motivational speaker and The Book of Awesome author Neil Paricha offered tips (and research) on how to be happy – a feeling help immensely by positive news emanating from the Blue Jays game just down the street (WestJet had the good sense to tune large screens around the room to the game). “Happiness pays off… it can be a real competitive advantage,” Paricha advised in offering up statistics that show that happy people are not just more productive, but live longer lives.

WestJet VP of Sales and Business Development at Lyell Farquharson made a quick pitch for a support for the upcoming LGW service, which will take the airline’s capacity to 1,200 seats per day over the Atlantic. “It’s a big deal for us to go over the pond in such a big… We need your help,” he stated.

He also touted the airline’s enhanced plus product, aimed at the business traveller segment, noting that it is something that clients have asked for. “This isn’t a gunslinger approach, we’ve done the market work on this,” he said.

But in the end, the evening was about awards, which included the following:

  • Top Cruise Operator: Prestige Cruise Holdings (Oceana, Regent Seven Seas Cruises)
  • Top Group Incentive Convention Operator: Meridican Incentive Consultants
  • AMResorts Top Sales: Ensemble Travel
  • Top Escorted Tour Operator: The Travel Corporation
  • Top Overall Tour Operator: Voyzant Inc.
  • Top Bahia Principe Resort Sales: Flight Centre
  • Top Growth Agency: Merit Travel
  • WestJet Encore Top Growth: Uniglobe West
  • Sandals Resorts Top Sales: Transat Distribution Company
  • WestJet Vacations Top Growth: Carlson Wagonlit Wholly Owned
  • WestJet Top Online Travel Agency: Expedia, and,
  • WestJet Top Growth TMC: Vision Travel Solutions