A strong showing of Canadian travel agents are on location in Riviera Maya this week for the 11th annual GIVC (Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Consultants) sales and marketing forum by Karisma Hotels & Resorts.
Along with elaborate special events like Grease and Alice In Wonderland themed soirees, the educational program got underway yesterday (Dec. 6) at the El Dorado Royale, reports Press Today’s Ann Ruppenstein from the GIVC event.
“GIVC is about thanking and recognizing our agents,” said Marilyn Cairo, director of retail sales – North America for Karisma Hotels & Resorts.
Whether it’s among fellow agents, suppliers, partners or, most importantly, clients, Cairo encouraged agents to think about what they can do to stand out by leaving their personal mark on the work they do and the people they interact with.
“The theme for this event is Always Leave Your Mark. This is the mindset we want you to be in… You are the representation of your brand. You are leaving your mark somewhere,” she said. “People will never forget how you make them feel.”
Cairo in turn outlined some of the unique attributes across Karisma’s offerings, like the Canada Cash incentive or the Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts concept, which she described as a consumer recognized brand agents can present to their clients.
Donnie Dawson, deputy director of tourism, sales – USA and Latin America for the Jamaica Tourist Board then took the stage to drive home the point that travel agents are still relevant, especially for the destination where Karisma also has a strong presence.
“Travel agents are not going anywhere anytime soon,” he said. “They’re just getting bigger and stronger.”
Showcasing its commitment to the trade, Dawson said 80% of the JTB’s annual budget is on engaging travel agents and it employs 20 BDMs across Canada and the US.
“You are our most important client,” he said. “You drive Jamaica’s tourism.”
GIVC culminates tonight with a special awards gala honouring the sales success of the trade.
Pictured (top): the Canadian contingency with Karisma Hotels & Resorts’ regional sales and marketing managers Debbie Girard (based in Vancouver); Alex Portman (senior business development manager – Central Canada & Corporate Accounts, based in Toronto) and Mimi Moutou (based in Montreal). Middle: Sabrina Filatow, national sales director, Karisma Hotels & Resorts; Donnie Dawson, deputy director of tourism, sales – USA and Latin America for the Jamaica Tourist Board and Marilyn Cairo, director of retail sales – North America.