Winter is coming, and for Sheralyn Berry, director of sales for Contiki Canada, there’s no better time to explore Europe because it’s more affordable, less crowded — and Christmas markets are in full swing.
“I think we’re off to a great start this year. A lot of people are already looking at winter in Europe, which is fantastic to see, it’s my favourite season to go to Europe,” Berry told PressToday last night (Nov. 1) at a Contiki Canada cocktail reception in Toronto in celebration of its 2017 destination launches.
To highlight the perks of travelling in winter, Contiki is releasing a new Winter is the Sexiest Season video featuring “Sexy Winter Man,” which agents can access to repost for potential clients.
With many travellers booking last minute vacations — 30-65 days out — there’s still time for agents to make more bookings and she notes that cost is less of a factor at this time. (Side note: today is the last day for agents to sign up to take part in Contiki’s winter fam.)
As for 2017, Contiki is featuring 21 new and improved itineraries in Europe and five in Asia, including a return to India after a 40-year hiatus with The Eternal India tour, as well as three Limited Edition Summer Series tours focusing on food, photography or boutique, Pinterest-worthy, hotels.
“We definitely see the confidence coming back to many of the areas that we travel to with Contiki so with that in mind we’re seeing a great forecast ahead for the year to come,” says Dave Marathakis, sales manager, Ontario & Atlantic.
In addition to new destinations and tours, the trade can expect the launch of Contiki U, an e-learning program on Contiki’s travel agent website.
“Travel agents can take it at their leisure, they can start and stop it whenever they want, we understand they are very busy,” Berry says. “These will be short snackable sized modules with great video content and a lot of essential learning points, it’s fun and interactive.”
With 30% of sales coming from the gifter market, the program includes tips on how to attract sales from parents and grand parents instead of just its key 18-35 year old demographic. Those who complete the program can earn gift cards, free Contiki trips and more.
Pictured at the event, which capped off with Batch beer samplings and lessons, are (l-r) Jeff Element, president of The Travel Corporation Canada; Berry; Lauren Howard, national brand and marketing manager, Contiki Canada and Marathakis.