Travel Agent Appreciation

Cooking With Transat

Operator Has A Taste For Growth In Europe

Over 50 VIP, travel trade types were welcomed to Cirillo’s Culinary Academy in west Toronto yesterday (Nov. 6) to get the inside scoop on Transat Tours Canada Inc.’s 2018 Europe program and to roll up their sleeves and cook themselves a gourmet lunch featuring dishes from destinations – Italy, Greece, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Canada, Europe, Israel, Spain and France – that the tour company is featuring in its new program.

And not only did agents have a chance to enjoy some tasty dishes, they were also provided with lots of need-to-know information on what the operator had in story for the 2018 Europe season.

Transat’s vice-president, national sales & commercial, Denise Heffron offered the big picture look at what to expect in 2018, and prefaced her remarks by making it clear to the retailers on hand that “Cuba is 150% open and it’s ready to host your clients.”

In this respect, Heffron told her audience that while agents know that Cuba’s ready, the job now is to get that message out to consumers.

That said, Heffron turned her attention to Transat’s new Europe program, pointing out that in 2018, the operator will be featuring 28 destinations and will “not only be defending its number one position in Europe,” but it will be on a mission to significantly increase that position.

She said that this winter, Transat has upped its capacity by 19%; in the summer, the increase is 12%; and globally, its capacity has grown by 14% – so clearly, the company is not fooling around here.

Heffron also made it clear that it has renewed its commitment to further expose the Transat brand in Ontario, launching new television commercials in that market and returning to Toronto’s Dundas Square with a significant presence there.

Nicole Bursey, commercial director for Transat, told the gathering that the company’s Europe product is growing – not by adding new destinations – as the operator strengthens its position in each of its key markets there – increasing its capacity into the UK, Portugal, Israel, Spain and Ireland.

Those capacity increases, she said, are from Toronto and Montreal and the operator has also put more connector service in place from Western Canada to feed into those gateways.

Of note, Bursey told the crowd that one of the things that’s become really clear – referring to conversations that she’d had at a recent conference – is that “agents are all over Portugal this season. And that’s a good thing.

Watch for more on Transat in upcoming issues of Canadian Travel Press and Travel Courier … Oh, and for anyone wondering, lunch was wonderful … those agents can really cook …

In the photo:

Ready to cook up something new for the 2018 Europe season, from l to r, are Transat Tours Canada Inc.’s Denise Heffron, vice-president, national sales & commercial; Dan Prior, sales manager, Ontario & Atlantic Canada; and Nicole Bursey, commercial director, who are seen at Cirillo’s Culinary Academy where the operator held its VIP Europe launch yesterday.

Posted in Destinations, Events, News, Tour Operators, Travel Agents