Canadian Travel Press
Issue Date: Dec 16, 2019

Ontario tour operator goes global


Rewards Holiday hasn’t forgotten its Asian roots.

The Ontario tour operator began life as Rewards Travel China in 2010 and sending people to China alone but June saw it establish the trade name Rewards Holiday and business development manager Michaela Yan says clients now have a large number of countries to choose from, including several Asian ones.

Added in Asia were Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Japan, while those interested in Latin America can choose from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama and Peru.

Available in Africa are South Africa, Kenya and Egypt, while Dubai, Sharjah and Jordan are offered to those wanting to visit the Middle East.

“A lot of our clients went to China with us, came back and asked if we have other tours because they love us so much,” says Yan, who notes that the parent company remains Rewards Travel China, Inc. “We also want our agents to have more business opportunities by offering different varieties of tours.”

The top-selling destinations for the tour operator now are South Africa, Kenya, Central America, Dubai and China.

Great Wall of China

Despite the broadened program, Yan says China remains important to the tour operator and she says current tensions between Ottawa and Beijing shouldn’t make Canadians nervous about visiting the Asian nation. “Disregard the tensions, visiting China is still a huge trend,” Yan says. “Most of our agents are selling China just as much. The only difficulty seems to be getting the multi-entry Chinese visa as the Chinese embassy requires fingerprints from applicants. To deal with this situation, instead of going through the embassy, we now provide single-entry group visas issued by the Exit & Entry Administration Bureau upon arrival so our clients do not need to travel to the Chinese embassy personally.

“Tensions between Canada and China are mostly on the political level. It does not affect regular travellers much. Unless this traveller has committed a crime before in China, then that’s another story. Otherwise, China is the safest country to travel to.”

Yan says her company has sent thousands of travellers to China this year and “each of them came back with amazing reviews and comments.”

Meanwhile, Yan says her company wants to further add to its offerings and is working on European and Russian river cruises, along with trips to Turkey and Tunisia. It also wants to make Nepal and Bhutan available for spiritual travellers and is eying more theme tours, such as spas and wellness, arts and performances, educational tours with service time and MICE travel.

She also says agents will find Rewards Holiday prices “very competitive” and the company offers agents “good commission rates.”

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