Agents' Choice 2020
Canadian Travel Press
Issue Date: Dec 09, 2019
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Showcasing the added value of travel professionals

Forecast 2020

LOUISE FECTEAU
General Manager
Transat Distribution Canada (TDC)

It’s always a bit tricky talking about trends in the world of tourism.

In fact, it’s almost a certainty to say that our industry regularly faces unpredictable circumstances. As we know, things change quickly. Overnight, unexpected situations suddenly take over, and become unavoidable.

However, when it comes to sustainable tourism, I think we can confidently say that there is a general consensus, across all industries, that this is a trend that has only been growing for several years. At Transat, this commitment has been part of our DNA for more than 12 years. Everything we do is focused around four main pillars: the environment, communities, our operations and the workplace. In 2016, we shifted up a gear and earned Travelife Partner status, a first step towards certification. In 2018, we were the first in North America to obtain Travelife certification for all our tour operators and TDC’s travel agency activities. It was based on an action plan to comply with more than 200 criteria involving our corporate practices, products, partners and customers. In terms of flight operations, Air Transat launched the renewal of part of its fleet with Airbus A321 neoLR aircrafts, which are equipped with engines that have the lowest fuel consumption and greenhouse gas (CO2 and NOx) emissions in their class.

Evidently, all these achievements are considerable, necessary and must be continuously upgraded. Nevertheless, on a wider scale, I believe that as part of Canada’s largest network of travel agencies, our Travel Professionals have the power to engage travellers in thinking about their travel habits and to help them find effective ways to reduce their environmental footprint while travelling. Our goal continues to make this a priority with our network and our clients.

LUXURY TRAVEL ON THE RISE

When examining the demographics of travellers, you can clearly see that disposable incomes have been growing. This brings me to the topic of luxury travel.

I don’t think I need to convince you that this market has been expanding for years and is now in full swing. Options for travellers are endless, they have increasingly specific demands, and, above all, they are willing to invest a lot of money to turn their dreams into reality. Thus, TDC must continue to be one step ahead to serve these exclusive travellers with a wide range of products.

We believe there are five main types of luxury travel: wellness tourism, hassle-free chic travel, guilt-free getaways, on-demand trips and lastly, customized trips. Each of these types have very specific features which Travel Professionals need to know. In the upcoming months, TDC will be better equipped than ever to make their dream luxury vacation a reality. We are working to develop a brand new program that specifically targets this demography, and I’ll be happy to share more details with you once everything is finalized.

BLEISURE TRAVEL

Admittedly, we are living in an era where there’s less and less of a distinction between working hours and leisure hours, and it has been the case for a few years.

An increasing number of studies tend to show that bleisure travel is on the rise, that is when people combine work with leisure, and this is particularly true for millennials. According to a study by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), when travelling on business:

  • 37% of travellers in North America extend their stay;
  • 48% of millennials surveyed extend their stay, compared to 33% for Generation X and 23% for baby boomers.

Whether the business traveller chooses to schedule a few extra days alone, or with his spouse or family that joins him at his destination, our role as Travel Professionals is to listen and provide what is needed.

As a result, by consistently being on the lookout for new trends and realities, we better support our travellers.

In doing so, we increase their level of satisfaction by exceeding their expectations, and showcasing the value add that the Travel Professional can provide to the consumer, for an enhanced experience.

 

 

 

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