It comes but once a year. No, not Christmas or Easter, or even Mother’s Day, but a national day in recognition of travel agents across the country. With a growing number of offices partaking in celebrations and awareness increasing among travel agents and suppliers, the fourth annual Travel Agent Day, set for May 6 (first Wednesday of the month), is shaping up to be the biggest yet, reports Ann Ruppenstein in this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier.
Dave McCaig, president and COO of The Association of Canadian Travel Agencies says ACTA’S involvement has grown in response to strong initiatives from retail members and member encouragement to participate.
“The very first year there was some small amount, maybe one or two managers who picked up on it and decided to do something,” McCaig told Travel Courier. “We thought it was a good idea and wanted to consult and contribute to it. There’s more and more people jumping on board every year.”
McCaig says the significance of the day is to promote the value of a travel agent to the consumer, adding that ACTA will be launching a new online initiative as an extension of their marketing toolkit on Travel Agent Day.
“There’s been a complete reversal of the value of the travel agent,” he says. “The press, consumers, everyone was going to the Internet five years ago and that’s turned around. Now they see the value with the types of bookings and savings that travel agents can bring to them and the excellent customer service.”
On the regional level, ACTA managers are planning to mark the day with various events across the country, including a cocktail reception and visit to a spa with a Nordic bath near Montreal and bringing treats to several local offices in Vancouver.
“Our regional managers across Canada are doing special functions that day from going to visit travel agencies to doing a luncheon,” McCaig says. “In some cases the suppliers are working with us too.”
In Manitoba, regional manager Shelley Morris is planning to visit various member agencies and already had a celebratory glass of wine with several agents in Saskatchewan. She also visited Saskatoon’s Uniglobe Carefree Travel office to meet with Colleen Lorenzen, the founder of Travel Agent Day.
For the full story, check out this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier by clicking here.