It was all about the travel agent last night (April 27) as Air Canada Vacations (ACV) officially launched its “Go Canada” and “Europe Your Way” product lines at a launch in Toronto.
At the event, attended by about 250 agents, attendees were treated to a trade show, dinner and presentation with prizes.
It is the first time in three years that ACV has produced a Europe/Cruise brochure. New destinations include Iceland, Berlin and Marseilles. Seven-, 10-, 14- and 15-day itineraries are available.
Speaking with PressToday, ACV’s George Platanitis and Luigi Iannello said the company’s Europe program is all about access with Air Canada offering 24 weekly departures with connector flights available from 64 cities across Canada.
The pair also noted that Europe is very affordable. A one-week island hopping vacation in Greece, for example, starts at $1,699 (taxes in) and includes air, hotel, transfers and daily breakfasts.
“Why go to an all-inclusive in the summer when you can go to Europe?” asked Platanitis.
The ACV officials also said that Canada is seeing “high demand” and advised agents to advise their clients to book early. “Last minute bookings are not a good idea.”
“It’s the year to be in Canada,” said Platanitis.
The new Canada collection includes fly and drive vacations, urban getaways, fly and rail vacations, guided tours, wildlife adventures, ski and golf vacations.
“When designing Go Canada, our product team also took into account our trade partners,” said Platanitis, vice-president, Sales & Partnerships at Air Canada Vacations. “The collection offers a simple booking process, incentives, exclusive offers, competitive pricing and flexible booking options.”
For agents, ACV has introduced a number of booking incentives. For example, agents will receive an extra 5% commission on new Europe package bookings made by April 30. Agents will also receive up to 8% commission on the flight portion of all air and cruise bookings. A 5% commission will commence on May 1.
The tour operator has also launched a Go Canada contest exclusively for agents. When agents book land-only or air-inclusive packages to Canada they will automatically be entered to win round-trip Business Class air tickets to anywhere in the world. The contest ends Dec. 31 and applies to travel completed by Dec. 31, 2018.
ACV is also helping agents boost business to Europe by offering consumers a $100 off coupon, only redeemable through a travel agent.
“We support the travel agent. We’re driving business into their stores,” said Iannello.”
In other news, travel agents and clients are now able to use MasterCard and Visa debit cards as forms of payment on all Air Canada Vacations bookings.
Pictured at the Toronto event are ACV’s (l-r) Iannello, Platanitis, Dina Bertolo and Serge Beauchemin.