As ChinaPac International Travel of Vancouver turns the corner on its 30th anniversary, it does so with changes in ownership being settled, and new directions for the company being established, reports western editor, Ted Davis in this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press.
Most notable and relevant to clients of ChinaPac is the departure of the founder, owner and president of the company, Jenny Soares. She has made the decision to step down in pursuit of a well-deserved break from building ChinaPac into the success story it is at present.
But she is doing so while retaining an advisory position in the operation of ChinaPac, on the invitation of the new owners. New general manager Lucy Gao and marketing manager Tina Dong have welcomed the participation of Soares during the ownership transition and beyond, in an open ended agreement that does not currently have a time limit.
“It is very important that our clients have confidence in knowing their business with ChinaPac will continue as before,” said Gao. “Having Jenny stay on to work here with us is key to retaining that confidence.”
This will be good news to the many clients who have established long term travel and tour relationships with ChinaPac, and in particular Soares. “I want to help out with the transition as long as I am needed,” said Soares, who is pleased with how the latest ChinaPac chapter is unfolding, and now titles herself as marketing consultant.
A REAL GAME CHANGER
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel for Baha Mar, the much-anticipated mega resort and shopping/entertainment complex in The Bahamas, according to CTP’s managing editor, Michael Baginski.
The US$3.5-billion project, which will comprise five hotels, golf course and tennis courts, casino, spa, eco sanctuary, 40 restaurants and shopping village, is the largest ever single phase development in the Caribbean and has been planned for over a decade, casting an expectant shadow over the future of Bahamian tourism during that time. At last, as the complex nears completion, it has been announced that the first guests will be welcomed on March 27, with official opening ceremonies taking shape for late April or May.
The development is located in Cable Beach beside the landmark Crystal Palace Casino — about 10 minutes equidistant from the airport and downtown Nassau — and in early January Baha Mar executives led a Canadian travel trade group, including Canadian Travel Press, on an exclusive hard-hat, steel-toe-boot site inspection designed to show off the the resort, which is transforming the area with 2,200 new luxury guest rooms across four hotels, plus a fifth existing property, the new all-inclusive Melia Nassau Beach (formerly the Sheraton), along with convention centre and the Caribbean’s largest casino.
US VISITS TO CANADA SURGE
Montreal editor, Mike Dunbar reports that the U.S. Department of Commerce had year-end good news for tourism operators in Canada, but not so good news for their confreres south of the border.
In a pre-Christmas report, commerce’s National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) revealed that the number of Americans visiting Canada surged in October, but a post-yule study showed real spending on travel and tourism in America itself decelerated in the third quarter of 2014.
US travel to overseas markets was up 5% in October to 2.2 million but US travel to its North American neighbours was up a whopping 19% for the month, totalling more than 2.8 million.
The major beneficiary was Mexico, which counted 1.9 million American travellers – up 25% over the same month in 2013, while Canadian visitation hit 905,000 and was up 7%.
But the particularly good news for the inbound industry here – considering that the US provides fully 19% of all foreign arrivals annually – was that the high-rent air travel market rose 9% on a year-over-year basis.