All Systems Go For Transat Winter Program

School’s back for Ontario travel agents interested in Transat’s winter offerings.

The tour operator – along with partners Melia Hotels International Cuba and Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts – Tuesday night began in Toronto what it’s billing as Ontario Training Academies, workshops that familiarize agents with the tour operator’s winter sun program and to a lesser degree its Europe program.

“We’re really focusing on training – training the agent, education, getting them to meet our hoteliers face to face,” Denise Heffron, Transat Tours Canada’s vice-president, national sales & commercial, told PressToday.

“We’re totally ready to go. All systems are go for winter. Bring on the snow,” she said during the event, which attracted hoteliers and tourist board representatives.

Transat is using the academies to distribute its 378-page Sun & Fun brochure, which features vacation options in the Caribbean, Florida, Mexico, Central America and Cartagena Colombia.

“We feel with our collections we offer something for every type of client,” said Transat’s Nicole Bursey, who noted that this year marks the 30th anniversary of the tour operator.

“This is a fantastic way to position ourselves in the marketplace and keep our partners – the agents – mindful of what we’re doing,” said Brenda Bradley of Melia Cuba’s Canadian office.

Bradley noted that Melia Cuba will next year open a Paradisus property on Cayo Santa Maria that will have more than 800 rooms, broadening an already wide presence on the island for the Spanish company.

Michael Price of Bahia Principe’s Canadian office also praised the academies. “It’s very useful because we meet all the travel agents who support us throughout the year.”

The Ontario academies will visit Ajax, Hamilton, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Barrie, St. Catherines, Thunder Bay and culminate in Ottawa on Sept. 18.

Pictured at the Toronto event are Transat’s Ontario sales manager Dan Prior and Mary Santonato, director groups, Ontario & Atlantic Canada.