It was all about the travel agent last night as TravelBrands — which had a strong 2017 — hosted more than 700 agents in Toronto as part of its Agent Appreciation roadshow, which continues April 16 in Calgary and April 17 in Vancouver.
“We have updated many aspects of our organization to support our goals of helping agents work smarter, not harder,” said Frank DeMarinis, president and CEO, TravelBrands.
He told PressToday that the company saw “tremendous growth” in all areas of business in 2017 and thanked the travel agent community for their support.
“2017 was our best year in 15 years, and it’s due to dynamic packaging through Access,” said DeMarinis. “We continue to support travel agents – that’s our number one goal, our focus.”
He added that the company continues to invest money and research into Access.
The newly redesigned platform has better flow and is easier to navigate. Agents now have the option to search by landmark or hotel. Agents can also preview sales e-mails, with the option of sending up to six hotels and activities to clients.
“It’s all about making agents’ lives easier,” said DeMarinis.
On a solemn note, TravelBrands’ officials took a moment to honour Mary Ogaki, national accounts manager for Royal Caribbean in Canada, who passed away unexpectedly earlier this week, as well as those killed in the Humboldt crash.
The Agent Appreciation Event showcased new updates and changes to the organization, including Intair, Exotik Journeys, Sunquest, Experiences by TravelBrands, Lujure, Access and Cruise. To reflect TravelBrands’ strategy, the updated Exotik Journeys brand offers the same product lines with a stronger market presence. To celebrate this updating branding, agents can receive 15% commission on all products booked through April 30 for travel at any time.
TravelBrands’ Sunquest updates include the ability for travellers to stay longer for less, odd durations and a choice of up to three airlines.
TravelBrands has also released its new brochure, Experiences by TravelBrands. Featuring 10 specialized collections, Experiences offers unique travel options for any type of travellers. Three new collections released this year are Culinary, Health & Wellness and Lujure Villas.
TravelBrands has also updated its branding, focusing on its products and services — such as TravelBrands Packages, by Sunquest — available through Access.
According to DeMarinis, the organization plans to highlight TravelBrands as a whole, showcasing its diverse product offering and streamline market presence.
“We believe that this updated branding will better reflect who TravelBrands is as a leading travel organization,” he said. “By unifying our branding, we are able to simplify and streamline our communications across all channels, bringing TravelBrands to the forefront with our Access platform. I am confident the Canadian travel industry will respond well to our changes.”
Notable examples of the new branding include: TravelBrands Flights, by Intair; TravelBrands Cruises, by Encore Cruises; TravelBrands Packages, by Sunquest; TravelBrands Luxury Villas, by Lujure; TravelBrands Dynamic Packages, by TravelGenie; TravelBrands Specialty, by Exotik Journeys.
Pictured at the top (l-r) is the TravelBrands team of John Puntillo, CIO and VP, information & technology, Sam Youssef, director, integrated marketing, Nathalie Tanious, vice-president, commercial, Enzo DeMarinis, co-founder, DeMarinis, Diane Lattavo, vice-president, flight operations, and Tony Saunders, CFO & senior VP, finance.