As Transat marks 30 years in 2017, the tour operator celebrated the many partnerships which have formed over those years with the kickoff of the 2017 Sun Training Academy series in Toronto last night.
Last night's event welcomed approximately 400 travel agents and 50 suppliers to Toronto's Sheraton Hotel & Convention Centre, featuring a trade show and presentation for agents selling Transat's 2017 South program.
This year marks the company's 30th anniversary in the industry, and the overall message of the night was to honour the partnerships that have happened along the way.
"We’re really thrilled with this year’s attendance and the overall reaction," said Nicole Bursey, commercial director, Transat Tours. "Within three weeks of us launching these dates, we had three venues that were sold out. We think that there’s still a real desire for travel agents to come out and sit with their colleagues, and it also gives us an opportunity to thank them face to face."
Dan Prior, sales director – Ontario & Atlantic Canada, Transat
The events will take place across the country, from St. John's, NL to Vancouver, BC and many cities in between. Transat has opened up several new gateway destinations, including Tampa, Florida; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Thanks to a partnership with Carnival Cruises, travellers who vacation to these spots can take advantage of exceptional air, land, and water tours.
Transat's new stop in San Juan, Puerto Rico will showcase the Grand Bahia Principe San Juan. Guests of the Bahia Principe in San Juan can enjoy a Caribbean cruise departing from Puerto Rico's capital city.
"Bahia Principe has been working very closely with Transat for almost 20 years now and we have a very strong relationship," said Sal Buccellato, national accounts director, Bahia Principe. "They’re providing so many guests to all of our properties and destinations, and they also carry some of the properties as exclusive features also."
Melia Cuba and Bahia Principe were honoured with Transat's 2017 Valued Partner Award
To align with the many cruises that compliment the land tours offered, Transat will also conduct a series of cruise workshops across five cities in Ontario to highlight the benefits of cruise travel.
"This is a concept we’ve done in the past, where we take a specific product that is perhaps new, or recently launched, and we delve into it a little deeper with the agents who are interested,” said Dan Prior, Transat's sales director – Ontario & Atlantic Canada. “We want the agents to become more informative on the new cruise package programs. We just launched the brochure, we have brand new flights into Tampa and San Juan that match up perfectly with two of our cruise partners. It’s about going into the brochure page by page to really understand the itineraries and the partners a little more."
And with winter just around the corner, Transat embraces the season with open arms.
"We launched our Super EBB for the second year in a row, which is bringing early booking offers to the market sooner and it's shaping up to be a good winter," said Denise Heffron, VP National Sales, Transat. "More and more product is becoming available earlier, which gets people interested in booking the winter because there are incentives to do so. " Everything is here, we’re celebrating the launch of winter, we’re thanking our partners, and we’re ready to take those bookings.”