In celebration of Travel Agent Day, WestJet hosted their 2015 Travel Trade Expo in Toronto on May 12, one of several that will be taking place in major Canadian cities throughout the month of May.
The expo invites agents and partners of WestJet to come together for an evening of food, drink and one-on-one meetings with suppliers in an effort to allow trade professionals to become better acquainted with the company’s products.
Jane Clementino, director, agency sales for WestJet was present at the event, greeting agents who arrived at her booth for the opportunity to ‘Meet Jane’.
“WestJet really appreciates travel agents, and so we celebrate during the entire month of May,” Clementino told PAX. “We use the expo to create awareness and education for all of our travel agents, as well as some of our key partners, but it’s really to say thank you to them, and to show them that we care about what they do and how important they are to us.”
Agents entering the expo were greeted with a gift bag and a ‘passport’, a booklet containing information about the suppliers and space on each page for a stamp – encouraging agents to collect one from every booth for a chance to win prizes, and ensuring all suppliers received a chance to showcase their product.
According to Clementino, attendance for the event exceeded WestJet expectations, with 400 RSVPs surpassing the 300 originally expected to attend.
“We weren’t sure if all the travel agents would respond, with the changes that have been happening,” Clementino said, referring to the recent changes in the airline’s commission structure, whereby commission on domestic and transborder Econo fares are set to be eliminated, effective on Oct. 1, 2015.
“People seem to understand [the reason for the changes], and understand that it’s a business decision, and so we’re working really hard to educate [agents] on what we’re doing to make it easier to do business with us, and that’s the important thing,” Clementino said. “We’re conscious of their world, and are trying to make it easier.”
The WestJet Travel Trade Expo is expected to continue into the month of May, hitting Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary on May 25th.