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Monday,  April 15, 2024 8:55 AM 

ACV hosts Simply The Best awards for independent travel advisors. See winners here!


ACV hosts Simply The Best awards for independent travel advisors. See winners here!
From left, top (clockwise): Krista Rothfuchs, Tina Kensett, Erminia Nigro, Ana Paula De Souza.
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and DailyXtra.ca. Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

Air Canada Vacations (ACV) held its second annual Simply The Best Awards on Tuesday night (March 5), a virtual event that recognizes the efforts of independent travel advisors who belong to the ACV@Home program

Launched one year ago, ACV@Home provides assistance, tools and training to travel professionals who work from home while building a strong and supportive community.

Tuesday night’s red-themed online gathering, which was attended by more than 170 travel advisors, was hosted by Krista Rothfuchs, ACV@Home’s independent advisors manager (who was instrumental in launching the program), Tina Kensett, who was recently named area sales manager for ACV@Home in Western Canada, as well as ACV’s Erminia Nigro, general manager of sales, and Ana Paula De Souza, director of sales.

“This program, with your support, has grown more quickly than we could have imagined,” Rothfuchs said.

Last year, ACV@Home started with six networks: The Travel Agent Next Door, Centre Holidays, Independent by Flight Centre, TravelOnly, Nexion Travel Group and Trevello Travel Group.  

This year, the program will add three more: Fareconnect, Go Travel and Transat Travel’s agent@home.

“We could not have done this without you,” said Ana Paula De Souza in her welcoming remarks, thanking agents, the team and its supporters. “We are thankful. Trust us, we don’t take this for granted.”

The lively gathering, which included games and prizes galore, reviewed some of the new and exciting things that are happening at ACV.

The big news, announced last month, is ACV’s new guided tours program for Asia, which will provide year-round packages in destinations such as Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.

ACV is also fresh off a 20-city tour of breakfast seminars that reviewed its extensive Europe program, and a new Travel Agent Toolkit that’s filled with resources for agents as they explore the tour operator’s Europe portfolio.

There’s also excitement brewing around Tulum – a new, non-stop route that Air Canada will operate out of Toronto and Montreal. 

The team, multiple times, hinted that more FAMs, including ones to Asia and Australia, are coming, and to stay tuned for updates.

On the training front, ACV@Home’s Masterclass has some updates for 2024. New modules will be launched during the week of March 18 for advisors that have not yet taken the program, Rothfuchs said. 

As well, an all-new Masterclass program, with new benefits, will begin in 2025 for all advisors, she said.

On Facebook, the ACV@Home community has ballooned to 1,400 members on a private group page that’s exclusive to independent advisors in the network.

You have to apply and qualify to join, but here’s the link for reference. The team posts all sorts of announcements there, from travel deals to FAMs to webinars to other incentives.

So, who from ACV@Home took home a trophy? Here’s this year’s Simply the Best winners list:

Rising Stars

These are advisors that have substantially grown their ACV sales from 2022 and 2023. (Prize: $50 ACV&ME Credit and “Simply the Best” water bottle).

Centre Holidays

Danielle Longtin

Emily Batista

Cindy Groves

The Travel Agent Next Door

Iola Panetta

Rebecca Morrison

Anita Milne

Trevello Travel Group

Monique Powell

Renee Winsor

Beryl Clements

Nexion Travel Group

Bobbi Bigney

Beverly Danson

Darlene Wipp

Independent by Flight Centre

Holly Tobin

Kirsty Roberts

Roula Glykis

TravelOnly

Julia Borg

Rose Rizzo

Charla Jospeh

Top Groups Awards

For advisors who have aggressively worked to grow their groups business over the last 12 months. (Prize: $100 Amazon gift card).

Independent by Flight Centre - Janice Bell-Hansuld

Centre Holidays – Wilfred Saldanha

Nexion Travel Group - Darlene Wipp

The Travel Agent Next Door - Sharlene Philipchuk

TravelOnly – Carina Shortliffe

Trevello Travel Group – LA Travel Group

Top Diversified Sales

These are advisors who have made a noticeable effort to sell across ACV’s diverse product line (sun, Europe, USA, cruise, Canada, e-packages, car rentals and soon Asia)

(Prize: $100 gift card to Wayspa)

Centre Holidays – Senta Marsolais

Independent by Flight Centre – Angie Oswald

Nexion Travel Group – Anne Lochead

The Travel Agent Next Door – Sylvette Deveau

TravelOnly – Brenda Slater

Trevello Travel Group – Lucilia Gomes

“The winners each sold at least five different product lines,” Rothfuchs said.

Top Overall Sales

These are advisors who had the top total sales across the board for ACV in 2023.

Prizes: Bronze ($200 future travel credit); Silver ($250 ACV&ME credit); and Gold (two air seats to a sun destination).

Bronze: Oscar Batista (Centre Holidays)

Silver: LA Travel Group (Trevello Travel Group)

Gold: Janice Bell-Hansuld (Independent by Flight Centre)

Congrats to all the winners!


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