What does it take to keep a company going for 100 years? A slow and steady approach, says Collette, which celebrates is centennial anniversary this year. In this week’s edition of Friday Five, we sit down with Ron Lonsdale, Vice President of Canada, to talk about the company’s evolution, its secret to success, and what’s in store for agents and clients in the coming years.
1. Collette is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. In your opinion, how has the company grown and evolved over the years?
Collette has really adapted to change in the industry over the past 100 years, and there’s been quite a bit of change during that time! Being able to adapt to the change is really the key to our company’s success. We started as a tiny regional transportation company, doing day trips in North America. Today, we employ over 600 people worldwide and visit all 7 continents.
2. Tell us, what’s the secret to the company’s success?
Our success didn’t happen overnight. It was slow and steady, which is still true today. We take our relationships with partners and agents very seriously and invest in those relationships when it comes to growth.
3. Collette has recently taken a hardline approach to commission rebating. Tell us more about it, and why it’s been such a focal point.
Collette has always placed a focus on supporting agents and now more than ever, we’re placing an emphasis on keeping commissions in their pockets. We don’t want agents to have the fear of their clients heading to online discounters – we do not and will not discount.
4. What are some of the most exciting initiatives agents can expect in 2018?
We just launched our 100 days of giveaways contest, which is open to agents and their clients (read about it here: http://www.travelweek.ca/news/collette-celebrates-100th-anniversary-100-days-giveaways/). Book your own bonus is still running through the end of March, and we’re rolling out some great modules in Collette University where agents can earn travel discounts and benefits from e-learning.
5. After 100 years, there’s no doubt Collette has accomplished a lot as a travel company. In your opinion, is there room for improvement? What goals are left to achieve?
Our mission is to help create a travel experience for our guests that will be remembered for the next 100 years. There’s always room to improve, but for now, we’re going to aim to keep changing lives through travel, one day at a time.