The number of Canadians travelling to the U.S. is up 5%, dodging the Trump Slump and keeping tour operators here upbeat about their sales volumes to U.S. destinations.
TORONTO — Transat is reporting a steady increase in early season bookings for its 2018 Europe program as clients get onboard with the latest tier of EBBs, applicable on everything from packages to tours, including Transat’s new ‘Your Way’ semi-guided tours.
Demand for Europe has ramped up over the past several weeks, says Transat’s Sales Manager, Atlantic Canada and Ontario, Dan Prior. Forward bookings “are going very well.”
Transat debuted its 2018 Europe program with an industry event at Toronto’s Cirillo’s Culinary Academy in November. A Europe summer seat sale in January and Transat’s high-profile ad campaign have kept the company’s Europe product top of mind with consumers through a tough winter.
The latest EBB offers savings of $500 per couple on guided tours, Transat’s Price Drop Guarantee and a $50 future travel voucher, or for clients booking packages, a $50 future travel voucher and a reduced deposit of $100.
Bookings must be made by Feb. 28. The EBB does not apply to groups, cruise packages, flights or à la carte accommodation.
Last night agents gathered at The Old Mill in Toronto for one of Transat’s six 2018 Europe Training Academies. Another event took place last night in London, plus there are two more events tonight (Mississauga/Oakville and Kitchener) and another two more events tomorrow night (Ajax and Hamilton).
Opting for workshops instead of a traditional launch, Prior said Transat is using its time with agents to focus on its best-selling destinations. Transat is putting more capacity on top sellers London, Lisbon and Dublin, and extolling the benefits of its new A330 aircraft with more seats while looking forward to the arrival of new A321LR aircraft starting next year.
Transat now offers 28 destinations in Europe and the Middle East, with Tel Aviv flights back for another year along with destinations in the UK, Ireland, France, Italy, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Greece, Spain and Portugal.
More and more Canadians are travelling to Portugal, a destination highly prized for short or long winter stays. In response Transat is offering clients an enhanced array of packages that complement its flights out of Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. Always a popular choice, the Algarve is well known as a prime summer destination featuring beaches and a plethora of water sports. Also on offer is the coastal region of Cascais and Estoril, located 30 minutes from Lisbon and renowned for being a golfer’s paradise. Here Transat offers year-round golf packages to the region that include flights, hotel, breakfast and vehicle rental. Custom excursions can also be added to packages.
This winter, clients can fly direct from Toronto and Montreal to Lisbon, plus direct from Toronto to Faro and Porto. Plus, with Transat’s multi-destination option, they can land in one city (Lisbon, for example) and depart from another (like Faro in the Algarve, or Porto in the north) at no extra charge.
Highlights of the 210-page Europe 2018-2019 brochure include air-only (“air only is huge for us”, says Prior), the tour operator’s à la carte program, cruise packages, family vacations and guided tours.
New for Transat are ‘Your Way’ tours semi-guided tours, available in Italy, Spain, Provence & the French Riviera, Croatia and Portugal. All of the Your Way packages include roundtrip flights, coach transportation to get from city to city, accommodation and some meals.
Clients can discover their destination at leisure but enjoy the freedom that comes with having Transat take care of the accommodation and transportation arrangements, says Prior. “Your Way tours are almost like a guided tour but you’re on your own in-destination,” he says. “It’s great for independent travellers, they can explore on their own but if they need assistance from a guide, they can get in touch with them, book a day tour with them by text, that sort of thing.”
Meanwhile Transat’s guided tours are available across Europe and include the nine-day ‘Discover the Balkans’, the nine-day ‘Da Vinci’, the 16-day ‘Imperial Cities of Central Europe’ and the 16-day Greece tour, ‘Islands & Legends’. There’s also a 9-day ‘Discover Tel Aviv & Jerusalem’ option.