Going with experience is always a sure bet, which is why companies like Sunspots Holidays continue to thrive and prosper. With 40 years of experience under its belt, Sunspots has cemented its reputation for being a wholesaler that specializes in niche markets, affordable airfares and customized travel solutions for all types of travellers. We asked Christy Kurian, Director of Sunspots Holidays, how 2016 is shaping up and what the company offers Canadian travel agents specifically.
1. Tell us a little about Sunspots Holidays.
Sunspots is a 40-year-old organization which, for the past 12 years, has focused more on the wholesale side of the travel market. In particular, we’ve focused on niche markets like missions and charity groups, with an emphasis on branding ‘Travel + Purpose = Destination.’
Sunspots has a special fare agreement with most of the carriers, which helps us get best rates for individual and group travel. Our relationship with airlines like American and Air Canada and WestJet is notable.
2. In your opinion, what are some must-see destinations for 2016, and why?
In 2016, we are looking at some very interesting places as travellers start to get more curious, adventurous and bold. We’ve started exploring destinations like Iceland, St. Kitts, Panama, Nicaragua and the Balkan countries, places that have been present in the marketplace but only now starting to really emerge. There is beauty in these destinations that we have yet to see, understand and appreciate.
3. What tips would you give travel agents on how to sell travel with a weakened Canadian dollar?
The dollar will always fluctuate and we cannot let it affect our sales, so what we can do instead is travel and sell smart. When the dollar is low, we can use it as an opportunity to sell more of our Canadian product and encourage travellers to see more of our own country. Canada is stunning – and huge – so believe me, there is no shortage of activities, places and things to do here for travellers of any age, at any time of the year. It’s also a good idea to promote the not-so-well-known or less-visited destinations in the U.S. at times like these. You can use smaller airports for flights, use budget properties and save money.
4. What travel agent incentives do you currently offer?
We offer agents $10-$15 with coach air bookings, on any airline we have net or special fares. We also offer $10-$50 on customer packages, depending on the package, and up to $50 on Business class tickets.
5. What’s new for Sunspots Holidays in 2016?
This year we are looking at new destinations that we can offer to the market. As mentioned before, we are excited about new upcoming travel destinations such as Iceland, St. Kitts, the Balkans, etc. At the moment, we are working on a new St. Kitts brochure, as well as WestJet-inspired tours to the Caribbean and Britain, which will be out shortly. You can also see and download our El Salvador e-brochure on our website. Plus, we are preparing custom trips to other destinations, so it should be a packed year for Sunspots.
For more information, visit sunspotsholidays.com.