All the snow and cold temperatures have been a boon for bookings, says Transat Tours Canada. For this edition of Friday 5, Denise Heffron, VP National Sales & Commercial, talks about the new Confetti program and why social media platforms couldn’t get enough of a certain ‘Cuban taxi’ stunt.
1. How is Transat Holidays setting itself apart from its competitors this winter, from destinations to product to pricing?
Heffron: The main differentiator is our collections. We know how important it is to have offerings that stand apart. For the past couple of years we have been focusing on building out product offerings to meet client wants and needs. Their travel requirements are evolving, so this year, we are offering even more specifically designed vacation options. The key is flexibility and of course, offering selections for every budget.
In addition to our popular Distinction and Luxury Collections, we’ve added two new collections: Sun Savvy (great value for money) and R&R (adults only, in intimate, luxurious surroundings). We’ve also enhanced our Family Collection and it now features five distinct categories as we know not all families are the same.
2. Transat’s new Confetti program offers sales incentives to both travel agents and their travel agencies. There’s a new promotion each month, starting with Sun Destinations in November. Why was it important to Transat to acknowledge the winning agency with an incentive as well as the winning agent?
Heffron: Sales are a team effort and we understand that if there is a winning agent, their agency plays a key role in their success. It’s important to us that both agent and agency are engaged in the program and are rewarded. It’s really all about celebrating success and partnership on all levels.
3. What sort of response are you seeing to Transat’s Confetti?
So far the response has been fantastic. We are having some fun with Confetti as well – the fall conferences have given us a great opportunity to introduce this program and we are doing so in exciting and creative ways. Cupcakes, confetti guns and most importantly, positive messaging. We need to say thank-you and acknowledge excellence. This is just one way of doing this. Both the agents and agencies seem to be very excited about the program and they are very appreciative as well.
4. Transat Holidays recently pulled off a great ‘stunt’ promotion in Toronto, where an actor posing as a Cuban taxi driver in a beautiful blue Cuban-style car put ‘passengers’ in comical situations and ultimately rewarded them with trip giveaways to Cuba. Was the stunt a success and does Transat have similar promotions planned for other Canadian gateways?
Heffron: The stunt was a great success and we are very pleased with the positive feedback that we have received. We wanted to do something different with a feel good twist – it worked and our partners and clients loved it.
We are also pleased with the engagement it generated on our social media platforms. Lots of shares, bloggers, and the video was even picked up by some traditional media.
For those who haven’t seen it, the video can be viewed on the Air Transat YouTube channel or on the Air Transat website. As for future stunts: if we told you, it wouldn’t be a surprise. But stay tuned…
5. It’s been a great start to the winter season, at least for the travel industry. Have the phones been ringing off the hook with the early snowfalls and what’s selling well?
Heffron: Absolutely – no one complains about snow or cold weather in our business. The early winter has given us a nice jump start. So far, indicators are good and we are very optimistic about the season ahead. Sales are really starting to ramp up. Let it snow!