Christy Kurian – Director, Sunspots Holidays

Christy_SunspotsSunspots Holidays is a well-known name in the Canadian travel industry, a service-oriented tour operator with a wide reach of destinations. , Director, Sunspots Holidays, talks about what sets the company apart from its competitors and his own picks for the world’s best ‘sun spot’.

1. What are the top three packages or destinations that Sunspots Holidays is promoting right now?

Kurian: Sunspots Holidays offers all destinations worldwide and we always have the best airfares and packages to over 75 U.S. destinations. Our Big Apple packages are among our most popular.

Recently we’ve had some great promotions to Latin America, to countries like Ecuador, where we offer Galapagos and wildlife interaction programs, sailing through the Pacific, as well as mainland Ecuador exploring. We also have several promotions to Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, where we offer several secluded destinations. These destinations offer an alternative to the conventional all-inclusive holiday and a different kind of culture and tradition for clients to explore.

We have also had a lot of promotions to the Hawaiian islands, for island-hopping in particular. Hawaii’s popularity has increased among Canadians for travelling as well as duration of stay. When travellers go to far-off destinations they like to stay longer and explore as much as they can, and this is where we come in. Sunspots specializes in long duration holidays, multi-destination, tours and other add-ons. Hawaii is one of those destinations where people like to see more than just one island, and do several activities and this is why it is one of our Top 3.

2. How many airline partners do you work with?

Kurian: Sunspots is currently working with over 120 airline partners, including all major carriers such as American, US Airways, Air Canada, United, Delta and the list goes on. We are also offering special fares for over 30 of these major airlines. Most recently we are happy to announce that we have added EL AL, Aer Lingus, China Airlines and China Eastern Airlines. We have also updated some of our other contracts and are now offering higher commissions to our travel agent partners.

3. What sets Sunspots apart from its competitors?

Kurian: What really distinguishes our company is that we sell our products exclusively to travel agents and industry partners, period. We are a boutique wholesaler with a vast combined experience, and those who work with us know that our focus is always on our clients (travel agents and their interests) and how we can facilitate better services and products.

We are one of only a few wholesalers in the country with groups management facilities’ for missions and charities, whether it is in Haiti or Honduras. We have a group desk for managing any types of groups including private charters for bigger groups as well.  We like to look at our travel associates as our friends and work together on creating a stronger and better partnership on both ends.

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4. What ‘hidden gem’ sun destination do you think deserves more attention from agents and travellers?

Kurian: It is hard to pick just one destination as we have so many beautiful destinations around the world that have not been discovered by tourists just yet. We have done quite a lot of work with El Salvador and it is one of the countries that really struck me as a destination – not only for sun and beach vacations, but also in terms of culture, history and natural heritage.

5. What’s your own favorite ‘sun spot’?

Kurian: I say Kerala, in South India. It has 560 kilometres of unspoiled beaches on the shores of the Arabian Sea, with great backwaters and houseboats, it’s an excellent experience. And in the Caribbean, I say Turks and Caicos!