Demand is strong and booking windows are about half of what they were pre-pandemic, says Ron Lonsdale, Collette’s Director, Strategic Partnerships – Canada in this edition of Take 5.
- These are exciting days for the restart of international travel. What is Collette’s outlook for the Canadian market for 2022, including what 2022 tours are selling well with Canadians?
“We’re experiencing a significant demand for domestic and European tours in both spring and summer of 2022. It’s clear that booking windows are mapping out to be about half the time of pre-pandemic; as short as three to six months, depending on location. Collette’s cancel for any reason policy is a major driver for shorter booking windows. We know that guests can dream about travelling with the safety of knowing that there’s no penalty to cancel if need be.”
- Collette recently launched a new sale offering 20% off for bookings made by March 8, 2022, for travel January – April 2023. It’s early days, but what’s been the reaction (from travel agents and guests) so far to the sale?
“Agents are certainly starting to take advantage of the sale and we can see bookings for tours that are on the longer side (10+ days) start to come through.”
- Can you give us a quick rundown of Collette’s travel protocols?
“As destination requirements and/or the definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ may change between now and the departure date of the tour with little advanced notice, Collette recommends that guests plan to receive a booster dose before travel. We fully expect that destinations will require booster doses at least 14 days before travel. As such, we strongly recommend booster doses at least 14 days ahead of travel to ensure a successful trip.”
- What has been Collette’s biggest lesson learned from the past two years?
“Over the past two years, we have learned what is most important to guests. We know that they are looking for deeply enriching experiences to make memories with their friends and family and that they don’t want to be worried about the logistics or travel hurdles that have come as a result of the pandemic.”
- What do you want to tell Canadian travel agents about the advantages (for themselves and for their clients) of booking with Collette?
“Agents can take advantage of Collette’s advanced commission program, which puts money into their pockets prior to the guest travelling. Clients will be comfortable traveling knowing that Collette stands by a cancel for any reason guarantee, so that if their plans change, they have options.”