TORONTO — Air Canada Vacations has leveraged Air Canada’s rapidly expanding route network to maximize its Europe offering with 2018 Europe Your Way, now offering new routes, new consumer incentives plus up to 15% agent commission on all Europe packages booked by mid-February.
ACV is also sending out $100 vouchers to its clientele, “to be used only at their favourite travel agency,” says George Platanitis, VP Sales and Partnerships. “We want to drive our customers and your customers to you and ACV,” he said to applause from agents.
Last night’s Toronto launch, on the heels of an earlier launch in Montreal, showcased ACV’s 2018 Europe Your Way brochure, out since December but officially launched with this week’s trade events.
With 122 vacation packages and 50 cruises, the 252-page brochure focuses on vacations in Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Scotland, England, France, Iceland, Croatia and Central Europe.
“This year’s Europe Your Way offers exceptional value, hand-picked itineraries and the best rates,” said Platanitis. Lead-in per person pricing starts at $1,989 for Barcelona Your Way, $1,829 for Rome Your Way, $1,439 for Taste of Ireland and $1,639 for Sunny Portugal. “These look like Caribbean prices, don’t they?” Platanitis asked the crowd. “But they’re Europe prices. And these prices include taxes.”
Here are some more highlights from ACV’s 2018 Europe Your Way lineup:
- In addition to providing new vacation packages to Croatia, new routes to Porto, Lisbon, Dublin, Shannon and Bucharest are offered with service through Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge.
- Platanitis said ACV decided to bring back its Travel Categories with the 2018 brochure, a move that got more applause from agents at last night’s event. Categories include Seaside Escape, Urban Getaway, Guided Tour, Island Hopping, Amalfi Coast Escape, French Riviera Escape, Family Getaway and Journey at Sea as well as Fly & Drive Vacation, Fly & Rail Vacation and Guided Rail Tour.
- With ACV’s Guided Rail Tours, hotel-to-hotel luggage service is included along with flights, transfers, train tickets, some activities and centrally located accommodation. The stress-free luggage porterage service is a unique value proposition, says Platanitis.
- Family Getaways, with handpicked activities designed for kids in London, Paris, Barcelona and Rome, can include apartment-style accommodation. “In other words, there’s no need for Airbnb,” said Platanitis, to more cheers.
- ACV’s Groups offer to Europe includes 20th passengers flying and staying free. Ten or more passengers including kids qualifies a booking for group perks including $100 per person deposits, free standard seat selection, group block seat selection and more.
- With ACV’s CruiseAir promotion, there’s no deposit on flights. “I can’t imagine anyone booking a cruise without also booking a flight,” says Platanitis. Also, all flights are refundable up to 30 days prior.
- An early booking bonus good through Jan. 31 takes $700 per couple off the package price. The next set of EBBs take up to $500 and then $300 off per couple. Plus ACV’s Carefree plan, valued at more than $300, is available for $1 per person until early March.
- Air Canada Vacations’ partnership with Trafalgar and Contiki includes 16 Trafalgar Guided Vacations and 6 Contiki Guided Trips.
- All ACV packages come with roundtrip flights aboard Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge, departing from 64 Canadian cities as well as hotel accommodations, and include options for guided tours, activities and car rentals.
- ACV’s Europe packages can now be booked via Galileo as well as SIREV.
- Platanitis urged agents to sign up for ACV&Me Rewards: “If you’re not registerd for ACV&Me, you’re leaving money on the table.” Earned points are redeemable for Visa cards, travel and more.
- ACV will also be offering Europe fam trips this spring. For now, “there’s lots of interest” and client bookings coming in for the 2018 Europe program, says Luigi Iannello, ACV’s Senior Director, Strategy and Business Development.