TORONTO — Amtrak Vacations and Railbookers are coming into the Canadian market with a familiar name heading up operations here.
Cris David, best known from his years with The Travel Corporation with brands including Contiki, Lion World and Insight Vacations, has joined Yankee Leisure Group as Vice President of Sales, Canada, overseeing the introduction of Railbookers and Amtrak Vacations to the Canadian market.
The Amtrak Vacations and Railbookers brands “make it incredibly easy and lucrative for travel agents to book rail-based FIT journeys for their clients,” says David.
He adds that a series of introductory webinars will start on Dec. 10 to kick off YLG’s Canadian launch.
David also notes that the launch into the Canadian market will support the local travel trade community, allowing agents and consumers to book in Canadian dollars. Brochures are also in CAD.
“Both brands provide ease of access to iconic U.S. cities, treasured national parks and landscapes, and a one-stop shop for rail, accommodations, activities, transfers, ferries, and inner-city transportation for worldwide rail vacations,” says David.
The launch of Amtrak Vacations and Railbookers into Canada expands each brand’s global reach, joining offices in London, Boston, Sydney and Laguna Hills, CA.
“We give agents the ability to book rail up to 24 months in advance, offer excellent commission and instant quotes, and advise the best train routes based on a customer’s needs, interests, and budget,” says David.
“In addition to offering more than 3,000 unique products in 51 countries and 690 cities, our Rail Experts make it easy to build FIT rail vacations, such as pre- or post-river cruise train journeys, multi-country trips, long-distance overnight adventures and exciting getaways.”
Frank Marini, President of Yankee Leisure Group, added: “We are thrilled to launch our Railbookers and Amtrak Vacations brands in the Canadian market and are looking forward to having Cris David as our VP of Sales in Canada to lead the effort.”
David was President of Contiki Holidays Canada from 2002 to 2009, and then moved over to Insight Vacations where he was President from 2009 to 2017. He served as President of a third TTC brand, Lion World Travel, from 2017 to 2019.
David has worked closely with agents across Canada and well-versed in the industry’s opportunities and challenges as they relate to the travel retail market.
“I am really excited to be joining the dynamic team at Yankee Leisure Group,” said David. “The company’s meteoric growth over the last few years demonstrates the incredible value that YLG’s offering represents for consumers and travel agents alike. There’s really no competition. Nobody else in the industry is doing the same thing.”
Along with this full-fledged launch into the Canadian market, both brands will be distributing 2020 brochures featuring short and long-haul products and experiences that aren’t available anywhere else, he added.
Both brands are “a one-stop shop” for rail, accommodations, activities, transfers, ferries, and inner-city transportation for worldwide rail vacations, from providing ease of access to iconic U.S. cities like New York City and L.A., and U.S. national parks, to sought-after destinations in Europe, Australia, Asia, and South Africa.
“For the trade partners we will be working with, Amtrak Vacations and Railbookers are completely unique as providers of rail-based leisure travel with the benefits of 24-month advance bookability including pricing and schedules, the ability to book in Canadian dollars, a complete FIT solution, and generous commission on all components of a client’s itinerary. In addition, YLG understands and addresses the things that are most important to travel agents: convenience, service, flexibility, and revenue,” says David.
On Dec.10 both brands will host a live webinar at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. (EST) to announce their launch into the market.
Agents can register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/1931889612063655426.