TORONTO — It’s Travel Agent Day, the day for celebrating all the hard work, devotion and enthusiasm travel agents show for their jobs week in and week out.
Now at almost 14 months into the pandemic, this day takes on new meaning for Canada’s travel agents as they continue to face some of the most daunting challenges of their careers.
And while the industry never expected to be dealing with the pandemic for a second year in a row, suppliers are rallying to support Travel Agent Day 2021 with special offers ranging from bonus commissions, to agent rates, to contests and more.
Travelweek has pulled together this list of all the 2021 Travel Agent Day promotions so far. We’ll add to this list as more come in. This week’s issue of Travelweek also came out a day early, for Travel Agent Day, and can be seen here. The Travelweek team would like to thank Canada’s travel agents for their dedication and incredible work ethic in this very challenging year, and every year.
ACTA’s Travel Agent Day celebration starts on the ACTA social media channels. Agents can check in with ACTA on the morning of May 5th on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to learn about how ACTA is celebrating travel agents. Agents can also visit acta.ca/travelagentday for more information.
“In spite of all these challenges and the long hours providing information to clients about their bookings, refunds or future travel plans – travel agents across Canada are highly engaged in working with ACTA on advocacy initiatives to secure their future success,” says ACTA President Wendy Paradis.
AFRICAN TRAVEL, INC.
African Travel, Inc., part of The Travel Corporation (TTC), is sharing its appreciation for the ongoing support and perseverance of its travel advisor partners by extending an invitation to Canadian travel advisors and their travel companion to experience Africa with exclusive Advisor Rates on select 2021 departures. To qualify, travel advisors are asked to complete courses via the 2021 Advisor Education Program. Plus, advisors will receive $200 total cash back on the cost of their educational trip after their first booking of seven nights or more. The educational trip rates are unbeatable, with highlights including ATI’s new Ultimate Botswana and Victoria falls which features a stay at Red Carnation Hotels’ newly opened Xigera Safari Lodge. Space is limited so advisors are encouraged to secure their spot by completing African Travel University and contacting a safari specialist at 1-800-421-8907. ATI is also offering 10% additional savings to clients on its 10 most popular trips, valid for travel anytime this 2021. Clients can save up to $2,000 on trips, with travel advisors receiving a full commission.
Air Canada’s month-long Travel Agent Day celebration includes a contest running throughout May 2021, offering a weekly ‘Millionaire’ quiz game focusing each week on a different market. Agents who complete all questions in a week will earn a 25% discount code applicable to the service. More details will be available in Air Canada Flash and other trade communications. Air Canada is also planning other draws for prizes each week.
Air Canada’s VP, Canada & U.S. Sales, Lisa Pierce, tells Travelweek: “We have always regarded travel agents as our key partners and the value of this relationship has been made clear as we help each other through the pandemic. This year, more than ever, we are eager to celebrate Travel Agent Day and thank agents who have played a vital role helping us maintain connections with travellers and keep them primed to travel again.”
AIR CANADA VACATIONS
Air Canada Vacations says it wants to thank the trade for all their hard work and dedication. On May 5, 2021 ACV will be offering a 2% bonus commission on Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, Las Vegas, Hawaii, California and Orlando package bookings. The offer is valid on package bookings made on May 5, 2021 for departures through April 30, 2022. For group bookings confirmed on May 5, 2021 agents will earn $100 bonus commission on each group booking made. For more details agents are asked to contact ACV’s Sales Team.
AmaWaterways has announced special advance fam rates on 25 select sailings in Europe embarking October through December 2021. Travel advisors can now reserve their seven-night AmaWaterways river cruise more than five months prior to their departure, and with a new Sail With Me incentive, advisors are also able to earn back the cost of their stateroom by making three new FIT bookings on the same sailing. New client bookings under the ‘Sail With Me’ bonus offer must be made May 1- 31, 2021. Travel advisors who wish to take advantage of the advance fam rates and Sail With Me incentive need to register on AmaWaterways’ Travel Advisor Portal and submit their advance fam application. AmaAcademy graduates get fam rate savings and also qualify for a bonus commission offer. For full details call 1-800-626-0126 or visit the Travel Advisor Portal at AmaWaterways.ca.
AMResorts’s fourth annual “Amazing May” campaign looks to energize agents to drive the travel comeback by offering a variety of incentives that include a 1 million AMRewards points giveaway,discounted AMRewards points for stays, special Master Agent rates, commission bonuses, resort stay
On Wed. May 5 at 2 p.m. (ET) Carnival is presenting a special edition of ‘From Adolfo’s Desk LIVE’ featuring rewards points and a new agent toolkit. Carnival’s Senior Vice President of Global Sales & Trade Marketing Adolfo Perez and Brand Ambassador John Heald will host. Participants have the chance to win a variety of prizes, including the line’s popular Travel Agents Rock t-shirts. All advisors who attend will also receive a special offer to book their next personal cruise with Carnival. In addition, advisors who are members of Carnival’s Loyalty Rocks! Rewards Program will receive 50 bonus rewards points. Carnival’s ‘Travel Agents Rock!’ toolkit that includes a virtual background as well as social media posts that advisors can use in front of their clients when participating on virtual sales calls and their social media posts. A save-the-date reminder with a link to register for the ‘From Adolfo’s Desk LIVE’ webisode will be provided via email to all travel agents who are registered with Carnival.
Club Med is wishing agents a Happy Travel Advisor Month, with a chance each week to win a one-week stay at Club Med. To take part, agents are asked to join Club Med’s Facebook group for travel advisors. Each Wednesday during the month of May, starting May 5, Club Med will post a new challenge, and agents will have until the following Tuesday to participate. Each week one winner will be awarded a one-week stay for two at Club Med. At the end of the month, there’s another stay for two at Club Med up for grabs, plus a spot for the first fam trip to the new Club Med Quebec Charlevoix. Complete terms and conditions are at clubmedagents.ca.
Contiki says it appreciates the continued support from its travel agent community more than ever. To celebrate its partners this Travel Agent Day, Contiki is offering travel agents a 2% commission top-up on any new booking made May 6 – 13, 2021. To redeem this top-up, travel agents are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org with their booking number to receive their extra commission.
G Adventures is awarding Canadian agents a bonus 2% commission on every new booking made between May 03 and 15, 2021, for travel by January 31, 2022. Terms and conditions apply. Agents should be registered on Sherpa, and can use the code GNORMOUS for the bonus commission to be applied. More details are available on Sherpa. To help agents incentivize their customers to book now, G Adventures is also extending its 15% off Classic trips sale for the month of May. The discount applies to a wide selection of tours across the Classic trip portfolio, including the 9-day Costa Rica Quest – Plus, the 8-day Best of Egypt and the 7-day Best of Iceland – Plus. All can be combined with the 2% commission bonus for new bookings made.
“This past year has not been easy, but our agency partners have stood by us and continued to inspire their customers to book a life-changing adventure with G Adventures. The commitment of agents deserves more than just a thank-you this Travel Agent Appreciation Day. We want to reward them with some extra cash, and more bookings, so they can in turn get back to doing what they do best, sending people on their dream adventures,” says David Green, VP Commercial for G Adventures.
The additional 2% commission is designed to thank agents for their continued passion, dedication and resilience during the toughest time the travel industry has ever faced, he added.
Globus will award one lucky travel advisor a $500 gift card in celebration of Travel Agent Day. To enter, agents are asked to post anything on Facebook or Instagram to tell their community / followers why they’re excited to travel again, using one of these hashtags: #GlobusLovesTravelAdvisors and / or #AvalonLovesTravelAdvisors. The contest closes May 30. A random draw will be conducted of all eligible posts and the winner will be awarded a $500 gift card of their choice. The contest is open to all Canadian travel advisors, excluding Quebec.
Here’s what Carla Brake, Director of Business Development, Globus family of brands, says about Travel Agent Day: “The road – and river – back to travel has been longer than any of us expected, but the dream of reuniting with the world is prevalent. It’s almost time to step back into the consciousness of the world, wandering culture-rich villages, crossing centuries-old bridges and connecting with locals over new cuisines. And we know our travel advisor partners are there, as they have always been, ready to make dreams come true for their clients. The travel advisor community has always persevered and come back stronger. This year is no exception. And we’re happy to be by their side, promising travellers a better tomorrow than yesterday. For the Globus family of brands, every day is Travel Agent Day.”
Goway says it’s rewarding agents with its new GowayPro Loyalty Program, offering tiered productivity levels where agents can earn cash rewards on every sale they make with the company. Bronze-status members earn 0.25% on FIT and Groups bookings, as well as a flat $5 reward per passenger for air-only bookings. Members can upgrade their status and earn up to 1% on all FIT and Groups bookings. Membership status is determined by annual gross sales from the previous financial year (April 1 – March 31), so the more agents sell with Goway, the more they earn.
“It’s no secret the past year has been difficult for everyone in the industry, but it’s also made absolutely clear that agents are the reason we’re still in business all these years later. Agents have always been the bedrock of the industry, but this is even more apparent than ever before,” says Renee Stanton-Defaria, Goway’s General Manager Sales. “So on behalf of Goway, Bruce, and the entire Hodge family, we wish you all a Happy Travel Agent Day and thank you for your continued support of Goway. We know you’ve gone above and beyond this past year and it shows. Luckily, there’s a light at the end of this tunnel and we look forward to celebrating the resurgence of travel with you in the near future.”
INSIGHT VACATIONS / LUXURY GOLD
To show appreciation to its valued travel advisor partners, Insight Vacations is running a contest on its IV Insider Facebook page on Travel Agent Day. The contest and special prize will be revealed on May 5, 2021, so advisors are encouraged to join in on the fun and visit the IV Insider page for further details.
RIVIERA RIVER CRUISES
In celebration of Travel Advisor Appreciation Month, Riviera River Cruises is offering promotions for US$499 or free fam cruises for advisors and up to €400 in onboard credit for their clients. Throughout the month, advisors who book a client on a 2021 or 2022 European river cruise of eight days or more will be eligible for a fam cruise of their choice for $499 per person for themselves and a travel companion. Additional bookings made in the 90 days after the fam can result in refunds for both the advisor and their companion. The onboard credit promotion provides advisors’ clients up to €400 in credit per cabin for use on drinks in the lounge and restaurants, spa or salon treatments, souvenirs from the boutique or even gratuities. For more information call 1-888-838-8820 or see rivierarivercruises.com.
ROYAL IRISH TOURS
Agents who organize a virtual consumer night with 10 or more clients, co-hosted by Royal Irish Tours, will receive a $50 gift card and will automatically be entered into a draw to win a space on a Royal Irish Tours fam. The virtual consumer night can take place any time in 2021 but must be booked in the month of May. RIT Sales Manager Jonathan Sargeant or RIT Sales Executive Orla Killeen are available to host the event on RIT’s Zoom account, or agents can use their own platform. The event format and theme are up to each agent – RIT only asks that it be related in some way to Ireland or the UK. It could be a general travel inspiration event, a trivia night, a cooking class or a virtual tour of Ireland, Scotland, England or Wales. RIT says past successes have included Irish coffee & bread baking demonstrations, trivia nights, Game of Thrones-themed parties, whiskey tastings and more. The draw for the fam space will take place on June 3. Contact Sargeant at email@example.com or Killeen at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Says Ian Duffy, President, Royal Irish Tours: ”We want to wish all our travel advisor partners a Happy Travel Agent Day! We are so thankful for your hard work over the last 14 months, but also your partnership and commitment over the last 20 years. Without you, we would not have a company and I believe a lot more people are realizing your value now. Thank you for your passion and for all you do for your clients. We will raise a glass to you today – ‘Slainte’ (cheers) from all of us at Royal Irish!”
For Canadian agents, Rocky Mountaineer is running an exclusive opportunity to earn a complimentary journey on Rocky Mountaineer, worth up to $4,479, by securing three new 2021 bookings for Canadian residents. The rail operator is also offering 50% discounts for agents to book their own travel for certain travel dates; email Rocky Mountaineer’s Vacation Consultants for details. Rocky Mountaineer also offers these discounts to travel agents: 50% discount off the full retail rate on any available date when booked less than 45 days to departure; and 20% discount off the full retail rate on any available date when booked more than 45+ days to departure.
“Over the past year I’ve been truly inspired by the resilience of travel agents and it inspires me every day. With this outlook, the future really is bright for us all and the good news is there is strong desire from Canadians to travel domestically this year. With every vaccine that is administered, we are one step closer to this recovery and I want to thank our travel agents for your ongoing support as we navigate this time together,” says Tamara Mallin, National Sales Manger, Canada, for Rocky Mountaineer.
RED CARNATION HOTELS
Red Carnation Hotels (RCH), part of The Travel Corporation (TTC), recognizes the integral role its luxury travel partners play in its Red Carnation Family. Travel advisors are invited to discover more about the world of RCH by visiting Its dedicated Travel Advisor Academy. If travel advisors would like to experience one of its boutique collection hotels, they can reach out to Melissa Young via email: email@example.com. Requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
SANDALS RESORTS AND BEACHES RESORTS
In celebration of National Travel Advisor Day, Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts have announced the following incentives:
- Registering Bookings – for Travel Agent Day only (May 5, 2021) the 30-day policy for registering tour operator bookings on the Sandals travel advisor portal (taportal.sandals.com) has been temporarily lifted. Advisors have the exclusive opportunity to register all of their missed bookings that were not previously registered within the 30-day window.
- P2P x2 – Advisors will receive double Points to Paradise for every new direct booking or Registered Tour Operator booking made for Travel Agent Day only (May 5, 2021)
- Certified Sandals Specialist Status (CSS) – Current CSS status will be extended through the end of 2022
- Preferred Sandals Agency Status (PSA) – Current PSA status will be extended through the end of 2022
- The Chairman’s Royal Club Status (CRC) – Chairman’s Royal Club members will maintain their membership for 2022
“There’s nothing we do without thinking about how it will impact our travel advisor partners,” says Maureen Barnes-Smith, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Canada, for Unique Vacations Canada Inc.
Scenic Group (Scenic & Emerald Cruises) is offering the following to mark Travel Agent Day:
- 2% bonus commission for new bookings made May 3 – May 16, 2021 on Scenic and Emerald Cruises (Europe and Asia rivers only). Not combinable with FTCs and groups.
- For each booking the travel advisor makes, they will automatically enter the drawing for a comp 7-night river cruise (1 for each brand).
Use code: BRAVO
During the month of May 2021, advisors can earn a complimentary cabin for two on one of Star Clippers’ ships when they book three cabins (six passengers) on any of the Star Flyer or Star Clipper sailings with departure dates through March 2023. Travel advisors can take part in the promotion by emailing the qualifying booking numbers, agency name and address, agency phone number, as well as advisor name, phone and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org
Silversea Cruises is marking Travel Advisor Appreciation Month by rewarding its Very Important Partners (V.I.P.) with a selection of offers for the month of May, for Canadian, U.S. and Latin American travel advisors. The three travel advisors with the highest volume of sales during May 2021 will be rewarded with a complimentary Silversea cruise aboard one of the line’s brand-new ships. Award recipients will be announced in early June. Cruises will be awarded as follows:
. Top Classic Sales Reward: European voyage on Silver Moon
. Top Expedition Sales Reward: Galápagos Islands expedition voyage on Silver Origin
. Top Combined Sales Reward: European voyage on Silver Dawn
For every Silversea voyage booked in May, advisors will receive a US$100 gift card. Advisors must register at Marketing Central on My.Silversea.com. For complete details on the Travel Advisor Appreciation Month incentive see: www.silversea.com/taappreciation.
Sunwing is celebrating Travel Agent Day by offering agents 5X the STAR Points on new bookings to Tropical Deluxe Princess and Caribe Deluxe Princess. From May 4 until June 30, 2021, Sunwing is offering agents 5X the STAR Agent Reward Points that convert to cash on all new bookings to the newly renovated properties, for travel Nov. 1, 2021 – October 31, 2022. Sunwing says the popular beachfront resorts will be reopening in July 2021 following extensive renovations and, to celebrate, the tour operator is offering discounted rates, agent incentives and exclusive group travel deals. These incentives include discounted rates on select packages and group deals where the sixth adult travels free. In addition, for every room booked at Princess Hotels & Resorts from now until June 30, 2021, agents will be entered for the chance to win one of two seven-night stays at Tropical Deluxe Princess and Caribe Deluxe Princess. To learn more about the renovations at these two new properties, agents can tune into Sunwing webinars throughout the month of May.
Says Deana Murphy, VP Retail Sales at Sunwing Travel Group: “This past year has shown us that the value of a travel advisor has never been more important. Travel advisors are the experts that customers trust and lean on for guidance, and the services they offer remain incredibly important to us at Sunwing Travel Group.”
Tourism Ireland is offering up a big thank you to travel agents all across Canada for their support and partnership. To assist agents and arm them with the tools they need to sell the island of Ireland to their clients, Tourism Ireland offers a number of supports for agents, including: The Ireland Specialist Program; IrelandsContentPool.com; and Ireland Insiders Facebook Group. Tourism Ireland also invites agents to sign up for monthly e-zine updates.
Trafalgar is celebrating Travel Agent Day on May 5 and also Travel Advisor Appreciation Month for the entire month of May. On Wednesday, May 5 at 1 p.m. EST Trafalgar’s Canadian BDMs team is hosting a Facebook Live event via its Travel Agent Tribe Facebook page to thank and celebrate its travel agent partners. Additionally, Trafalgar and Costsaver are inviting agents to participate in a month-long contest for a chance to win a $500 future travel voucher towards a Trafalgar or Costsaver vacation. To enter, agents are asked to comment on weekly posts to be shared on the Facebook page throughout May. Each comment equals one entry into the grand prize draw. Agents can earn up to four entries.
“This Travel Agent Day, The Travel Corporation would like to say a huge thank you to our amazing Travel Agent partners from across Canada during this most challenging year and acknowledge their inspiring resilience,” says Jeff Element, President of The Travel Corporation Canada.“We truly appreciate their support, loyalty and valued friendship. Our Travel Corporation team members are doing everything we can and are here to help our Travel Advisors get their businesses and bookings back in this current recovery mode and beyond.”
Transat is inviting travel agents to visit its Facebook page, ‘Follow your Transat Sales Team’ and like its Travel Agent Appreciation Day post for a chance to win $150 in Bonbon rewards. The draw will take place May 6 and the winner will be announced on the Facebook group.
Says Joseph Adamo, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer at Transat: “Dear partners, on this day held in your honour, I would like to highlight the unwavering dedication you have shown, day after day, despite all the difficulties encountered over the past year. More than ever, the value of your work is undeniable and deserves to be celebrated. It is a privilege to work alongside you and make our clients’ travel dreams come true. On behalf of the entire Transat team: thank you.”
For this year’s Travel Agent Day, TravelBrands is giving travel agents a chance to earn up to 2021 bonus Loyalty Rewards Points per product booked with TravelBrands. This includes car rentals, cruises, hotels, add-ons, TravelGenie, Sunquest and Exotik Journeys. Agents also have the chance to receive 400 bonus Loyalty Rewards points for every air reservation booked through Intair.
“It’s no secret that TravelBrands loves agents, and during these times, that love has grown. We’ve seen the dedication and hard work agents have put in for their clients, especially over the last year (and counting). Without travel agents, there would be no TravelBrands. We are here to help support agents today and every day,” says the company. “Wishing all travel professionals, a very happy Travel Agent Day! To us, travel agents are one of the most valuable assets to the industry.”
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is celebrating travel agents this Travel Agent Day by offering rates of up to 60% off its published fares for travel advisors on select departure dates for 2021 voyages. The offer is available to any Travel Advisor who completes ‘Uniworld University’ as part of The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) Academy program. Once advisors have completed Uniworld University, they’re asked to contact Uniworld’s Inside Sales Team at 1-800-733-7820 to book their vacation.