“Committed to working with you, and for you”: ACV wraps up Dream Makers roadshow in the GTA
ACV's Managing Director Nino Montagnese with ACV's VP Product Development, Dina Bertolo and The Travel Agent Next Door Founder and President, Flemming Friisdahl

“Committed to working with you, and for you”: ACV wraps up roadshow in the GTA

WOODBRIDGE — Telling agents “we couldn’t do it without you”, Air Canada Vacations says it’s getting ready to ramp up its agent rewards program ACV&ME with a relaunch set for January 2019, with instant redemption, land only offerings and more.

Agents cheered the news at the final stop of the company’s Dream Makers product launch roadshow, held last night in Woodbridge, ON. “You’re going to be so excited,” said Dana Gain, ACV’s Senior Director of Sales. “Stay tuned for a new and improved ACV&ME this January.”

The announcement capped a slew of product updates throughout the evening from Gain as well as General Manager, Sales – Ontario & National Accounts, Monique Lalonde, and Managing Director, Nino Montagnese.

Montagnese also told the crowd about ACV’s three core pillars for forward growth: digital transformation; product diversity and project excellence.

As part of its digital transformation ACV is overhauling its website, and agents can expect to see an entirely new site from the company in the first half of 2019.

ACV is also working with Explor VR, a leader in the virtual reality market. Explor VR recently visited Sandals Montego Bay with a film crew to capture footage of the resort’s recent enhancements, using an eight-camera-rig to create a visual experience akin to a virtual fam of the upgraded resort, and ACV helped organize the in-destination film shoot.

“Committed to working with you, and for you”: ACV wraps up Dream Makers roadshow in the GTA

Devin Kinasz, President & CEO, Explor VR

ACV launched its 2018-2019 Sun Collection earlier this summer. Last night Gain and Lalonde reviewed the highlights from the brochure, here’s a recap:

  • 700+ hotels, most offering all-inclusive packages, with 77 new properties, 13 ACV exclusive resorts, 35 semi-exclusive resorts and 100+ cruises.
  • Extra capacity with 58 additional new flights to ACV’s sun destinations, and connecting flights from 64 Canadian cities
  • Sun destinations include Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii, California, Florida and Las Vegas. New destinations include Belize and St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
  • The 2018-19 winter flight schedule includes new flight service from Vancouver to Lihue, Hawaii, operating Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays starting Dec. 15. Vancouver and Calgary flights to Hawaii, Vancouver flights to Mexico and Calgary flights to Cancun will operate on Air Canada’s new 737 MAX aircraft.

Several promotions are in the market to entice clients to book, says Gain. ACV’s BOGO sale came out earlier this year and continues to generate bookings, for travel Jan. 5 – 31, 2019 with a Sept. 30, 2018 booking deadline. For agents the BOGO deal includes 2% bonus commission. “Book BOGO, book January travel,” said Lalonde.

ACV’s Collections include Adults Only (18+ and 21+), Boutique, Spa Holidays, Spotlight, Luxe and Family (the company also has an Ultimate Escapes brochure targeted exclusively to the luxury market).

With ACV’s family-friendly Play designation, kids stay, eat and play free plus families get pre-boarding and properties offer kids’ clubs and the like. New this year, Play More, an upgrade to Play, includes all of the original perks plus seat selection and in-flight meal vouchers. Play More is priced at $39 per adult and $19 per child.

Groups continue to be a big part of ACV’s business and group benefits kick in with a minimum of eight passengers including kids age two and up. “Increase your group size by up to 20% for the same price,” said Gain. There’s also a Groups incentive in the market offering a $500 flight credit per group, for bookings by Oct. 31.

ACV’s Group Partners of the Month, originally launched for September but extended until Oct. 15, include Sandals Resorts, Hotel Xcaret Mexico, Azura Beach Resort Samana and Senator Puerto Plata. “Great value adds, great pricing,” says Gain.

“Committed to working with you, and for you”: ACV wraps up Dream Makers roadshow in the GTA

Robert Rizzo and Barbara Scrocco with TravelOnly proudly display their Sandals Resorts Lifetime Achievement Awards with Maureen Barnes-Smith, Director of Sales & Marketing, Unique Vacations Canada and Robert Smith, BDM – Eastern Ontario

“Committed to working with you, and for you”: ACV wraps up Dream Makers roadshow in the GTA

Desirée Rolle, Director of Sales, Canada for Couples Resorts

“Committed to working with you, and for you”: ACV wraps up Dream Makers roadshow in the GTA

José Luis Benitez, Business Development Associate, Excellence Group Luxury Hotels & Resorts

“Committed to working with you, and for you”: ACV wraps up Dream Makers roadshow in the GTA

Tammy Thompson, BDM – Ontario and Rick McCauley, Senior Director Sales & Marketing, Barcelo Hotel Group

“Committed to working with you, and for you”: ACV wraps up Dream Makers roadshow in the GTA

Brenda Bradley, Sales Executive, Cuba Division, Melia Hotels International Cuba; Aniuska Castrillon Vilaboy with Paradiso and Nieves Ricardo with the Cuba Tourist Board

To U.S. destinations including Florida, California, Las Vegas and Hawaii ACV offers a rolling EBB worth $100 per couple, as long as clients book at least 90 days out.

Gain and Lalonde also highlighted ACV’s Cruise program, with its lowest airfare guarantee and 100% refundable flights. New this year ACV is offering sailings on Costa Magica.

ACV is also heading into its second year with Go Canada, part of the company’s commitment to product diversification. There’s also more Europe product and agents were told to keep an eye out for ACV’s new Europe brochure coming later this fall.

ACV is undergoing an overhaul that extends beyond its revamped website and diversified product lineup, says Montagnese. The success of Air Canada Rouge’s Disney Institute program – where all Rouge employees complete Disney Institute training – has inspired ACV to do the same for its employees. The company is dedicated to “make the customer the centre of everything we do,” says Montagnese.

“Committed to working with you, and for you”: ACV wraps up Dream Makers roadshow in the GTA

Air Canada Rouge is celebrating its 5th anniversary in 2018