If there was one person who could truly be called an icon of the travel industry, it was Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart.
TORONTO — No doubt about it, the past six months have been unbelievably tough. It’s times like these that trusted brands shine through. “Collette has been in business for 102 years,” says Ron Lonsdale, Collette’s Vice President, Canada. “We have seen so many trying times in our industry. The learnings from the past apply today.”
In this exclusive video interview with Travelweek, Lonsdale says Collette has worked hard to stay transparent throughout the pandemic. The company has adequate financial reserves to ride out this disruption well into 2021. “We don’t expect that to happen,” he says with a smile. “But we’ve been very conservative in how we operate our business. Then, now and always.”
More new bookings than rebookings have been coming in over the past few weeks, and that’s good news, says Lonsdale.
And Collette’s new Advanced Commission Program, launched last week, is a big help for agents. Agents receive a portion of their commission upon deposit, and it won’t be recalled if clients cancel their trip. “The strategy was to give agents a commission pipeline,” says Lonsdale.
Collette’s insurance offering also covers COVID-19, a crucial sales tool these days. When it comes to qualifying clients in a post-pandemic world, “We suggest they talk first about the insurance offering, then about the stability of the supplier, then about the health and safety protocols in destination,” says Lonsdale.
With Collette’s coverage, under the current advisory by Global Affairs Canada (i.e. risk level 3, ‘Avoid non-essential travel’) or a lower risk level, COVID-19 is an eligible claim, the same as any sickness. Passengers would be required to submit appropriate medical documentation and all claims are subject to approval.
As an added bonus, with Collette’s Worldwide Sale clients can save 10% off all 2021 departures worldwide, with a booking window from Sept. 15 to Oct. 31, 2020.
Click here to see the full video interview.