TORONTO — Tourico Holidays showed off its new digs in downtown Toronto last night with a cocktail party co-hosted by Visit California. According to the company, the new office was necessary to accommodate its expanded Canadian teams following stellar growth; Canada as a source market for Tourico was up 58% in 2016, while business to Canada as a destination was up 33%.
“When we started we had three product people in Canada, and a tiny closet space on Bloor. Since then we have grown very rapidly in the market and now have about 10 staff members, hence the need for an upgraded office,” said Debbie Kenton, VP of Sales, North America at Tourico Holidays.
Tourico has been enjoying success in Canada working with tour operator partners, airlines and loyalty programs, most notably TravelBrands and WestJet Vacations. Although Tourico doesn’t typically work with agents (unless they are also large wholesalers), agents can book its product through tour operators and will benefit from its seamless service and competitive pricing.
“We are a global travel broker, with more than 30 offices around the world. We offer hotels, attractions, transfers, car rentals and vacation homes, and we are really one of the only players that can offer 16 cruise lines under one API. We consider ourselves a one-stop-shop,” added Kenton. “We sell to TravelBrands and they sell to the agents, so we are very much behind the scenes.”
One of the company’s strategies is to outright pre-buy a large pool of hotel rooms in major markets. Because it takes on the risk upfront, it is able to secure the best rates, ensuring more revenue per booking. Tourico has more than 400 such deals globally, making up 40% of its revenue.
“Our unique selling point as a company is really our exclusive deal model. We were the very first and are still the largest pre-buyer of rooms globally,” said Kenton. “For example, in New York we have 25 hotels where we go in and buy the rooms outright, in exchange for the best rate in the market.”
Tourico Holidays is very optimistic about 2017, with Canadian business doing exceptionally well. The market is enjoying a rebound in travel to Europe and strong growth in vacation rentals.
Tourico Holidays chose Visit California to help host the cocktail party because Tourico bookings to California grew 40% in the first quarter of this year. The two will partner again this year on an exciting fam focusing on millennial travel.