TORONTO — More than 5,000 agents are getting the scoop on everything from Sunwing’s popular STAR points reward program to the new 2019/2020 brochures as Sunwing’s ‘Vacation Better’ roadshow makes its way across the country.
With a stop in Ottawa tonight and then on to Quebec starting tomorrow, and then heading west before the grand finale in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick at the end of the month, the roadshow visits 18 cities in all. The Woodbridge event on May 1 had a great turnout.
Despite the busy schedule, VP Sales Deana Murphy made time to talk to Travelweek about Sunwing’s strong showing in winter 2018/19, what’s new for 2019/20 and why agents are so important to Sunwing…
Q: Did all the cold and snow give Sunwing one of its best winter seasons ever?
“2018/2019 was a strong season. As well as introducing several new destinations and hotels we also saw growth in volume from several of our new gateways. For example, this was the second season that we operated out of Mont Joli and the response from our customers there was extremely positive.
“We were also pleased to return to the island of Bonaire – we remain the only Canadian airline to offer a direct flight service to this Dutch Caribbean island gem – for a second consecutive season.
“Pacific Mexico was also a strong focus. We are proud to be the biggest vacation provider for Mazatlan, offering the destination from multiple gateways from coast to coast. Our newly introduced direct flight service from Montreal was well received; along with our new flight service from Quebec City to Puerto Vallarta.
“In addition, in January we began our twice weekly flight service into Daytona Beach, Florida.”
Q. What new destinations are you most excited about?
“In addition to the new destinations mentioned above, we are very excited about having the islands of Grenada and Tobago in the brochure for the first time. We introduced flight services to both these destinations in late December and received a good response.”
Q. What new resorts should agents watch out for heading into winter 2019/2020?
“We have several new resorts that we’re excited about including in our brochure for the first time including Lopesan Costa Bavaro Resort, Spa & Casino and the Adults Only Club at Lopesan Costa Bavaro, which both feature stylish suites with swim-up options and access to The Boulevard, an exclusive leisure area featuring a water park, casino, nightclub and more.
“Another new resort offering is Royalton Antigua Resort and Spa which will feature the first-ever overwater bungalows for Royalton Luxury Resorts and is located on one of the island’s most beautiful beaches.
“There are also several properties slated to open soon including Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Cancun, a luxury entertainment-themed resort perfect for families, groups and couples and Royalton Grenada Resort and Spa, an opulent oceanfront property featuring gourmet dining options.”
Q. Why are travel agents so important to Sunwing?
“Travel agents contribute significantly to our business and their support is a big part of the Sunwing success story. We greatly value our partnership with travel agents and continue to invest in training, fam trips, sales initiatives and our STAR Loyalty program.
“Our team of Business Development Managers are valuable resources and agents should make sure they are connected to their local BDM as well as accessing sunwingagents.ca on a regular basis to keep up to date with our many promotions and sales initiatives.”