It’s one thing to know that travel agent associations are lobbying the government on agents’ behalf. It’s another to actually hear it and see it in action.
TORONTO — Though the global pandemic has made it nearly impossible for Canadians to get to paradise right now, it hasn’t stopped one innovative travel agent from bringing paradise to them.
Vision Travel specialist Tracy Turberfield, based in Oshawa, Ontario, hosted a virtual tour of Antigua & Barbuda last week as part of her newly created Live-Virtual Vacation Experiences series. Working together with Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority’s Tameka Wharton and Shamoi Richards, as well as Maria Blackman who joined in live from Fort James Beach in Antigua, Turberfield led viewers to top attractions and sites, inspiring them all to plan their post-COVID-19 getaways ahead of the resumption of Air Canada’s direct flights starting Nov. 1.
The mood of the night was fun and celebratory, with some viewers transforming their homes into their very own tropical oasis and arriving in sun hats and sunglasses with tropical drinks in hand.
Turberfield also welcomed special guests Jennie and Steve, who were supposed to be celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary in Antigua at the same time the virtual tour took place. Though the couple was not able to be in destination to celebrate, they’re looking forward to when they eventually can commemorate the milestone in the future.
Throughout the event, local experts answered viewer questions and took them behind the scenes at various attractions and sites, including Nelson’s Dockyard and the Villas at Sunset Lane, where everyone watched a live cooking demonstration on how to make bread pudding. Other highlights included a cocktail session with mixologist K. George, whose concoctions included Antigua’s own Black Pineapple and English Harbour five-year rum, as well as a visit to a local elementary school where viewers learned the pronunciation of common words. The event ended on the beach near historic Fort James to watch the sun set over the island.
On working with Turberfield, Colin James, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, said: “We are grateful to be a part of this experience and bring Canadians on a virtual vacation to Antigua. This is a wonderful opportunity for viewers to see all that our exquisite island has to offer. We want to be kept top of mind when they are planning their next escape to the sun.”
Noting Air Canada’s upcoming return to the island, James added: “We are ready to welcome Canadians back to Antigua & Barbuda with open arms. Antigua is stunning from your living room but the only way to truly experience its beauty is in person here on the island.”
To register for tickets to Turberfield’s next virtual vacation, click here.