TORONTO — WestJet Vacations is now taking deposits so clients no longer have to pay in full when they book more than 45 days in advance.
This is only available through agents, not to clients who book directly.
The tour operator made the move on a recommendation from its travel agent advisory panel, made up of 40 retailers who meet twice a year.
WestJet Vacations is also bringing back a traditional brochure following agent feedback.
Tim Croyle, Vice President and General Manager, told Travelweek the operator will continue to resist surcharges and only “true” taxes & fees are not part of the base price.
He said WestJet Vacations’ average taxes & fees are $155 compared to $400 from some other operators and this means more commission for agents.
“We do it on principle. It’s the right thing to do.”
Director, Product Dave Cecco said the Calgary-based operator has a range of new destinations this winter including Huatulco from Toronto and Calgary, Merida in the Yucatan Peninsula, Los Cabos from Toronto, Sarasota and West Palm Beach out of Toronto, San Jose (Costa Rica) out of Toronto, increased service to Liberia from Toronto and new service from Calgary, Boston from Toronto and London Gatwick next spring from six Canadian gateways.
Product updates for the coming winter:
Cancun and the Mayan Riviera: Breathless Riviera Cancun opening next spring; Secrets Akumal opening Nov. 1 and split stay packages between Cancun and the Mayan Riviera are available at select hotels.
Costa Rica: Secrets Papagayo opening Nov. 20.
Jamaica: Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton; Sunscape Splash and Sunscape Cove open Dec. 23; Holiday Inn Montego Bay; Moon Palace; Melia Braco opens in January.
Puerto Vallarta: Sunscape PVR (formerly Holiday Inn) opens Dec. 1; Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta and Grand Fiesta Americana.
Barbados: Five new hotels ranging from 3- to 5-stars.
Cuba: New are Pullman Cayo Coco opening in December, Iberostar Playa Pilar in Cayo Coco set to open in November and the recently-opened Warwick Cayo Santa Maria.
DR: Viva Wyndham V Samana opens Dec. 15.
Las Vegas: New are Stratosphere Hotel & Casino, SLS and Westgate Resort.
Special offers: Extra-added values are available at Princess hotels, AMResorts and Melia properties.