Travelsavers Says Canadian Offices Busy Despite Weak Dollar
Despite a significant drop in the value of the Canadian dollar since last winter, Travelsavers offices report that business is brisk, as suppliers have stepped up and agents are working with clients to ensure winter holidays are still affordable.
“Overall, winter business in our Canadian offices is very much up year-on-year and summer business is looking stronger over last year,” said Kathryn Mazza-Burney, Executive Vice President, Sales, Travelsavers. “Our agents are sales agents, not just order takers, and they are actively assisting clients, playing a consultative role in finding holidays they can afford.”
Cathie Lewis-Hardy, Vice President, International Marketing, Travelsavers says Canadian tour operators have helped cushion loonie-related price increases. “Tour operators in Canada have been reaching out to their hotelier partners to come to the table with price reductions. They have been successful and pricing now reflects these hotel reductions. In addition, our partners have been adjusting their yield to stay competitive,” Lewis-Hardy said.
Lewis-Hardy says cruise sales are also up this winter, especially with mass market cruise lines, as cruise lines are adjusting their pricing and offering continuous specials to attract bookings.
However, U.S. destinations are flat or down and the Europe cruise market is still affected by the CAD for both blue-water and river cruising.
Regionally, Travelsavers says the economic slowdown in Alberta and Saskatchewan is resulting in lower sales from those markets. Quebecers were hesitant to book in the fall, says Johan Marjanek, Director, New Business Development, Travelsavers, Quebec, but things have improved. “The winter weather drives people south regardless; they just go for shorter durations or choose alternate destinations where the dollar goes further. But clients want to prepay as much as possible in CDN funds,” Marjanek says.