Travelsavers E.V.P. Kathryn Mazza Burney and Chief Marketing Officer Nicole Mazza flank Collette Canada's Director of Strategic Accounts Ron Lonsdale.
Collette Canada President Doug Patterson with Stephanie Anevich, E.V.P. Vision Travel Solutions.
Sonia McKeon, Director of Marketing at Uniglobe Travel (Eastern Canada) with Doug Patterson.
L to R: Collette airline partners at the event included: Michael Magliocco, AZ; Leyland Sampayo & Neville Gay, EK and David Chorley, SA. Collette's Canadian G.M. Brett Walker is 2nd from right.
Collette top sellers, airline partners and other friends got a taste of what guests enjoy on tour at a recent holiday season lunch in Toronto. A reception was held on the 43rd floor of the Sheraton Centre, the perfectly-positioned property where hundreds of Collette clients stay each year on tours visiting Canada’s largest city.
Lunch was at Quinn’s Steakhouse & Irish Bar, the well-regarded restaurant also located in the Sheraton Centre, and a popular included dining spot for guests on tour.
The event was mostly a thank you and a celebration, but Collette Canada President Doug Patterson took the opportunity to update guests on the continuing evolution of a nearly 100 yr. old brand and its renewed commitment to retail travel agents.
The biggest applause of the day came when Patterson told agents in the room that Collette made an important decision to refuse to accept business from discounters, whether online or bricks-and-mortar. In the U.S., that meant walking away from $10 million in annual sales from one major discounter alone.
“We work too hard to create our product. You work too hard to present it to your clients. There’s too much value in our product to have it reduced to a lowest-price environment,” Patterson said.
He told the audience that trained, dedicated agents are essential to giving potential tour members the ‘real story’ about the contemporary guided travel experience. “We still continue to be up against myths that guests are shackled to the coach and have chicken at every meal. The reality is so incredibly different,” Patterson said.
“With Collette today it’s all about choice. We have 5 different touring styles. If we’re in New York City, we’ll offer a choice of 3 different Broadway shows, because people have different tastes. In Amsterdam they can choose between a canal tour or walking tour. In many places we offer not only a choice of meals, but we offer 3 different restaurants for dinner.”
“Collette Gives You More” is the latest branding promise from the company, exemplified by the private sedan service that picks up guests from their homes at the start of a tour and greets them at the airport and drives them right back to their doorstep on return.
The ‘give more’ philosophy is also entrenched in the family-owned Collette’s commitment to give back, both in source markets and destinations. In the GTA area, Collette is closely tied to the innovative Eden Food for Change, which offers food banks focused on fresh and healthy products, and ‘learning kitchens’ where people are taught how to provide healthy meals.
Collette is inviting travel partners from across the country to help contribute to its ‘1 Million Meals’ Campaign.
Here’s how it works: The ‘Share A Meal’ Video is live on Facebook and you’re invited to like, tag and share it. For each engagement, Collette will provide one meal to someone in need through partner Stop Hunger Now. Do all 3, and Collette will provide 3 meals on your behalf.