Susan Diefenbaker, manager Travel Nation’s call centre with Sal Buccellato
Open Jaw’s own Nina Slawek with Bradley Dean and Mike Price of Quadra Innovations Group
Transat’s Susan Kooiman and Nicole Bursey with Chris Robinson of the Chris Robinson Travel Show
It’s no secret that agents love incentives. So the event held at Toronto’s elegant Sassafraz Restaurant could be called a huge hit, as the all-inclusive Bahia Principe resort chain celebrated its new Rewards Program.
“We want to give back to our retail partners to thank them for their hard work,” Sal Buccellato, national accounts director for Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts explained to the large group of agents. “And we want them to experience Bahia Principe for themselves, so the program comprises resort stays, spa services, private transfers, candle-lit dinners and more.” The agent incentives are now offered worldwide by the chain, which includes 24 properties (14 in the DR, four in Riviera Maya, two in Jamaica and four in Spain).
Front and centre at the event were the team from Air Transat. “By volume, Bahia Principe is our number one resort group,” Paula De Campos, product director for Transat Tours told me. “We love them because they are very strong and consistent in food and beverage and they continually innovate.” This includes an “amazing” waterpark for kids and adults at the Fantasia property in Punta Cana. The relationship with Transat is so strong that the operator now offers flights from across the country, from Kelowna to St. John’s, to Bahia properties, and they’ll even consider adding a new route, as they did with Samana, if a Bahia Principe resort is opened.
The resort group is family-owned with founder Don Pablo, now in his seventies, still involved. “He knows when a light bulb needs changing!” says De Campos. His daughters have followed him into the business.
Reward program features include the ability to pool points with your colleagues in your agency, and amass points over three years. “The plus with working with Transat is that you can double dip, collecting their Bonbon points at the same time,” explained Buccellato.
The program launched February 6 and already an impressive number of agents present had signed up. No doubt planning their next trip to their favourite Bahia Principe resort!