Transat Builds On Trusted Brand

with Nina Slawek

Paul Foster, Joe Adamo, Al Budwani & Nancy Jackson share a toast

Transat's Mary Santonato, Annick Guérard & Nicole Bursey

Jonathan Carroll listens to presentation

Denise Heffron, VP National Sales & Commercial, welcomes the luncheon crowd

The Transat family

At a recent Toronto luncheon, Annick Guérard, General Manager for Transat Tours, told the assembled retailers that research indicates many consumers choose Transat because they trust the brand.

“As we all know, travel is complicated and we can't always control all the variables. We don't pretend everything will always be perfect. But we promise that we will be there for the client – and they feel that."

Building on that customer service proposition is part of Transat's marketing and sales strategy for 2016. “Customer service is what people remember. It's what brings them back to the table."

Brand loyalty is a tough nut in the travel business and if Transat has found the golden formula it will be quite an accomplishment.

Guérard also thanked agents, other travel partners and employees for helping to get the operator 'back on track.'

“We are pleased with the winter results. Although the dollar had an effect on performance along with the high price of fuel, we are very satisfied with last winter."

Moving to the coming winter, Nicole Bursey, Commercial Director at Transat Tours Canada walked the crowd through some of the changes we can expect from both Transat and Nolitours.

“There is a shift in the product. Since Transat Holidays is the most recognized brand and resonates with both consumers and agents, we are placing more emphasis on it. Everything which is 4 ½ stars and over is under that umbrella this winter. Nolitours will focus mainly on Central and South America. “

The theme for the winter is 'Sun for everyone' with new destinations and collections including one for solo travellers at 17 resorts. The tour operator's portfolio includes 35 Sun destinations and over 500 resorts, including 55 exclusivities.

Transat is also increasing capacity this winter with the addition of 19 new routes, including to Havana (Cuba) from Montreal, to La Romana (Dominican Republic) from Toronto and Quebec City, to Cayo Santa Maria from four gateways in Western Canada, to Ixtapa (Mexico) from Montreal and to Playa Blanca in Panama at the new Rio Hato airport from Toronto and Montreal.

With the recent addition of the YFC/CUN route, TS will fly to CUN from 17 Canadian airports this winter, including Toronto, London, Hamilton and Ottawa in Ontario, Montreal and Quebec City in Quebec, Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Regina in Western Canada and Halifax, Moncton and St. John's in Atlantic Canada.

A new destination for Transat is Curacao and the operator plans on promoting the island for its dependable weather and its strong relationship with the flagship Decameron Resort property.

As always, the message to the trade is to advise clients to book early. Not only are there savings, but with a lot of wedding and group activity once again this year, some of the prime properties are being booked up.

(will not be published)