Spring is still springing -- the leaves haven't even fully unfurled yet -- but Sunwing & Signature are already looking ahead to winter!
I do think that's pushing it a bit but I may be alone in that opinion as more than 500 agents showed up at Woodbine Race Track's event venue last week to prep themselves for winter sun selling.
Sunwing was fully prepared with lots of new product and incentives to drive agents into flurries of early group sales opportunities. The event was just the beginning: Sunwing will hold an additional 22 presentations across the country over the next few weeks, introducing an estimated additional 5,000 agents to its hot-off-the-press winter 2017/18 brochure.
The suppliers are definitely on board -- 85 of them were on hand at Woodbine to help focus the bevy of agents on the benefits of getting ahead of the busy season.
Besides getting a jump on wedding, bachelorette and special interest groups, agents were particularly impressed with Sunwing's family getaway benefits. The room burst into applause when they heard that Sunwing's SMILE resorts have no blackouts for kids stay & eat free offers, and single parents are not subject to a single supplement!
Sunwing stalwarts Lorraine Brisbois and Rod Hanna brought attendees up to speed on Sunwing's Agent Rewards for flights based on group seats sold and a new app that allows vacationers to call home free and easily add enhancements to their trip.
For winter 2017/18 Sunwing will offer direct flights from 34 destinations across Canada to more than 50 sun destinations.
A number of new resorts have been added to the lineup. In Jamaica, the Royalton Negril Resort & Spa will feature an adults-only section suited for couples and honeymooners -- the Hideaway at Royalton Negril -- and it's on one of the island's best beaches. Also opening for the winter season is the Royalton Bavaro Resort & Spa at Punta Cana.
New destinations include Mexico's Isla Holbox, which will be popular with divers and those who enjoy snorkeling, as well as those who love white sand beaches in a tranquil setting.
The new Signature Vacations brochure includes 38 properties in its exclusive RIU-topia Collection, including the highly anticipated Splash Water World in Punta Cana and an adults only waterpark at Riu Republica.
Opening later this year is the Hard Rock Papagayo, featured in Signature's Celebrity Collection. This resort will feature Vegas-style nightly entertainment as well as a full-service rock spa. I'm not sure if that's a spa with rocks or a spa that rocks. Let me know if you get the chance to check it out.
So get out there and scoop up those early group bookings and also try to enjoy a bit of spring and summer before the hot sun season gets underway.