Open Jaw proprietor Nina Slawek is flanked by Sophie Raymond,
Regional Sales Manager, Velas Resorts (l) and Tania Humana, Marketing
Manager, Tour & Travel for the Grand Velas Riviera Maya.
(l to r) Dianne Pedroso, ASM, ACV, Rita Emiliani, Senior Account
Specialist, CWT Victor Travel Agency, Krista Cardona, ASM ACV and
Federico Berardinucci, Manager, National Sales, ACV.
Air Canada Vacations Managing Director Nino Montagnese pulls a
draw prize winner at the ACV Ultimate Escapes launch in Toronto.
A riad in Casablanca? A ryokan in Osaka?
Air Canada Vacations’ Managing Director Nino Montagnese says there will be lots more ‘Ultimate Escapes’ in the company’s future. As the operator launched its first-ever Ultimate Escapes brochure featuring the crème de la crème of sun resorts, Montagnese says he sees the brochure’s content expanding to become a ‘bucket-list’ collection of the finest properties offered in the destinations where Air Canada flies.
The first Ultimate Escapes brochure features 43 properties in 15 destinations – eight in the Caribbean, five in Mexico and Hawaii and Las Vegas in the U.S. Montagnese describes the 43 properties as exceptional resorts that risked getting lost among the hundreds featured in ACV’s massive Sun brochure.
The properties featured are not mass-market resorts, in fact, they’re not even mass-market luxury properties. They are handpicked, niche products distinguished by their quality and accolades – among them are World Travel Awards winners, members of Small Luxury Hotels of the World and AAA 4-Diamond selections. Azamara Club Cruises, with its destination-focused cruising style, is also part of the inaugural Ultimate Escapes collection.
Among the featured properties are places offering ‘timeless’ luxury, like the nearly 70-year-old Jamaica Inn, juxtaposed with chic, contemporary choices like Mexico’s Unico 20° 87°.
“These are not places for someone looking for an EBB or a discount,” said Montagnese. “But there’s definitely a market. Since we launched, booking for products in this brochure have gone way up.”
Among the hotel representatives attending the launch was Tania Humana, Marketing Manager, Tour & Travel for the Grand Velas Riviera Maya Resort, the world’s first all-inclusive resort to receive the AAA Five-Diamond Award for dining.
“I love the way Air Canada Vacations has presented this collection. It’s what these wonderful products deserve,” Humana told Open Jaw.
A specialized brochure requires specialized selling, and ACV decided not to send out the brochure to all agencies. “Not everybody can sell this,” said Montagnese. “The agents attending today are among those who were invited to sell the product. Each of them were handpicked by our sales team.”
Montagnese has high hopes for the future of Ultimate Escapes. “This has been a long time coming. We first talked about it six or seven years ago. Our vision is to take this across all of our product lines. It works very well with Air Canada’s growing network and premium products like our Business Class, Premium Rouge, Maple Leaf Lounges and our Air Canada Jetz full-plane charters.”
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.