Deana Murphy with Sunwing’s Director of Marketing Anna Tarkowski and BDM Atlantic Canada Nicole Blanchard
Longtime Sunwing-ers Reg Mendes and his wife Maureen Maheu-Mendes
The crowd clearly enjoyed the pop quizzes
Lorraine Brisbois, Corporate Manager/Preferred Partners, reminded agents that “To travel is an investment in yourself and your profession.”
It was a busy, rainy night in the big smoke. The Leafs, Raptors and Jays all had games, making it the biggest sports night in T.O.’s history, yet several hundred travel agents put any spectator sports passion aside to attend the Sunwing Big Event.
Branded as the ‘Every Step of the Way Tour,’ the function was just one of 21 the “Big Orange” is planning across the country with an estimated 5,000 frontline agents getting an update on the many innovations and new products available for this summer and the upcoming winter. They also get the opportunity to schmooze with up to 80 suppliers on the trade show floor.
The company has released its main brochure with over 50 destinations from a whopping 33 gateways across Canada – 34 if you add in Buffalo, NY. New destinations include Antigua, Bonaire, Playa Mujeres (north of Cancun) and Riviera Diamante (north of Acapulco). The tonier Signature brand will focus on six major resort chains including RIU and Karisma and feature Jewel Resorts in Jamaica for the first time.
Simultaneously, Sunwing has released its cruise brochure featuring MSC, Norwegian Cruise Lines and Marella Cruises in conjunction with WG flights from Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City.
In good news for agents, they can now earn 8% and Star Points on pre-booked excursions, payable in Canadian dollars. Over 25 webinars are now in place to learn about the product and company at your own pace. And with the new Sunwing app, free with a valid booking number, clients can call home for free, stay abreast of flight notifications and contact their destination rep.
“We’ve changed up our product launches a bit, with more supplier engagement and participation from the agents,” Deana Murphy, V-P of Sales at Sunwing told me. And if the attentive, massive crowd at the Toronto-area launch is anything to go by, the “Big Orange” remains a solid and trusted player in the crowded leisure travel world.
Martha Chapman Columnist
An OJ columnist since 2006, Martha is responsible for the Biting Questions features as well as special seasonal series. A travel industry lifer known to all in the biz, she frequently covers industry events for Open Jaw.