Travel Agents Get the Giggles at Barcelo’s Vancouver Event

with Vickie Sam Paget

Montserrat Anas, groups and conventions manager at Barcelo Puerto Vallarta, Rick McCauley, Silvia Ramirez, sales director at Barcelo Huatulco, Elizabeth Sanchez, sales executive at Barcelo Maya Grand Resort, and Miguel Narvaez, sales director at Barcelo Ixtapa.

Jodine Clement, Barcelo’s BDM for Western Canada, kept agents entertained during the dinner cruise.

Hank Oostveen, vice president at Uniglobe Travel and Rick McCauley, senior director of sales at Barcelo Resorts.

Bill Allen, travel agent at Marlin Travel enjoys a drink on the deck of the Star of Vancouver.

Kathleen Campbell, travel expert at Travel Only, with David L Provo, ASM for Western Canada at Sell Off Vacations.

Question: How do you make 45 travel agents almost choke on their cheesecake with laughter? 

Answer: Take them to a Barcelo Hotel Group travel agent appreciation dinner!

It’s common knowledge in Western Canada that Jodine Clement, the company’s BDM for the region, is one of the friendliest faces in the travel industry. But her stream of jokes during a VIP dinner cruise aboard the Star of Vancouver this week had agents almost choking on their cheesecake!

The dinner included presentations by Barcelo hoteliers from across Mexico, who had flown in specially to attend Barcelo agent appreciation events in Regina, Edmonton, Kelowna and Vancouver.

Agents received first-hand updates from hotel reps based at Barcelo Puerto Vallarta and Occidental Nuevo Vallarta, Barcelo Huatulco, Barcelo Maya Grand Resort, Barcelo Ixtapa and Barcelo Gran Faro Los Cabos.

The big news of the night came from Rick McCauley, senior director of sales at Barcelo Resorts, who revealed that the company is building a new resort in the Riviera Maya.

“We started building it this month,” he explained. “It’ll be all-inclusive adult-only — and you’re the first to know because it hasn’t even been announced yet! It won’t be a Royal Hideaway, but it’ll be a Barcelo for sure.”

The news was met with an enthusiastic round of applause from the agents.

McCauley later told Open Jaw that the 800-room property has not yet been named, but will include one of the biggest convention centres in the Riviera Maya with a 2020 opening date. Clients at the new property will have access to Barcelo’s entire Riviera Maya complex.

Was the big news enough to make the travel agents almost choke on their cheesecake though? Not quite. That was down to Clement, who -- while giving a presentation -- noticed the captain of the boat nonchalantly stroll across the dining room floor.

“Who’s driving this thing?” she asked, much to the agents’ delight. Luckily though, no Heimlich manoeuvres were required and no cheesecake was wasted.

Mihoko Suzuka, travel consultant at Skyland Travel, Momo Sawada, travel consultant at
Skyland Travel, Manju Maniyan, flight specialist at Escapes, and Ayako Okajima,
office manager at Skyland Travel.

Sheila McPhail, branch manager at Maritime Travel, with Hana Talimalo, corporate travel
specialist at Maritime Travel.

Vickie Sam Paget

Vickie Sam Paget Western Correspondent

Hailing from the UK, Vickie Sam Paget is a travel and tourism storyteller located in Vancouver, BC. When she’s not on the road, creating engaging travel content or gazing at the North Shore Mountains, you can usually find her curled up with a good book or sipping a pint of the good stuff in her local Irish bar.

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