Transat Holidays and Nolitours kick off the season Denise Heffron, vp commercial Nolitours, Daniel Cousineau, senior vp sales and marketing, Transat Tours Canada and Lyne Chayer, vp marketing, Transat Tours Canada. 02 SEP 2008: While it wasn’t the Caribbean, it sure felt like it. With sunshine overhead, shady umbrellas and sunglasses, execs from Transat Holidays and Nolitours staged the Drake Hotel’s Sky Yard Rooftop patio and swanky restaurant for some thank you cocktails to key retail partners and trade media. Amid avante-garde décor, Denise Heffron, vp commercial for Nolitours and Elaine Farley, director of sales for Ontario & Atlantic Canada paid tribute to staff and outlined some of the upcoming season’s products.


“Achieving our goal, and staying there it is no easy feat as there is a lot of competition,’ said Heffron, adding, ‘We’re here and we will continue on our slow and steady growth. Winter sales are good. They are positive. Will it be a tough winter? I think so.”

New products include long stays in Spain with Italy available next year which will feature Rome, Milan and Venice. And, for travellers flying on board Air Transat, the sitting just got more comfortable. Earlier this summer, more legroom was added to all aircraft.

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Image left:Transat’s Daniel Cousineau, senior vp sales and marketing and Gerry Kinasz, publisher Travel Week

Image right: Transat’s Sylvie Albert national accounts director & Lyne Chayer, vp marketing

When it comes to the sunny south, said Heffron, “Noli is now going into Jamaica. We have a Panama cruise and stay programme on Enchantment of the Seas, one night land, 7 nights cruise and 6 nights back in Panama. Five new coach tours: two in San Jose, two in Cuba, one in Mexico. For people who don’t just want to lie on the beach, this is an excellent alternative’ said Farley, adding Noli is available from every gateway except Thunder Bay.

“Transat Holidays has a new gateway in Sault Ste. Marie with direct flights to Cancun on Mondays. We have a new destination, Aruba, added to our southern product line,” Heffron noted, adding, “We also have a new club in the Distinction Line. The Palladium chain opened the Imperial Club for us this year.”

On the cruising side of things, Costa Atlantica is back with season six and the Vision of the Seas departs from Santo Domingo (DR).

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Image left: Alan Zakka, director of leisure and sales, Vision 2000 and Pamela Murphy, national product and marketing manager for Sears Travel

Image right: Transat’s Rita Polegri, regional director operations & member services and Patricia Brady, director payload and transport

“We have 18 ships that meet our flights from Fort Lauderdale and Miami. We have six from London, 10 for Rome, 6 for Venice you get the gist. We have a lot of ships,” noted Farley about the extensive cruise line-up with many of them meeting their European flight destinations this upcoming summer.

As for Florida-bound clients, said Farley, “We’re still one-stop shopping. We have a la carte and packages. We have products in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, St. Pete’s, Orlando and their urrounding areas.”

Mention Europe and the pickings continue to grow. “London, Manchester and Glasgow, and now Malaga in the winter, and of course Italy which is very exciting,” said Farley. Agents will be thrilled to hear that 4, 10 and 11 night stays are available for select destinations like Cancun and Varadero.”

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Top row: Denise Heffron, vp commercial Ontario & Atlantic Canada; Patricia Brady, director payload & transport. Front row: Krista Rothfuchs, inside sales rep, Elaine Farley, director sales Ontario & Atlantic Canada; Erin Oddleifson, director marketing Ontario & Atlantic Canada; Paula Miller, director groups Ontario & Atlantic Canada & Michelle Armstrong, sales supervisor

So how can you sell these new products? Transat/Nolitours Training Academies are just the tool for agents.“We put a lot of work in them (the academies).” Said Farley.

“We’d like to have agents in and out in an hour, as they’ve been working all day and we appreciate their time. If they want to learn about a destination there will be webinars available too,” she said and explained how attendees will receive a new agent’s guide along with brochure dividers and sales notes.

“It has all kinds of stuff at your finger tips such as at-a-glance guides, destination services and excursions, airline information, voltage and more.’

New brochures:

Florida 2008-2009 from Nolitours
Endless possibilities here with 70 hotels, condos and vacation homes in the Sunshine state from which to choose. Two new products in Orlando include the newly renovated Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort and the Lake Buena Vista Resort Village and Spa located about a kilometer from the Walt Disney World Resort. In North Miami, the 4-star Meridien Sunny Isles Beach is a new product from Nolitours.

Don’t forget Disney. As the biggest vendor of Disney travel products in Canada, Nolitours has some amazing choices. You can even choose between the Disney Quick Service Dining Plan and the Disney Dining Plan.

Sun 2008-2009 from Nolitours
This 225-page brochure packs in favourite sun destinations over 169 hotels including 41 exclusive properties, 12 new hotels, and 33 Nolitours Best Sellers. In addition, there are vacation packages in 20 destinations including the hugely popular Cuba and Mexico as well as Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Panama and more.

Currently vacationers who book one of these trips can save up to $2,040 per couple by reserving before November 30, 2008 for a trip between December 20, 2008 and October 27, 2009. There is also another promo currently available allowing clients a savings up to $1,480 per couple by reserving 35 days in advance for a trip between December 26, 2008 and October 27, 2008.

Sun 2008-2009 from Transat Holidays

This 244-page catalogue features 156 hotels including 26 new properties and 53 exclusive hotels along with its new destination, Aruba. In addition find descriptions on 20 Transat Treasures along with 101 establishments rated 4.5 star or higher.

Transat Cruises 2008-2010

This 116-page brochure describes cruise products and packages offered by 11 cruise lines such as Azamara Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises and more. Watch out for next May and June when Costa will be introducing two new ships, the Costa Luminosa and the Costa Pacifica which will offer a variety of European itineraries with Rome and Amsterdam departures. Also watch next spring when Air Transat will start direct flights to Venice from Toronto.

Images by Ilona Kauremszky

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Ilona Kauremszky

A regular contributor to Travel Industry Today, Ilona is a prize winning journalist whose writing pursuits have taken her around the globe.

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