25 JAN 2016: Transat Tours Canada unveiled its new Europe brochure in Toronto last week. Commercial director Nicole Bursey, who delivered the presentation to tourism partners and trade media was eager to announce sales from Transat’s Europe products have been stronger than ever. “One of our best Europe seasons in all of Transat’s history was 2015 and that’s a pretty hard thing to do,” she said and explained the success is evident on product sales generating double digit increases.

To help boost the popular Europe packages, the Transat is enriching its central Europe product with the launch of Zagreb, Croatia.

“We feel its ramping up our central Europe programme,” Bursey said about the new Europe product which the company anticipates will compliment its Europe offerings as it comes off a strong year in bookings.

Annick Guerard, general manager of Transat Tours Canada, in a press statement said Transat continues to expand its transatlantic offerings with the most diversified portfolio available to travellers.

“We’re building on the success of our Prague and Budapest routes by introducing Croatia to our customers this year. With 28 destinations served directly and an impressive selection of vacation packages, a la carte hotels, tours and cruises, Transat provides every type of traveller with great options for enjoying Europe at their own pace, according to their budgets and tastes.”

Early Europe Bookings

Attendees heard how Europe-bound clients prep early for their European vacation. Transat reports 70 percent of European travellers are booking six to two months before their departure.

To capitalize on early Europe bookings which will lead to more sales here’s what you need to know about the New Transat 2016 Europe brochure.

Expect a selection of package tours, cruises and a la carte travel suggestions for the 2016 season. Transat also will offer training academies, webinars, and a Croatia FAM for agents.

The Europe programme has been simplified. Gone are the packages described as city, seaside, island hopping, and so on and new this year is a simple title, called, ‘package’ with icons for descriptors. “If it’s a two city center holiday with a train icon you are taking a train point to point,” Bursey says on the cleaner, easier product presentation.

New Product Recommendations

Transat has identified two types of travellers to Europe: the family market and the more budget sensitive traveller.

“We feel these two groups incorrectly assume Europe is not an option for them so we want to make sure we are highlighting good hotels fitting a family’s needs and a list of recommendations for budget conscious travellers.”

Cruise Package Vacations

The Europe programme includes flights, transfers, and the cruise.

“This is all put together and will be easier for your agents to book,” Bursey said and explained extra value-adds will be within those packages.

“River cruising is persistently growing,” she said on the popular European river cruises. Transat works with Uniworld, AmaWaterways, and Strasbourg-based CroisiEurope, which is considered Europe’s largest river cruise operator renowned for a robust itinerary menu and known for its affordability.

Zagreb, Croatia

Watch for direct flights to Zagreb, Croatia. Seasonal service with Tuesday departures will start from June 14 to October 4 with connecting flights from Montreal.

Clients can soak up Eastern Europe’s rich culture, and explore jewels of the country’s western coast such as Split, Dubrovnik, Hvar and the island of Mljet, renowned for sumptuous beaches and splendid architectural heritage.

Increased flight frequencies to favourite hubs

With service to 28 European destinations in 13 countries, Transat’s expansion includes flights to Glasgow from Montreal and to Rome from Vancouver. The tour company reports the connecting flight programme has been enhanced to make even more destinations accessible from various Canadian cities.

Clients can take advantage of the open jaw options which allows them to land in one European city and depart from another city at no extra cost. This airline booking procedure allows clients to explore several cities in one trip.

300+ packages and more

Agents have 314 holiday packages to choose from which inevitably will assist in closing that Europe booking.

The rich product portfolio includes guided tours, a la carte suggestions, cycling packages, with options for clients to explore European cities and their surrounding countryside. These options, Bursey explained, can be as part of trips to various locations with activities and transportation included or through air-hotel packages offering free time for individual exploration.

New Europe Cycling tours

For those outdoor adventure loving clients, Transat has introduced six new bike tours for beginners or experienced cyclists who would like to immerse in the picture-pretty countryside of such incredible settings as the castles of France’s Loire Valley; the fabled Douro wine region in Portugal; or, Spain’s dramatic coastline along the Costa Brava.

Transat has teamed up with Velo Quebec Voyages for this bespoke tour.

Air Transat

Named “Best North American Leisure Airline” four years consecutively by the Skytrax World Airline Awards, Air Transat has full meal service in economy and club class, free checked baggage and offers personalized in-flight entertainment systems via individual touch screens or onboard Wi-Fi.

Option Flex

Transat has extended this trip protection programme which previously was available only to its sun destination packages to its Europe packages. “It gives clients a chance to change, transfer their booking, or cancel a booking if need be. It’s not intended to replace travel insurance but it’s a piece of mind assurance and if promoted well it could certainly help close sales early,” Bursey said.

Option Flex lets clients change the departure date, the destination or hotel up to 72 hours before the departure. The client can also transfer a vacation package to another person up to seven days before departure, and subject to certain conditions, they can cancel their trip and receive a full refund.

Early Booking Bonus Until February 29, Transat is offering agents who book Europe packages an early booking bonus up to 400 dollars per couple and for guided tours, $700 per couple.

 

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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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