Early launch for Transat’s Europe Transat's Denise Heffron, Nancy Jackson, Michelle Pinard, Richard Aoun, Diana Zincarelli DiNardo 30 NOV 2009: The Transat Holidays/Nolitours team unveiled their new all-in-one 2010-2011 Europe Guide last week to retail partners, tourism offices, and media at the funky Italian resto, Blu Ristorante & Lounge in Yorkville. Rolled out earlier than usual, Denise Heffron, vice-president for national sales at Nolitours, started the luncheon noting that it is to everyone’s advantage to have this new product in the market early this year. Of the new one stop shop brochure, she said, “It’s huge. It’s like a bible.”

The 299-page glossy booklet in current distribution across the regions will be in travel agencies very soon added Nancy Jackson, commercial director for Ontario and Atlantic Canada.

“Historically Greece, Spain and Italy were launched in November with the rest of Europe in January. For obvious reasons we’re consolidating Europe in one brochure bringing it to market earlier so we trust it’s beneficial to yourselves, mutual clients and to Transat,” Jackson said noting that feedback from the front line agents shows there “is interest and inquiries about Europe.”

“Despite the economic woes and the HIN1 virus it’s positive news we’re getting early from our client base,” and Jackson speculated that “perhaps we’re about to turn the corner and we’ll salute that.”

New Transat Holidays products/latest additions:

⋅ River Cruises
Voted among the top 10 small ship lines by Conde Nast magazine, Uniworld River Cruises is a boutique hotel-style ship and is the latest addition to the Transat Holidays program. Now your clients can choose from their cruises departing from France, The Netherlands and Austria. “River cruises are a trend on the upward side of our market interest,” says Jackson.

⋅ Italy Amore
Expanding the Italy product line there are now new flights to the coastal city of Pescara, resulting in easier transfers to the Abruzzo and the Adriatic coast. Also, departing from Toronto, new flights to Lamezia Italy will make it easier for booking the Seaside Packages in Calabria and Sicily.

⋅ New flights to Lisbon and Porto Portugal.
Transat Holidays also has introduced City Packages in Lisbon and Seaside Packages in the Albufeira and Cascais regions along with car rentals.

⋅ It’s Greek to me
More flights to Greece, more flights to Athens from Toronto and Montreal. An expanded European product line with direct flights from western Canada, Vancouver to Athens. That’s in addition to the programme introduced last year from Vancouver to Rome.

⋅ Early Bookings Bonuses
The brochure describes numerous early booking bonuses and specials that will appeal to travellers

⋅ Groups
Groups are a growing trend observed Jackson about Transat’s commitment to this growing market with a look at brochure’s group section called “Unique Experiences.” These packages can all be customized to fit your groups needs. “This year we’re trying to focus on the opportunities for groups. There are numerous special interest opportunities out there. We are taking advantage of those.” Picture a group whirling around The London Eye, champagne glass in hand. Imagine incentive travellers hiking through the Scottish Highlands or living the good life aboard a Greek Island cruise.

⋅ Unique Customized Culinary Experiences
Air Transat Holidays this winter launched a special culinary experience in Malaga Spain. “This is the first in what will be many more to come,” said Jackson and added the travel company is interested in working with individual offices and or chains to develop unique experiences. “This programme and product lineup is an amazing base line. We are able to customize and work with all of you. Whether it’s culinary, cultural or religious we have the opportunity, the experience and the structure to deliver on all those needs.”

⋅ Agent Guides.
Watch for the Europe Agent Guide which will be available in the New Year.

⋅ No more excuses: training sessions
Training sessions are in full swing. Joe Couto, Transat’s director for groups, launched new group training sessions specifically focused on how to find new business and debunking the myth and fear of working with a group. These training sessions for Europe will be staggered through March 2010. “You’ll see a variety of webinars and face to face training academies from which to choose.”

⋅ Get ConnectedAir Transat Holidays wants to hear from you. With its new online module Get Connected, agents can get information they need from a head office level to the front line agent level.

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Top: Paul Foster, Gisela Alegria Naravez, Enzo Columbo, Jorge Rubio, Aris Sideratos
Bottom: Gus Kiobge, Susan Diefenbaker, Virgil Palermo, Diane Ascenzi, Alfiero Cavallo, Christina Kiriazis

Photo credits: 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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