12 FEB 2018:Transat’s new Europe 2018-2019 programme has added the latest consumer travel product called, “Your Way tours,” an independent semi-guided tour package to satisfy the growing demands from independent travellers. Dan Prior, Transat sales manager for Ontario and Atlantic Canada, highlighted the option during the company's Europe Training Academy held last week in Toronto. 

The presentation and dinner event which was part of Transat’s six city training academy involved about 120 agents who are considered Transat’s biggest Europe supporters in the GTA area. 

Your Way

“Your Way is for someone who doesn’t want a (guided) tour, who doesn’t like structure but wants to spend two or three nights in a city and go sightseeing on their own schedule,” he told Travel Industry Today, on some of the benefits in this new travel product.

The other Your Way benefit: the value - which includes airfare, city to city coach transportation, accommodations, most breakfasts, and the use of a knowledgeable guide who shares local sightseeing tips and other travel highlights like dining and shopping.

Air capacity

Besides the direct flights to more than 60 destinations, 34 of which are in southern Europe, Transat has increased capacity on its top European sellers: Portugal, Croatia and Ireland.

While Transat has not added new destinations, Tel Aviv and Zagreb have returned for a second year due to strong interest and popularity.

The Airbus A330 aircraft in some cases will replace the A310 which the company reports will be slowly phased out with plans for next year to introduce the new fuel efficient Airbus 321LR (LR meaning long range) to meet the growing Transatlantic demand.

Revenue in land products

Prior noted agents can accrue extra revenue by offering Europe-bound clients Transat Europe’s dynamic land products. “You can have clients ask for a destination and you can offer them a flight but you have to be offering them some kind of land product, because the revenue can be made there,” he said of the rich roster of products from hotel only to city packages and guided tours.

For example, the top-selling 9-day Da Vinci guided tours is considered a quality 4-star product that gives clients a good overview of Italy’s finest landmarks.  Inclusions are, round trip economy airfare, round trip transfers, coach transportation, local guide and additional private tour guides, breakfasts and 5 dinners, and baggage handling.

Da Vinci Highlights: Venice, Florence, and Rome with sightseeing tours by specialized local guides and free time to explore the medieval town of Assisi.

Travel is between April 1, 2018 and April 30, 2019

Selling Trends

Transat notes increased demand in Amsterdam while Paris is rebounding and Greece making a comeback. “People are realizing there is a lot of value in this fantastic destination,” Prior says on Greece.

Transat has added new land products such as city packages and car rentals to the popular Israel hub. For clients who want to have a Bible land tour they can venture into Jerusalem and the Holy Sites and Tel Aviv for a close-up look via Transat’s 7-night Jerusalem and Tel Aviv guided tour, starting from $1849.  For an extra add-on, agents can add a full day a la carte visit to either, the Masada, and the Dead Sea or to see the Biblical highlights of Galilee.

The direct flights from Toronto and Montreal have enhanced not only the domestic flight programme, but the connecting programme, Prior says, has also resulted in providing clients from cities like Vancouver and Calgarywith more options.

The European Summer Vacation forecast

Prior says potential clients are inquiring about Italy and Portugal earlier than before. “They are starting to ask for these in January,” he says noting that clients who waited too long may have missed their European vacations last year.

“Our family package includes your hotel, a city tour, transportation in between and includes the structure for them,” Prior explains with additional family benefits from Transat’s Kids Club like skip-the-line tickets for Europe’s ancient marvels, and free standard seat selection, priority services at the airport and other services.

For more details on the travel company’s robust Europe programme see the 210-page Europe 2018-2019 brochure which covers 28 destinations and over 80 packages including air-only, the tour operator’s a la carte programme, cruise packages, car rentals, house and apartment rentals, family vacations, Your Way tours, and guided tours.

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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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