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DANCING IN THE SEATS: ACV wows, woos agents at Toronto product launch

Air Canada Vacations had agents dancing in their seats, literally, as the tour operator concluded its five-city Canadian road show/sun launch spectacle in Toronto last week, following “Dream Bigger” events in Halifax, Vancouver, Edmonton (for the first time), and Montreal.

Close to 900 agents were registered for the event north of the city, which featured an evening of cocktails, food, prizes, live entertainment, trade show (with over 70 suppliers), and of course the raison d’etre: presentations from ACV on its just-released 2023/24 Sun collection – and other offerings – plus words (and videos) from key sponsor partners Sandals and Bahia Principe.

“We’re here to showcase not only sun, but all destinations” – from Asia and Pacific to the Middle East, Africa, and North and South America – said ACV VP Nino Montagnese, after the audience had settled back into their seats after an opening song and dance number that succeeded in amplifying the atmosphere.

As did the “Reverend,” Unique Vacations executive VP Gary Sadler, who flew in for the event, and humorously recounted anecdotes of being on the road with Montagnese during his early days working for Sandals in Canada, before touting the all-inclusive chain’s forthcoming resort in St. Vincent & the Grenadines, which helped prompt Air Canada to offer four flights to destination when the resorts opens in 2024, and promising Canadian agents all the resources and help they need to sell Sandals and Beaches resorts through its office in Toronto.

Old pals from AlbaTours, Brent Carnegie (Canlink Travel), and Dina Bertolo, ACV, reunited at the trade show

ACV’s director of sales Anna Paula De Souza echoed the event’s all-encompassing theme, stating, “We hope you leave here with a great awareness of the diversity of our products.”

That includes new sun routes, but also debut destinations in Europe, which De Souza said is “on fire” with clients.

And with flight & hotel packages, fly & drive/cruise/rail packages, hotels, cars, RV experiences, plus over a thousand resorts in 45 destinations and more than 100 cruises, “there’s so much on the shelf for you (to sell),” she said.

Brochure/ tool kit

Meanwhile, ACV GM for Ontario and Atlantic Canada Erminia Nigro talked the tour operator’s new “Dream of Sun” digital brochure for 2023-24 ACV’s digital brochure ( and corresponding tool kit that offers all manner of functionality and sales help for agents, including themed vacations styles, hotels at a glance, a global flight “cheat sheet,” current promotions and incentives, travel protection, and self-service options, the latter designed to help advisors reduce time on the phone.

Best of all, she noted a new commission structure that includes standard fees paid on cancelled individual bookings made outside of 45 days (some conditions apply) and on any schedule change that provides no option of reprotection and results in a cancelled booking.

Attendees were also encouraged to join ACV’s Inner Circle Facebook page for ongoing tips and news, and to watch for upcoming FAM flyers for Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.

All together, it was enough to have attendees dancing in their seats.

Close to 900 agents were registered for the ACV event in Toronto

First published at Travel Industry Today

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