RETAIL ROUND-UP: In Jamaica with Escapes.ca, plus F1S, Travel Leaders and TRAVELSAVERS
The Jamaica Tourist Board recently teamed up with Playa Hotels & Resorts to host an exclusive FAM trip for travel advisors from Escapes.ca. Twelve lucky agents were selected to visit the island for an immersive destination experience that included tours of Playa’s five Jamaican properties and a full itinerary of island activities.
Advisors from British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario flew to Jamaica with WestJet Vacations and stayed at Jewel Paradise Cove, Hilton Rose Hall and Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall. The group also conducted site inspections at Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort and Spa.
The five-day trip gave agents the chance to discover a wide variety of attractions near Playa’s Montego Bay properties, with activities such as climbing Dunn’s River Falls, a tour of Rose Hall Great House, shopping along Main Street Rose Hall, sampling authentic jerk cuisine at famed Scotchies, and ice cream at Devon House.
Ahead of their return flight, the agents were treated to VIP airport services from Club MoBay and took in the brand-new departure lounge at Sangster International Airport.
“This unique FAM trip offered a great balance and gave advisors the chance to really immerse themselves in all that Jamaica has to offer,” said Emma Madsen, JTB Business Development Manager – Western Canada. “Playa was able to fully showcase their Jamaican resorts while the JTB gave agents a chance to experience local attractions, culture and food close to the properties.”
“Our team was very grateful for the opportunity to have an exclusive FAM trip hosted by the Jamaica Tourist Board, Playa Resorts and WestJet Vacations,” said Chris Rollingson, Co-President, Escapes.ca. “The agents were very impressed with the hospitality, service and quality of the resorts and excursions we visited in Jamaica. Our hosts did a wonderful job of providing very valuable information and I can confidently say, our team’s ability to sell this wonderful destination has increased tenfold.”
Travel Leaders Network
Travel Leaders Network reports that it’s lead-generation tool resulted in a record-breaking 12,000 leads for members in 2022 – a whopping 224% growth from 2021 and a 145% growth from the pre-pandemic high of 2019. The leads represented $20 million in sales with preferred supplier partners and $2.5 million in commission earned by members, says the organization.
As of the end of the first quarter of 2023, TLN members had received 97,000 leads since January 1, 2023, putting lead generation numbers on the path to surpass 2022 by 54%.
“Bringing in solid leads that will become bookings is a core priority for most travel advisors,” said Stephen McGillivray, Chief Marketing Officer of Travel Leaders Group. “With the post-pandemic travel boom, the issue has become not only how do advisors get clients, but how do travellers find the perfect advisor for their trip? TravelLeaders.com, powered by Agent Profiler, is the answer that ‘matchmakes’ these two groups for a great solution for both.”
TRAVELSAVERS Canada continued is inaugural Dine & Discover event in Toronto on May 30. The event at the Casa Ricca Banquet Hall attracted approximately 80 attendees, including advisors, managers, owners and 16 supplier partners to provide affiliates with insights on their latest products, trends, and tech tools.
“This is a great event by TRAVELSAVERS, and I think it’s awesome to get all the sellers here and rediscover what’s going on in the industry,” commented Alfiero Cavallo, owner of Verona Travel Ltd.
WestJet Vacations BDM Michelle Lanoue-Williams, added, “It’s a way for us as suppliers to interact with a larger majority of the selling team.”
The first event in the series took place in Laval, Que.
First in Service is reporting that for the second consecutive year, travel bookings are up year over year among its travel advisors in both Canada and the US, but more importantly year over year compared to 2019 (pre-pandemic).
According to a members’ survey, international travel demand continues to soar, as nearly 70% of all advisors characterize their bookings as “up” over those in 2022, with more than 23% saying they are “up significantly.” When comparing this year’s international bookings with those in 2019, more than 65% of all advisors say there are “up,” with just over 23% indicating they are “up significantly.”
F1S advisors are increasingly focused on the international travel boom. Even though domestic travel lags, a plurality of both Canadian and US advisors, 46.5%, say their domestic bookings are even with where they were in both 2022 and 2019.
Fernando Gonzalez, CEO of F1S, observed that while luxury and premium leisure travel continue to lead the travel comeback over the past two years, the post-pandemic era is ushering in increased sales for its corporate and entertainment travel segments.
He added that “given the current trajectory, F1S is poised to easily have its best year yet with over US$300 million in annual sales.”
First published at Travel Industry Today