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- TravelPress
Week of August 26, 2013
45
travel
Ye a r s o f
C A N A D A’ S M O S T
TRUSTED
T R AV E L T R A D E P U B L I C AT I O N S I N C E 1 9 6 8
ARE YOU USELESS?
Agents compared to sign spinners, clairvoyants
MICHAEL BAGINSKI
Being a travel agent is amongst the “most
useless” jobs in the world, according to a
report by a California-based web site/job
search portal, which compares retail travel
sellers to, amongst other things, sign spinners, medium/clairvoyants, data entry clerks
and shoe repairers.
‘
‚
The onus is on you to learn new
viable skills... Find volunteer
work or a second job…
“Most phases of the travel agent’s job are accessible for users online and without fees,” says
CareerCast.com in justification of its rating.
The web site is owned by Adicio, which
describes itself as is a “job search portal that
offers extensive local, niche and national job
listings from across North America; jobhunting, career-management and HR-focused
See USELESS page 19
Breathe easy! Manulife tells agents
‘Natural transition’ of
RBC business planned
MIKE DUNBAR
Travel agents can breathe a sigh of relief. Manulife
Financial has moved to allay any fears that it would be
tampering with one of the sector’s most lucrative revenue
streams once it takes over the sales and distribution of
0826PAGE01_19.indd 1
RBC Insurance’s travel agency business.
“Travel insurance is an extremely important part of the travel agency product
line and we want to work with the sector
to ensure that travel insurance remains
a significant contributor to bottom line
earnings,” declared Rob Iafrate, assistant
VP of travel insurance for Manulife.
In a recent shock announcement, the
two companies revealed that they
had agreed to transition RBC’s
sales and distribution support
to Manulife, allowing RBC to
“focus on key growth opportunities, including offering our travel
insurance through RBC Insurance Iafrate
stores, contact centre and bank
branch network, as well as through strategic partners, like credit card companies,
airlines and retailers.”
Even though Manulife has been in the
travel insurance business since 1996, it
has been flying under the radar, since the
bulk of its business has been “white labelled” under the brand names of its strategic partners, such as Transat-Marlin,
itravel2000 and the Last Minute Club.
Iafrate recounted that a 1999 in-house
market analysis had identified the travel
agency network as a key distribution
channel and, with the support of the network, Manulife has been able to grow its
travel insurance business by 15% to 23%
a year.
Under the terms of the latest transaction, which involved an undisclosed cash
payment, travel agencies will be
dealing with Manulife for most
sales related support and RBC will
continue to be the insurer until the
expiration of its agency contracts.
The last contract will expire in
2017 and, at that time, all agents
will have been offered the choice of
selling the Manulife Global generic product or a white labelled alternative.
When asked if Manulife’s decision to
offer jobs to most of RBC’s agency sales
staffers signalled that his company would
continue to offer the same level of support
that agents had been used to under the
RBC banner, Iafrate responded, “Absolutely. It’s a clear sign that we plan to have
See MANULIFE page 19
22/08/2013 4:50:16 PM
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0826PAGE02.indd 2
8/21/2013 12:29:48 PM
BACK TO THE FUTURE
In August of 2009 – CTP, August 24, 2009, Vol. 41, No. 44 – While business was picking up,
senior industry executives were reporting that revenues were still down.
The recession may be over according to the
Bank of Canada but agencies are now facing
what Ensemble’s Lindsay Pearlman calls a
new “economic reality.”
The executive vice-president and general
manager of the agency network says the trend
of booking windows shrinking over last few
years has accelerated during the recession as
product prices have plummeted, and more than
ever agents “need to crank
ter ahead,
out some big-time volume
Tough win k boss
oo
C
s
ct
di
pre
with very short booking
windows to try to make any
money at all.”
Doreen Lynch, executive
ks up,
Business pic down
vice-president of Advanrevenue still
tage Travel T-Comm, says
its agencies are doing better compared to last year in
terms of volume, but concedes that “when I look at the
dollars that go along with those bodies, the
revenue just isn’t there.”
What she is seeing is more and more clients
booking travel within 90 days, including
higher-end product like Europe and escorted
departures. “That market used to be that six
to nine months out, they would laugh at you
if you tried to do promotions. Now, there are
promotions going on right through until fall
for 2009.”
ll trouble the indusg in
, swine flupackespe
discountin
d
’t make a
Overcapacity less attracted areds
try – “it doesn
of
,” complained
As consumers hold off on discretionary
spending, booking periods have shrunk but
sales are still up because people need a break
from stress, says Vacation.com’s Canadian
country manager Christine James.
“Europe is getting bookings for really highend product within two weeks of departure,
which is totally unheard of… so
people are still going away, but
for the therapy as opposed to the
luxury [of travel],” she says.
And while James say it “hasn’t
been a stellar summer” for
the travel marketing services
company, which has seen a
dip in revenue numbers in
ism be
Will BC tour dustry
better? – in
recent months, she says member agencies are “holding
steady” in terms of passenger
production.
“There’s pent-up demand;
I think we’ll have a big year,” says Pearlman.
“With what the rebound potential of Mexico
is going to do to overall price points to any
sun destination, as well as overcapacity…
you’re going to see prices go ridiculously low.”
TRAVELSAVERS’ Cathie Lewis-Hardy,
vice-president of marketing, says she’s seeing
“a lot of last-minute travel in all segments
as travellers see the ‘why not travel’ pricing
being offered… bookings are very close-in,
especially cruises.”
Week of Augu
st 24, 2009
house of hund s of Cook lot of sense
and the likely
dozen
ity in the
Friisdahl –
agents and
Over-capac
of
effects of an
senting all
the specter
debilitating
suppliers repre
market and
flu pans – Sunquest,
conspire to
ongoing swine
swine flu will g winter a of its brand e, Intair,
ularly on
demic, partic ation of
Holiday Hous
make the comin the travel
Fun Sun,
for
the “key” destin
Encore, Alba,
difficult one
that,” the
ork and
as Cook
Mexico. “And ised, “will
Exotic, Netw
industry, Thom
ahl is
surm
.
boss
Friisd
ael
erang
Cook
.”
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boss Mich
nut to crack
-themed
be a tough
The circus
warning.
Cook for
quent ly
the Thomas
But credit
ing
event was subse real,
The CEO of
the
the upcom
rns about
throw ing in
for Mont
p, North
d
with
not
Grou
heade
Cook
nton,
Despite conce
product line
a clever bit
and Edmo
must go on: unveiled its winter
unusually
towel. With
The show
Vancouver
America’s
as Cook
, the coms would hear
winter, Thomed launches last week.
ing preceded
of promotion brand
where agent
blunt warn
uest
circus -them
ction :
’s Aug. 17
pany’s Sunq
the same predi ity and
ing
the travel giant launch
a book
ct
announced
too much capac
Toronto produ
designed to
nevertheotion
that
prom
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opt in to the
president and agency
MARY NGUYEN
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See COOK
MICHAEL BAGINSK
I
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TravelPress.
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Who
are
YOU
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board
Rocked by
sacking
8/20/2009
2:37:49 PM
A delegation of tourism types from lovely Louisiana usually
‘roulers’ through Toronto each year and 2009 was no exception. Amongst those on hand at Ruth’s Chris steakhouse to
learn about les bon temps to be had in the state were Louisiana Canada rep Joanne Scalamogna (c), surrounded by:
(l-r) Air Canada’s Anna Buchnea, Justin French of Carnival
Cruise Line; Tony Celio of Air Canada, and Erin Rolfs from
the Louisiana Offi ce of Tourism.
Remembering: 2009
● JANUARY: GOGO Worldwide Vacations – acquired by
Flight Centre Ltd in February 2008 – announces it’s
launching operations in Canada.
● FEBRUARY: CLIA reports that while there may be ‘doom
and gloom’ elsewhere, there’s none in the cruise industry
– and that’s good news for travel agents.
● MARCH: Pinellas County commissioners shut down
the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention and
Visitors Bureau’s sales office in Canada. Sandals Resorts
International launches a philanthropic division – the
Sandals Foundation.
● APRIL: Conquest Vacations shuts down and TICO moves
quickly to bring about 1,600 Canadians home. Major
cruise lines change course, offering programs and departure from ports that appeal to American travellers who
want to vacation close to home. An outbreak of swine flu
hits Mexico and travellers begin avoiding the destination.
● MAY: Merit Travel Group acquires Travel CUTS.
● JUNE: Agents are scratching their heads as Air Canada
raises its travel agency commissions, while WestJet
reduces them. Then both carriers decide to pay agents a
7% commission.
● JULY: Thomas Cook group CEO Many Fontenla-Novoa
makes some waves, telling the trade that Canada is
“probably the worst market in the world for mainstream
tour operators” and “something has to give.” The
US Department of Transportation (DOT) approves a
transatlantic alliance between Air Canada, Continental,
Lufthansa and United, granting them antitrust immunity
and allowing them to develop an integrated joint venture.
WestJet, Air France and KLM announce that the two
European carriers will now offer interline itineraries
that allow their passengers to connect with WestJet’s
network in Canada.
● AUGUST: The tourism industry in British Columbia is
rocked by the surprise dismissal of Tourism BC’s board of
directors and president.
● SEPTEMBER: TIAC president Randy Williams tells CTP
that “this will be the worst year [domestic] tourism
has faced in at least three decades, if not more.” The
Sunwing Travel Group and TUI Travel Plc agree to a proposed strategic venture with their respective Canadian
tour operations and retail divisions. The venture will see
the amalgamation of tour operator Sunwing Vacations
and First Choice Canada’s tour operator Signature
Vacations along with retail division, SellOffVacations.
● OCTOBER: CTP’s editor-in-chief and Baxter Travel Media
co-founder, Edith Baxter receives Jamaica’s Order of
Distinction (OD) for her service to the island’s travel
industry. Czech Airlines, blaming the tough economic
times, announces it won’t operate its summer service
from Canada in 2010.
● NOVEMBER: Continental Airlines leaves the SkyTeam
alliance and joins Star Alliance – a move that paves the
way for its far-reaching, transatlantic joint venture with
Air Canada, Lufthansa and United Airlines.
● DECEMBER: Scotland-based flyglobespan, which had
been operating seasonal service between Hamilton, Ont.
and British destinations during the past summer, files for
bankruptcy and ceases operations.
AUGUST 26, 2013 • CANADIAN TRAVEL PRESS • 3
0826PAGE03.indd 3
22/08/2013 1:50:50 PM
TRAVEL PRESS
Canadian
1
How has Travel Counsellors been performing
in the last little while?
3
How do you account for this
performance? I think the
15% growth is predicated
on the basis that we’ve really
locked into the fact that despite
the growth of the online market
and despite the fact that in several
of the countries that we’re in the
macro-economic environment is
a bit difficult we’re not like many
of the travel companies that you’ll
speak to. We don’t have a multi-
We’ve expanded into Dubai
in September of last year. The
company is doing well. We’ve
had significant growth so far this
year. Our financial year starts
Nov. 1, so we’re about threequarters of the way through it
and we’re looking at 15% growth
so far, which in Canadian dollar
terms is about $60
million to $70 million in growth alone
– 12% growth in the
UK and 30% growth
in the overseas diviSteve Byrne
sion. So I think we’re
Group Managing Director
in a good position.
Travel Counsellors
2
ate in. I’m still positive about
the outlook for people travelling,
but I think the market is going
to change quite significantly
over the course of the next five
to 10 years. I don’t think the
future is going to be for travel
agents that are selling package
holidays on 8% commission.
The future is going to be for
those that I think could provide
a different type of tailor-made
experience for customers. Where the
customer will pay
a premium, not
just for the experience, but also for the
service that the travel
agent provides.
5
How do you
see the
marketplace?
I think the market
is becoming increasingly more
polarized. You know, you’ve seen
the growth of online. And I’m
talking generally, not just Canada.
You’ve seen the integrated travel
companies increasingly wanting
to get people to book directly.
And I think the agents that are
doing well are the ones that excel
and thrive on customer service
and make the customer appreciate
the value of booking with them.
Those who don’t do that, you
know, may struggle.
What about
recruiting
here in Can-
ada? You’re going
distribution channel. So we don’t
have shops. We don’t have call
centres. We don’t have online.
So that growth is purely based
on individual travel counsellors
working from home growing their
business... getting more repeat
customers and customers referring them to other customers.
4
So what about Canada?
Well economically, you’ve
not had as bad a time as
some of the countries we oper-
Scary, to the extent
it may portend a sea
change in the way
travel insurance is sold.
The consumer may
‘benefit’ from lower
prices offered by other
more aggressive sellers,
but those lower prices
usually have meant
lower coverages.
I’m still looking into
what this means and
haven’t really come up
with an opinion yet.
David Pierce,
Collacutt Travel,
Toronto
Melissa Duguay,
Renaissance Travel,
Winnipeg
I don’t use RBC. I was
displeased with their
service and I left it five
years ago.
Vol. 45, No. 43, Published August 26, 2013
Edith Baxter, Editor-in-Chief
[email protected]
Robert Mowat, Executive Editor
[email protected]
Michael Baginski, Managing Editor
[email protected]
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Michael Baginski, Publisher
[email protected]
Earl Lince,
Director of International Marketing
Canadian Account Executive – Travel Weekly UK
[email protected]
Rodney Tugwell, Sales Manager
to see Travel Counsellors being
more aggressive in its recruiting.
Across the business we’re recruiting an agent a day, but that’s not
the case here in Canada, so we’ve
got an opportunity to do that.
But we’re the only home-based
agency [group] that’s selective
about who we take on. So it will
never be about [numbers]. Others
will say that they’re selective, but
they’re not. Canada is a big country, so we may look at some type
of acquisition.
What are your thoughts about RBC ceasing selling through
travel agents and handing its business off to Manulife?
There are always
charges in insurance!
RBC had the best travel
insurance! I do not
know yet what Manulife
is or will be like. Until
we have a chance to
review it and find out
what the options are,
I will not know what I
think of it. I only hope
it is a good move for
our clients!
Brenda Toth,
Wynyard Travel,
Wynyard, Sask.
®
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Account Executive
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Classifieds
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[email protected]
Mexico Paloma Martinez, Towmar Inc.
Tel: 52 55 2122-3900 Fax: 52 55 5395-4985
[email protected]
Central & South America Lillian Martinez
Travel Representations & Marketing
Tel: 305-476-1130
[email protected]
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4 • CANADIAN TRAVEL PRESS • AUGUST 26, 2013
CTP masthead master.indd 1
0826PAGE04.indd 4
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8/22/2013 4:28:39 PM
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0826PAGE05.indd 5
8/21/2013 12:30:22 PM
Transat expands 2013-15 Cruise Collection
Transat Holidays is roundfrom Dec. 22, 2013 to
ing out its 2013 season with
March 16, 2014. This
the launch of its Cruise
program is only offered
Collection 2013-2015
from Quebec and targets
brochure, highlighted by a
a French-speaking cliennumber of new promotions.
tele. The package includes
Transat continues to
roundtrip airfare, and
expand its collection by
the exotic, seven-night
offering new cruise prodSouthern Caribbean itinucts from some of the
erary features St. Maarten,
world’s most popular cruise
Martinique, Guadeloupe,
lines, including Azamara
Antigua, Tortola, Santo
Club Cruises, Carnival
Domingo and La Romana.
Cruise Lines, Celebrity
Both cruises are offered
Cruises, Costa Cruises,
in conjunction with an
Disney Cruise Line, MSC
optional one-week pre- or
Cruises, Norwegian Cruise
post-stay at a selection of
Line, Royal Caribbean
all-inclusive resorts in La
International, Star Clippers Transat Holidays has unveiled its 2013-2015 Cruise Collection, which includes Princess
Romana.
Cruises.
and Uniworld River
For Florida cruise pasCruises.
sengers, Transat offers
Combined, these cruise lines sail the seven
ship features. Maps for the majority of itina professional delivery service that provides
seas and some of the world’s most stuneraries are also available to facilitate browsdirect delivery of clients’ luggage from the Fort
ning rivers. As recently announced, Transat
ing through the hundreds of available routes.
Lauderdale airport to the Port of Miami or Port
Holidays has added the unique Cuba Cruise
Itinerary details can now be accessed online at Everglades. With this service, clients can simply
line for those who wish to explore Cuba’s
Transat’s web site.
hop off the plane, claim their luggage at the aircultural richness, as well as river cruises with
Back by popular demand and exclusive to
port and hand it to an attendant, who will have
AmaWaterways.
Transat Holidays, the Costa Magica offers
it delivered to their stateroom on the ship.
Transat has launched a new star rating
sailings from La Romana every Monday from
Cruise promotions include savings of up to
system for ships of major cruise lines featured
Dec. 23 to March 24, 2014. The seven-night
$200 per couple when booking a Europe cruise
in the brochure. More detailed information
Lesser Antilles itinerary features the islands
in conjunction with an Air Transat flight
on the unique highlights of some of the newof Catalina, Tortola, Antigua, Martinique,
departing between April 1 and Oct. 31, 2014.
est ships is also available, making it easier for
Guadeloupe and St. Maarten. Packages include The offer is valid for bookings made by Dec. 31
consumers and agents to compare the difroundtrip airfare and transfers from a variety
and valid for all European destinations served
ferent characteristics and attributes of each
of gateways across Eastern Canada.
by Air Transat. In Florida, travellers can save
cruise. Ratings are based on Transat Holidays’
Also exclusive to Transat is the MSC Musica, up to $100 per couple.
selection criteria and its own appreciation of
with sailings from La Romana every Sunday
(www.transatholidays.com)
Cruise Lines
Silversea Cruises has tapped legendary contemporary jazz guitarists Paul Brown and
Marc Antoine to perform on two special
“Music under the Stars” voyages aboard the
Silver Spirit this year. These unique musicthemed sailings will each feature two concerts onboard, as well as an outdoor performance during a sail-away cocktail party on
the ship’s pool deck. Antoine will perform
aboard a seven-day Mediterranean cruise
sailing Nov. 2 from Rome to Barcelona,
while Brown will entertain guests on a
10-day Caribbean cruise sailing roundtrip
from Fort Lauderdale on Dec. 13. (www.
silversea.com).... Butt out! Disney Cruise
Line, Cunard and P&O have announced
that passengers will no longer be permitted
to smoke on their balconies. The ban takes
effect Nov. 15 on Disney ships, in March on
P&O and April on Cunard.... After debuting in Europe, Princess Cruises’ new Royal
Princess will call Port Everglades, Fla., its
US winter home come late October.... In
other Princess news, country singer Rockie
Lynne will be a featured performer a Nov.
5-9 fundraising cruise aboard the Caribbean
Princess, sailing roundtrip from Houston,
to support US veterans.... Compagnie du
Ponant has commissioned another new
yacht from the Italian Fincantieri shipyard.
The vessel is due to launch in spring 2015
and will cruise the shores of Alaska in the
summer and Australia and New Zealand
in winter.... The Port of Los Angeles has
honoured Crystal Cruises for successfully
complying with the harbour’s 2012 Vessel
Speed Reduction Program, contributing to a
greener, cleaner port.
—Greg Coates
6 • CANADIAN TRAVEL PRESS • AUGUST 26, 2013
0826PAGE06.indd 6
22/08/2013 1:51:15 PM
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0826PAGE07.indd 11
8/20/2013 3:49:42 PM
Mid East turmoil
gives travel boost
to neighbours
IAN STALKER
The acrobats, fortune tellers and snake charmers in
Marrakech’s famed Jemaa
el Fnaa Square may be
finding themselves entertaining more Canadians
than usual these days.
Tour operators report
unrest in Egypt and Syria
has prompted some people
to decide against vacationing in the Middle East,
with Morocco apparently
becoming one of the beneficiaries of that.
“We have seen a bounce
to Morocco in particular,” says Steven Larkin,
president of Adventure
Center. “Anyone with
an interest in North
Africa is now considering Morocco as a safe and
friendly destination.”
Larkin told Canadian
Travel Press that Turkey
– not considered a Middle East nation but which
borders violence-torn
Syria – “seems to be
holding its own” when
it comes to attracting
tourists. Adventure Center
saw some Turkey cancellations during antigovernment demonstrations earlier this year “but
since the news has shifted
elsewhere, it now appears
good,” Larkin reported.
But Larkin said that Jordan – which has remained
calm since the start of the
Arab Spring – has become
a tougher sell nonetheless
because of its “proximity to other countries in
crisis” (i.e. Syria).
Mahmood Poonja of
Bestway Tours & Safaris says neither Jordan
or Morocco are seeing
demonstrations and both
offer “rich heritage sites”
and are “very good value
at this time.”
He predicted Tunisia will see “a big surge
[in tourism interest] in
2014” should the security
situation there continue
improving.
“I would feel very comfortable to recommend
Jordan, Morocco and
Tunisia. Like anywhere
in the world, one has
to be careful to avoid
areas and regions where
people tend to gather
to protest, like public
squares, government
buildings, etc,” he added.
Christian Wolters of Intrepid Travel also reports
that Jordan’s tourist trade
has become a casualty of
regional tensions, seeing a
“significant decline.”
But Intrepid – which
has cancelled Egypt itineraries through September – views Morocco and
Turkey safe, with Wolters
suggesting they are “a
great alternative for travellers looking to experience
a similar culture. In fact
we have seen a spike [in
client interest] in these
destinations because of
this and recommend it as
an alternative.”
Concurring that Jordan
and Morocco are “safe and
calm” for visitors is Sally
Mikhail of GM Tours,
which offers numerous
Middle East and North
African nations.
Meanwhile, Poonja noted that there haven’t been
any reports of tourists
being attacked in either
Egypt or Syria during the
current situations.
He said unrest in both
countries has lasted longer
than expected. “While
It was a notable industry
crowd on hand for Claude
Morin’s (l) retirement party in Toronto last week. And the
accomplishments of Air Canada’s outgoing VP of global
sales since Morin took on the job five years ago were
certainly on the minds of everyone attending. In fact, Air
Canada’s president and CEO, Calin Rovinescu (r) said during the evening’s festivities that Morin had worked hard
to build relationships with the agency community and in
doing so, contributed to both the success of their businesses and Air Canada’s business. As for the quiet spoken
Morin, he was quick to thank both his team at AC and
the retailers who he had worked with for their support
over the last half decade. “It is a tough business,” Morin
observed, “and we wouldn’t have succeeded without your
support... thank you ... it has really been great!”
Until we meet again:
both these countries are
very resilient, the improvement to tourism will only
come about if the situation
eases. Should that happen, tourist arrivals will
increase substantially,”
he said.
China Eastern solidifies YVR status
TED DAVIS
A newly announced schedule of
double-daily flights by China
Eastern Airlines has confirmed
Vancouver Airport as the busiest airport in North America for
flights from China.
China Eastern kicked off its
twice-daily service from Shanghai in mid-July, doubling its
frequency from one flight per day.
There are now about 75 flights
per week between Vancouver
and China – the most of any city
on the continent. China Eastern
started flights between Vancouver
and Shanghai in 2004.
China Eastern shares the
China-Vancouver airline market with five other carriers,
including Cathay Pacific Airways,
Air Canada, Air China, China
Southern Airlines and Sichuan
Airlines. With flights to Beijing,
Shanghai and Hong Kong, Air
Canada operates as many 25
flights per week from Vancouver,
while Sichuan flies two to three
per week to Chengdu.
Vancouver, the province of BC,
and the rest of Canada continue
to reap benefits from the growing air traffic from China, say
officials. At the China Eastern
launch, BC premier Christy
Clark said that “things like this
can really grow jobs and make a
difference in people’s lives, not
just here in BC, but in Ottawa,
Quebec, across the country. Opportunities exist across the entire
spectrum of industries.”
8 • CANADIAN TRAVEL PRESS • AUGUST 26, 2013
0826PAGE08.indd 8
8/22/2013 3:24:08 PM
BEAUTIFUL PICTURE.
THE PLACE IS EVEN BETTER.
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0826PAGE09.indd 9
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L A S
V E G A S
8/21/2013 12:31:07 PM
Vegas caters to adrenaline junkies
Thrill seekers don’t have to look
very far to find an adrenaline
rush during their next trip to Las
Vegas, with VEGAS.com having compiled its top 10 picks of
attractions that are sure to get the
heart racing.
For instance channel Superman and take flight inside a wind
tunnel with Vegas Indoor Skydiving. “Experience winds up to 120
mph as an instructor guides you
through the air.”
The Skyjump, in turn, replicates
Las Vegas Canyon Blaster
the free-fall feeling of skydiving,
sending jumpers soaring down the vertical
six seats going up to 50 mph.
zip line on a 100-storey plunge. The jump
The roller coasters on the Vegas Strip take it
takes riders on a ride from the 108th floor of
to another level with “record-breaking heights
the Stratosphere Hotel-Casino straight to the
and death-defying drops.”
ground with breathtaking views of the Strip.
For instance, they can feed the hunger for
Visitors can take the wheel at Exotics Racing heights with Big Shot at the Stratosphere
at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and speed
Hotel-Casino. Taking passengers over 300
off in exotic cars, including a Ferrari, Lambometres above the Strip, this rollercoaster is not
rghini, Aston Martin and Porsche for what’s
for the faint of heart.
billed as the ultimate driving experience.
Or they can enjoy the aerial views of the
Those visitors can also buckle up for the
Vegas Strip moments before plummeting
Vegas Mini Baja Chase and prepare for
43 metres on the Roller Coaster at New Yorkthe aggressive terrain and steep hills at
New York Hotel and Casino. “Make sure
Nellis Dunes. Riders can explore the 60,000
to catch your breath before the 180-degree
hectares buggies that range from one seat to
heart line spiral that is sure to have you at the
edge of your seat” participants
are advised.
One of the tallest and fastest roller coasters in the US is
located minutes outside of Las
Vegas at the Primm Valley Resorts & Casinos. The Desperado
takes passengers on a 63-metre
dive right before a spiral with up
to 90 mph speeds.
Coaster fans will have to hang
on to their seats when a rush of
double-loops and double-corkscrews on the Canyon Blaster,
one of the premier roller coasters
inside the Adventuredome at Circus Circus,
sends them “on the ride of their lives. This
2,000-foot thrill ride hits speeds of 55 mph and
drops riders 27 metres at its highest point.”
The X-Scream is one of Las Vegas’ ultimate
roller coaster adventures at the Stratosphere
Hotel-Casino. Drawing on passengers’ fear of
falling, the X-Scream coaster travels at 30 mph
almost 270 metres above the ground.
Visitors can also go for a spin high above the
Vegas Strip on Insanity atop the Stratosphere
Hotel-Casino. Extending 20 metres over the
edge of the 345-metre tower, Insanity takes
passengers on spins reaching up to 40 mph.
(www.vegas.com/attractions/thrill-rides-las-vegas)
Nexion Las Vegas conference nearly sold out
Nexion has issued an urgent advisory to its members to register immediately for its CoNexion 2013 annual conference scheduled for Sept.
26-28 at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino.
A record-breaking number of travel agents and suppliers have already
registered for this year’s CoNexion, officially selling-out its hotel block
and requiring the addition of a second room block at Bally’s Las Vegas,
which is immediately adjacent to the host hotel.
Additionally, Nexion is announcing further details for its fifth anniversary CoNexion, including the opening of registration for its 45 hours
of training, an innovative and interactive “Meet-and-Greet” opportunity, exclusive discounts to better familiarize Nexion agents with all the
latest Las Vegas has to offer, and news about its gala dinner.
“While CoNexion 2013 is still two months away, the interest and
anticipation from our Nexion agent members has been building at a
record pace,” noted Nexion president Jackie Friedman. “Registrations
from both our agents and suppliers have exceeded expectations to the
point where our room block at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino has
now sold out. Thus, we’re strongly advising our Nexion agents who
have been waiting to register to do so immediately to ensure they are
accommodated in our additional room block at the neighboring Bally’s
Las Vegas. The time to truly ‘Place Your Bet on Success’ – our meeting
theme - is now. Additionally, all registered Nexion agents are now able
to sign-up for the educational sessions of their choice.”
Friedman also noted that in a concerted effort to engage Nexion
members even further, CoNexion 2013 will include a special “Meetand-Greet” session with Nexion staff.
“Our most successful Nexion members recognize that an essential ingredient to achieving their business goals is the support they receive from
our dedicated Nexion team,” said Friedman. “Thus, we’re building an
innovative, interactive ‘Meet-and-Greet’ opportunity so that our Nexion
members can get to know our team in an ‘up close and personal’ way, allowing them to forge one-on-one relationships that can ultimately translate to even greater success with our award-winning programs and tools.”
Additionally, Nexion is announcing that its CoNexion 2013 attendees will be able to experience all Las Vegas has to offer, with special
discounts through the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau. The
discounts apply to some of the Strip’s top shows and activities. Registration remains open for CoNexion 2013 at a rate of $139.
Nexion is offering a specially negotiated nightly hotel rate at Bally’s
Las Vegas for CoNexion attendees, which includes complimentary Internet access, but space is strictly limited.
(www.nexion.com/conexion)
10 • CANADIAN TRAVEL PRESS • AUGUST 26, 2013
0826PAGE10.indd 10
8/22/2013 10:59:19 AM
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0826PAGE11.indd 11
22/08/2013 12:25:45 PM
Coffee culture perking in Colombia
IAN STALKER
Alvaro Concha wants Canadians to have the same sort
of insights into Colombian
coffee as Juan Valdez.
Concha, Colombia’s
Toronto-based trade commissioner, says Colombia’s coffee culture – long
synonymous with the Juan
Valdez spokesman figure
– is part of a renewed tourism push by Colombia’s
government and is something he thinks coffeeloving Canadians will be
able to appreciate.
Those visiting central
Colombia “can feel and
live” coffee culture, with
the region home to coffee
plantations and onetime
farmhouses that have been
converted into boutique
hotels, Concha reports.
The community of
Armenia is home to Coffee Park, which features
museums, enables visitors
to help gather coffee beans
and gain insights into coffee production, he says. “If
you enjoy coffee, that’s the
place to go.”
Colombia’s latest tourism efforts focus on the
likes of coffee, nature and
cuisine – rather than the
traditional beaches – and
use the tag line “Colombia
is Magical Realism.”
Tourism authorities
cite landscapes that range
from Andean mountains
to Amazon jungle, with
Concha noting that Amazon travel experiences
can include a “floating
house” that can accommodate some 15 people as
it drifts along a river, stopping at indigenous communities en route, providing those aboard with
glimpses into traditional
Amazon lifestyles.
Colombia’s Pacific coast
is also being promoted to
nature-enthusiasts and
offers the likes of trekking,
seasonal whale
watching, scuba
diving and other
adventurous
activities.
Archeology
enthusiasts can
visit southwestern Colombia’s
San Augustin
National Park –
home to pre-Columbian stone
carvings – and
particularly adventurous sorts
A massive fort in Cartagena is a reminder of that city’s long history.
can head for the
colonial architecture that
two million visitors in
Lost City, a pre-Columbihas earned the district
total. The country’s tourist
an mountain settlement
UNESCO World Heritage
trade is growing at three
built of stone and usually
Site status. It has a huge
times the world average,
reached by several days
something he attributes
hiking directly south from number of bars, restaurants and other tourismin part to an improved
the Caribbean-fronting
oriented businesses.
security situation in a
city of Santa Marta.
Last year saw 44,000
country that in the 1990s
The Caribbean city
Canadians visit Colombia, continually made internaof Cartagena remains a
a 20% increase over the
tional headlines because of
cornerstone of Colomprevious year, with Condrug-related violence.
bia’s tourist trade, with its
Among hotel companies
walled old quarter remain- cha adding that 2012 saw
that have recently opened
ing a showcase for Spanish Colombia host just under
Colombia properties are
Marriott, Melia, Hyatt,
Holiday Inn and Radisson, while cruise companies that offer Cartagena
most-visited attractions. Visitors learn all about the reginclude Royal Caribbean,
gae legend here; Devon House: This restored colonial
Pullman, Celebrity, MSC
home was built in 1881 by George Stiebel, Jamaica’s first
Cruises, Crystal, Prinblack millionaire. A guided tour shows off interesting
cess, Holland America
antiques and shares the home’s storied past.
and Regent. Many cruise
Other attractions include: National Gallery of Jamaica:
companies had dropped
The finest collection of Jamaican art on the island, the
Colombia because of secugallery showcases the development of Jamaican art, from
rity concerns and Concha
Taíno artifacts to Spanish and British colonial art to concites their return and the
temporary works; Usain Bolt’s Tracks & Records Restaumany new hotel openings
rant: Sports fans should check out Bolt’s upscale sports
Colombia is seeing as proof
bar to enjoy a meal and catch a game while in Kingston;
of growing international
Blue Mountains: The Blue Mountains are the longest
confidence in the country.
mountain range in Jamaica and include the island’s high- “Colombia is improving
est peak (7,402 feet). The mountain range is renowned for every single day,” he insists.
bird watching, coffee plantations and misty peaks (the mist
Air Canada continues to
makes the mountains look almost blue – hence the name). link Toronto with Bogota.
The mountains are also home to the world’s second
Those wanting further
largest butterfly, the Homerus swallowtail. A trip to the
information can e-mail
Blue Mountains is approximately an hour from Kingston. [email protected] or
(www.visitjamaica.com)
call 416-363-9225.
More Canadians visiting Jamaica’s capital
Jamaican destinations like Montego Bay, Negril and
Ocho Rios are household names for Canadians, however
Kingston and Jamaica’s northeast coast have recently
been attracting more visitors, thanks to increased direct
flights, new tourism offerings and cultural events.
Direct flights from Toronto to Kingston are available
with Air Canada, WestJet and Caribbean Airlines. And for
the first time ever, vacation packages are being offered to
Kingston through WestJet Vacations. Visitors can explore
Kingston and then easily access other must-see destinations such as the Blue Mountains and Port Antonio.
The largest English-speaking city south of Miami,
Kingston is the cultural heartbeat of Jamaica with its
pulsating reggae rhythms and rich history – a cosmopolitan contrast to the rest of the island’s more relaxed pace.
Highlights in Kingston include: Port Royal, the former
pirate capital of the Caribbean, with buccaneers like
Blackbeard and Henry Morgan residing here. Visitors
can check out Fort Charles or the Maritime Museum;
Bob Marley Museum: Bob Marley’s former Kingston
residence and studio, this museum is one of the city’s
12 • CANADIAN TRAVEL PRESS • AUGUST 26, 2013
0826PAGE12_14.indd 12
8/22/2013 10:58:01 AM
Look Who’s Making A Splash at Palladium Resorts!
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at Palladium with Raggs comes to our resorts in August, expanding our exciting kids’
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For more information, visit www.PalladiumResorts.com,
contact our call center at 800.961.7661 or your
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0826PAGE13.indd 13
SPAIN | MEXICO | DOMINICAN REPUBLIC | JAMAICA | BRAZIL
Experience
PALLADIUM
22/08/2013 12:25:25 PM
New airport welcome news for St. Vincent
IAN STALKER
St. Vincent and the Grenadines is moving closer to entering the big
leagues when it comes to the world of tourism aviation and that’s
welcome news to its tourist trade.
Glen Beache, CEO of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority, says Argyle International Airport – which he labels
a “full international airport” – could open on St. Vincent by the
middle of next year and would be a major shot in the arm for a
destination in which the largest planes now able to visit are Dash 8
50-seaters.
Many of St. Vincent and the Grenadines visitors now first travel to
nearby Caribbean islands, lengthening their travel. But Beache says
all that will change when the new airport opens and large aircraft can
bring tourists right to their vacation choice.
“The only plane it wouldn’t be able to accommodate is an Airbus
A380,” he says.
More developments are in the works for 2014,with the all-inclusive
Buccament Bay Resort - which now has 260 rooms – expected to have
600 to 800 next year as it nears its goal of 1,100 guest units.
But Beache says his destination isn’t seeing widespread development,
nor does it want that.
“I think St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the Caribbean as it was
30 or 40 years ago,” he says. “We want tourism, but not mass tourism.
If you vacation there, you’re not going to feel like you’re in another part
of Canada during the summer.”
No building in the destination can be taller than five storeys,
he adds.
Beache notes his destination was used as a setting in the first three
Pirates of the Caribbean movies, which he says underscores that it’s
a particularly scenic part of the world.
St. Vincent has black-sand beaches – telling of its volcanic origins –
while the Grenadines beaches are white sand.
Unsurprisingly, water sports play a huge role in its tourist trade,
with St. Vincent and the Grenadines being popular with the sailing
set, having several marinas and hosting an annual regatta. Sailors
can work their way from one island to another in a destination that has
32 islands and cays.
Diving’s also popular, with Beache noting that those diving in
St. Vincent waters are able to find cliff and wall diving, while
divers who opt for the Grenadines can see the likes of coral, dolphins
and turtles.
Beache is looking at his destination staging a 2014 Water Week, with
the hoped-for August event including a host of water activities, including sailing, diving, underwater photography and kayaking, “making
it a fun week for everybody.”
He also reports that 15 St. Vincent and the Grenadines attractions
have gotten an $8 million infusion of renovations. The attractions
include the oldest botanical gardens in the Western Hemisphere;
the Cumberland Nature Trail; and Dark View Waterfalls, which
visitors “can bathe under” and are accessible by two bridges, one
of which Beache describes as “kind of an Indiana Jones-style bamboo bridge.”
Those wanting more information on the destination can visit
www.discoversvg.com.
PLAN MORE THAN
THE ORDINARY VACATION.
Your clients want to do more than just get away. They want to
get inspired. With some of the world’s most diverse diving, over
fifty uninhabited islands, local festivals, and world-renowned
cuisine, the U.S. Virgin Islands has the sights, the sounds, and the
heart to spark the adventurous spirit in every traveler. Your clients
won’t just get the vacation of their dreams. They will discover a
Caribbean getaway beyond their wildest imagination. It’s time for
your clients to stop making itineraries and start making memories
in the USVI.
You, unscripted.
Special moments begin at visitUSVI.com.
/visitusvi
/usvitourism
©2013 U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism
14 • CANADIAN TRAVEL PRESS • AUGUST 26, 2013
0826PAGE12_14.indd 14
8/22/2013 10:58:28 AM
AUGUST 26, 2013 • CANADIAN TRAVEL PRESS • 15
0826PAGE15.indd 15
8/20/2013 3:50:39 PM
T.O. tour op’s got
clients on the run
IAN STALKER
Sue Pulfer can truly give those visiting Toronto
a quick look at the city.
The retired Oracle Corp. executive now literally runs Toronto Guided Runs, which offers
those visiting the Ontario capital year-round
running tours that last 45 to 60 minutes and
cover six to 10 km.
“When guided runs are available, I find it
makes it easy to get a run in, see the city and
also be introduced to the city by a native,” says
Pulfer, who launched Toronto Guided Runs in
2009. “You really get to experience the city at
ground level, unlike a bus or driving tour. And
you get the runner’s high when your workout
is done. I highly recommend it.”
Pulfer now offers a choice of tours, some
of which may not be available in winter if
there have been heavy snowfalls. But others
are available throughout the year, with Pulfer saying clients often opt for runs along
the waterfront, where traffic doesn’t force
constant stops.
The city’s Cabbagetown neighbourhood and
toney Rosedale residential district are chosen
by others wanting to see house-lined streets,
rather than iconic municipal symbols, such as
the CN Tower.
Pulfer – who will either meet her clients at
their hotels or a pre-arranged spot – reports
they don’t carry the cameras commonly associated with tourists while on the move in
For more information, call 905.358.5781
or visit www.maidofthemist.com.
Toronto. “I find they get to know the
areas and then they return – sometimes with a non-running spouse –
to check them out in more detail.”
She acknowledges some people
should explore Toronto by tour bus,
rather than lace up their runners
and pound pavement. “They [her
clients] need to be able to run 5 km.
pretty much without having to pause
for rest. It’s never been an issue as
the typical client is a runner and
wants to do their run in Toronto,
Running is a great way to see a city from the ground up.
even through they don’t know the
city. We don’t run fast. We run about a 10 km. and be healthier for seeing some unfamiliar
per hour pace, which is typical for runners
surroundings with her.
doing their ‘long easy run’ for the week. I have
“You get a workout in and it goes by very
run with a number of runners who could run
quickly because we are chatting,” she points
faster than me. However they are very happy
out. “You can eat more on your vacation when
to run at that pace to chat. I can easily run at
you’ve done a 45-minute run in the morning.
an 11 to 12 km. hour pace but I won’t be doing For a health-conscious tourist, it’s the way to go.”
much chatting if that were the case. It’s meant
to be casual and easy,” says Pulfer, who runs
10Ks and triathlons.
Pulfer’s runs – described on www.toronto
guidedruns.com – cost $50 p.p. or $30 each if
there are two people and $25 each for up to
four runners.
Pulfer – who typically runs three times a
week, covering about 25 km. – is confident
that those who go on her tours will gain
insights into the destination they’re visiting –
The Hotel Associasignificant accomtion of Canada is now plishments, exemaccepting entries for
plary leadership and
the 2013 Hall of Fame tireless commitment
Awards of Excellence. to the industry in
In its 10th year,
several categories.
the program conNominations are
tinues the assoalso open for the Steciation’s tradition
phen Phillips Passion
of acknowledging
for Hospitality Burthe strong standards
sary to be awarded to
and values of those
a hospitality student.
involved in and with
To access nomithe lodging industry.
nation forms, visit:
The awards program
http://hotelassocia
recognizes those indi- tion.ca/site/news/
viduals, companies
Awards.asp. The
or properties that
deadline for submishave demonstrated
sions is Oct. 18.
HAC seeks
Hall of Fame
nominations
16 • CANADIAN TRAVEL PRESS • AUGUST 26, 2013
0826PAGE16.indd 16
8/22/2013 11:01:07 AM
ONE ON ONE with ROBB HENSHAW
Searching gets personal
BOB MOWAT
San Francisco-based GetGoing got
going about a year and a half ago and
has proceeded to develop a couple of
nifty new flight search products, plus
promises that there’s still more to
come – as in the addition of hotels and
departures from Canadian gateways.
In March, GetGoing rolled out Pick
Two, Get One, which targets the flexible leisure travel with discounts of
up to 40% off air travel when – as the
name suggests – they agree to pick two
destinations that they’d like to go to
and once they have, let the Pick Two,
Get One search decide where they’re
actually going to be going to. (To see
how it works, check out the following
video – www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tqlMbJ3zs&feature=youtu.be.)
And towards the end of April, GetGoing launched FlightFinder, its mass
market intelligent flight search option that is best described as a more
intelligent version of what people are
already using metasearch for today:
providing a personalized flight search
that uncovers the best prices for the destination a traveller is searching, but also offering cheaper alternatives that a traveller may not
have thought of or been aware of.
Robb Henshaw, VP communications is quick to point out that
the discount fare platform currently features inventory from over a
dozen of the major domestic and international foreign flag carriers
that it has partnerships with.
He explains that Pick Two, Get One is targeted at “the flexible
leisure traveller who’s looking to go and sit on the beach somewhere.
Maybe they’re looking to go to Hawaii, but they don’t care if they
go to Honolulu or Maui or maybe they don’t even care if it’s Hawaii
or maybe it’s Maui and Cabo San Lucas or somewhere like that. As
long as they’re willing to pick two places anywhere in the world and
let us make the final decision of which of those two places to book
for them, then we’ll provide up to 40% off of their flights.”
The rationale behind the Pick Two, Get One platform, Henshaw
told CTP, is that by and large the load factors for US and North
American airlines are around 82%, while load factors for international carriers are around 79%, which means that globally about one
in five seats don’t get sold.
“Our way of tackling the problem is to say: ‘Look the best way
to help fi ll those seats – without cannibalizing existing business,
especially without giving discounts to existing business travellers,
which is the airlines’ bread and butter – is to help you provide discounts to people who you know and can verify are leisure travellers,’” Henshaw said.
Pick Two, Get One is a “different
take on the opaque model,” Henshaw
told CTP. “Basically we let the traveller have full visibility into the flights,
the agenda, everything they want.
They can pick the exact flight that
they want to be on. They can say that
they only want non-stops. They can
say that they don’t want to fly until
afternoon. They have complete control and they can see the granular
details of what their itinerary is going
to look like. But they have to design
two perfect itineraries, not just one.”
Pick Two, Get One also lets travellers verify what they are saving
and compare those savings with
its competitors.
Right now, GetGoing only offers
departures from US airports, but
Henshaw makes it clear that it will
soon be expanding globally, including Canada, and has actively been
talking to Canadian carriers about
partnering with it.
And while Pick Two, Get One is a
business to consumer (B2C) model,
Henshaw agrees that there are applications for it with travel sellers.
“We are actually pursuing that and we’ve been approached by a lot
of agents and organizations who would like to have a portal that they
can brand – so we’re looking at this,” he said.
As for its newest product, FlightFinder, Henshaw describes it as
“the more mass market product” and what GetGoing is doing is
“introducing a more intelligent version of what people currently use
metasearch for. You know, metasearch is great. It was an awesome
advancement. It made things easier, but it still only searched for the
things that people actively searched for.”
FlightFinder’s inventory is in no way limited, so users can book
anything worldwide as it has a partnership with Amadeus.
With FlightFinder, Henshaw explained that what GetGoing did
was to “create a tool that if you want to go from Point A to Point B,
we can totally book that for you. We can book you a fl ight to Nassau
out of New York and we’ll find you the cheapest flight – just like
Kayak or anybody else. But what we do is take that model and just
kind of supercharge it and added a bunch of intelligence on top of
it where if you’re searching for New York, then we’ll go ahead and
let you know that there are other more affordable options nearby
– if those options exist at the time that you’re looking to fly. So we
can say, have you thought about instead of JFK, flying into Newark
or LaGuardia or wherever and in a single search we’ll show you all
of your options to create the most affordable trip for the original
thing that you were looking to do.”
GetGoing charts
a new course
See GETGOING page 22
AUGUST 26, 2013 • CANADIAN TRAVEL PRESS • 17
0826PAGE17_22.indd 17
8/22/2013 1:42:55 PM
The airline
industry – from
the ground up
A respected industry veteran, Don McWilliam
has experienced every facet of the airline industry and spent his career growing his knowledge
of the business from the inside out. Devoting his
professional life to the industry, McWilliam has
seen it all: from the early growth of the airlines,
the era of cost cutting, mergers and acquisitions,
to the resurgence of the glory days of travel. McWillliam has managed million-dollar portfolios,
managed through mergers and acquisitions, and
is credited for successful growth programs for
multiple airlines over the years.
Today, he serves as country manager for
Emirates in Canada. Fresh from the airline’s
recent award as the “World’s Best Airline”
from Skytrax at the 2013 World Airline Awards,
this week, Don McWilliam lends his voice to
Voices of Travel.
L
ooking back at all my years in the
airline business, I still give thanks
to that great piece of advice that got
me to where I am today: “To achieve
ultimate success in this industry, you need to
gain experience from the ground up – from
the front lines, to ticket office, sales, cargo, and
head office.”
And from the ground up I worked. I cut my
teeth in the industry back in the Yukon, when
it was a normal day to open up the reservations office in the wee hours of the morning,
then proceeding to the ticket office, followed
by driving the company van to work at the airport and before finally stopping by the cargo
office to manually check off the inbound cargo
that had come in on the flight.
Those formative years in the industry really
instilled in me a passion for the airline business. Starting from the front lines, I developed
a great understanding and appreciation of how
much of an impact airline employees have in
the overall customer experience.
The industry is complex, with a multitude of
moving parts, but at its very core, the airline
industry is all about people. It is about the
Don McWilliam
Vo
employees that make up the business, who
are passionate about service and committed to upholding the standards of the airline
and it is about the customers whose needs we
continually anticipate and serve. The Emirates Group, for example, employs over 60,000
people comprising over 160 nationalities. I am
actually one of 650 Canadian staff working for
Emirates around the world.
Serving our passenger fleet requires thousands of staff – engineers, catering, ground
staff and air staff, among many others.
You can not run staff operations that size
without instilling in them a commitment
to service. Emirates understands this, and
in fact, has identified SERVICE as one of
Emirates Group’s corporate values. All our
staff undergo rigorous training specific to
their fields. That is the only way Emirates
can ensure a consistent, high-quality experience for all our passengers.
Which brings me to the other part of
the people equation – our passengers. Ultimately we are grateful to them for supporting our business and allowing us to continue
to grow and expand. Everything we do, we
must do with the customer in mind. Last
year, 39 million people flew Emirates, 39
million experiences, 39 million individuals
whose needs we had to cater to – 30,000 feet
in the air. With ever-increasing competition,
customers have so many options in the market, but they fly Emirates because they receive
Tr a v e l
f
o
s
ice
an unparalleled level of service. It is only by
continually going above and beyond your
customers’ expectations that can you expect
to last in this business.
I am very proud of our recent achievement,
being awarded “World’s Best Airline” for 2013.
I have no doubt this recognition directly stems
from our continuous efforts to provide worldclass service to our customers and our staff
across the globe who make this happen.
Looking ahead, our industry will continue
to evolve.
We are getting to know our customers better
– it is mind-boggling the level of data available today, compared to the days of manual
reservation bookings and manual boarding
cards. We are also seeing how social media
is opening up communication lines between
us and our customers in a way that we have
never seen before.
Another shift I have witnessed is that
competition is also no longer just local; it is a
global market and airlines need to continually stay on top of their game, keep improving
their offerings, attract a global pool of talent
and keep them motivated, and most of all,
adapt to the changing times.
In this business, the day you stop learning is
the day you get grounded.
18 • CANADIAN TRAVEL PRESS • AUGUST 26, 2013
0826PAGE18.indd 18
8/22/2013 1:45:55 PM
Useless
Continued from page 1
editorial content...”
It is the second dressing down of travel
agents by a US media
outlet in recent months
following a controversial online Woman’s
Day article entitled “10
Things Travel Agents
Won’t Tell You,” which
challenged the integrity
of travel agents when
dealing with clients.
CareerCast.com’s
motive appears to be
encouraging travel
agents and shoe repairs
to find more “fulfilling
employment,” though
it condescendingly
acknowledges, “There
is enough consumer
demand to keep people
who hold some of the
most menial, obsolete
and downright useless
jobs busy.”
That would include
reality TV stars, according to the site.
It goes on: “A challenge for those who
hold dwindling or
useless jobs is parlaying
their experience into
other opportunities. If a
particular skill set is no
longer in demand, the
onus is on you to learn
new viable skills.”
In particular respect
to travel, the site says,
“Planning a trip today is a do-it-yourself
endeavour: you can
book accommodations,
transportation, discover
restaurants and entertainment, and navigate
your route online. Thus,
the traditional travel
agent is no longer necessary...’
But there is some
hope apparently.
“Specialized travel
agents still exist to
tackle unusual or exotic
requests, usually from
wealthy clients,” admits
CareerCast. “They’ve
created a niche that has
turned a useless job into
a profitable one.
“To find more relevant employment, you
need to be able to spin
your skills into a more
marketable light or
pick up new skills that
reflect the changing
employment landscape,”
lectures CareerCast’s
publisher Tony Lee.
Alternatively, says
CareerCast, agents
could seek to contribute
to their jobs or “find
volunteer work or a second job that adds more
workplace stimulus.”
And there is some
solace for those with
useless, “low wage” jobs,
like being a travel agent,
such as simply having a
job in an unstable economic environment.
After all, “If you find
yourself looking at the
clock every few minutes
and rearranging your
pen placement, it could
be worse – you could
be spending your time
seeking a paying job.”
Nexion approved in BC
London, Ont.-based Nexion Canada has
received official regulatory approval from
Consumer Protection British Columbia
(CPBC) to begin conducting business in
the province, which includes the recruiting of experienced travel agents. In turn,
those agents will be effectively aligned
with Nexion Canada, which will serve as
their “host agency.”
While Nexion Canada remains a
relatively new name in travel throughout
most of Canada (there are currently no
operations in Quebec), it has operated
since 1982. The travel agency’s name
was changed to Nexion Canada when it
was acquired in January by Texas-based
Nexion, LLC.
According to officials, agents who join
Nexion Canada will benefit from the
Manulife
Continued from page 1
50 or so people providing an outstanding level of service from coast to coast,
because we know that our success is based
upon mutual dependency.”
At the same time, Manulife will be
pursuing a takeover of the partner program that RBC currently has with the
Association of Canadian Travel Agencies
(ACTA).
“We’ve already reached out to ACTA
and we intend to continue discussions
Last week’s lineup...
Croatian National Tourist Office - The
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Trinidad and Tobago - Trinidad and
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G Adventures - Sept. 4th Webinar:
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Fort McMurray Tourism - Wood
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Maxxim Vacations - Go Wild with Alan
Doyle at the Fogo Island Inn
Look for:
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host agency’s strong relationships with
both Canadian and US preferred suppliers. Nexion Canada agents can earn up
to 80% commissions and are paid twice
monthly via direct deposit.
Among the benefits agents enjoy as part
of Nexion Canada: the opportunity to
book into Nexion Canada’s cruise block
space; a free consumer web site with leadgeneration capability; numerous, weekly,
training opportunities on various programs, supplier products and soft skills;
access to the Webview agent intranet
portal, its agent-to-agent social networking site called “Nexion Town,” and its
ClientBase Online customer relationship
management tool; an invitation to attend
the annual “coNexion” conference in Las
Vegas.
with a view to a natural transition when
it’s appropriate,” said Iafrate.
And he revealed that Manulife will be
using RBC’s much-touted Assured Assistance emergency response centre.
“As part of the transition agreements,
Manulife and Assured Assistance will
be partnering together,” explained
Iafrate, who added, “As such, Assured
Assistance will continue to provide the
24/7 emergency assistance services and
claim processing in support of the policy
contracts issued.”
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AUGUST 26, 2013 • CANADIAN TRAVEL PRESS • 19
0826PAGE01_19.indd 19
22/08/2013 2:29:34 PM
The following people
identified the July 26
“Where in the World” as
Luxumbourg Palace/
Gardens, Paris: Timothy
Edgecombe, Rosewood
Hotel Georgia; Stella
Maydossian, Safar Travel;
Michele Radford, CAA;
Katherine Hirtzel, Carlson Wagonlit; Stacey
Rasile, Globus family of
brands; Wendy Chaput,
Flight Centre; Gina Baldoni, Green Zebra Adventures; Leo-Paul Cormier,
Maritime Travel; Barb
Hricina, Carlson Wagonlit; Jackey Lashmar,
Alberta Motor Association; Lexia Anklovitch,
Expedia Cruise Ship
Centers; Andrei Gere,
TravelOnly; Susan Hopkins, Advantage InTravel;
Francoise Campbell,
Custom Travel Solutions;
Suzanne Szabo, Carlson
Wagonlit; Carol Wilkinson, CWT Vacations;
Gayle Thomas, Kentours.
The following people
identified the July 15
“Where in the World”
as Petty Harbour, Nfld.:
Karl Chafe, TPI.
Cdns. keep
travelling
to the US
Statistics Canada reports
that travel from Canada to
the United States increased
in June.
Canadian residents
took 4.8 million trips
to the United States
in June, up 2.6% from
May. Overnight travel
increased in every category, led by a 2.8% increase
in overnight car travel.
Canadian residents took
2.7-million same-day car
trips to the United States
in June, up 2.7% from the
previous month.
At the same time,
travel from Canada to
overseas countries decreased 0.4% from May to
792,000 trips.
20 • CANADIAN TRAVEL PRESS • AUGUST 26, 2013
0826PAGE20.indd 20
8/22/2013 3:41:23 PM
Mostar Bridge
Sarajevo, Bosnia
“Menus and road signs are in English.... To many people
it’s a shocker.”
— Omer Eshel, a former Israel guide and now a member of the
Israel Ministry of Tourism in Chicago, on one reason Canadians
will “feel at home” in Israel
Please send your answer to:
“Where in the World?” at [email protected]
An iconic national site, dating to the days even before the nation existed, this famed fortress is
celebrating 300 years this year. With a shameless cross promotional plug, we advise going back a
couple of weeks in Travel Courier to find the cover story article that will reveal this week’s Where in
the World?
Gear To Go
A guide to some of the amazing devices that make
travel a little bit easier, or more fun
Sceptre: CarCam CCR2000
This ultra compact CarCam recorder keeps drivers
honest by capturing on-road incidents and preserving evidence.
It features a full-HD 1080p 1920x1080 video
recorder; G-Sensory technology that detects collisions
and prevents overwriting footage; and H.264 video
compression technology for longer capture time and
auto looping.
Also found are a120-degree wide angle lens at 1080p
(140 degree at 720p); built-in HDMI Output for easy
viewing on any display; 8 GB SD card that records
up to 250 minutes; and lithium ion
battery for video recording when not connect to a
power source.
It’s available at: Sears, K-mart, QVC, Amazon,
New-Egg and Tiger Direct.
The MSRP price is $399.
More information can be found at www.sceptre.com.
Much before modern
Yugoslavia, the Balkans
made attempts at handling
ethnic differences. In 1556
when the region was under
the Ottoman rule, a small
bridge was constructed: the
Mostar Bridge, built under
the orders of Caliph Suleyman the Magnificent.
Comparing to the
other structures he built,
this bridge was his smallest but, the most important as Suleyman envisaged
the bridge to create a better
understanding amongst
his subjects.
Legend has the bridge
was built and opened only
to collapse three days
later. Angered, Suleyman
ordered the architect to
reconstruct the bridge and
then sleep under it. This
time the bridge survived
him and, the Ottoman
Empire.
It lasted
for 429
years and
when it
finally
collapsed
it was
not because of
Mahmood
flaws, but
Poonja
because of
Bestway Tours
a bomb& Safaris
ing that
targeted the bridge for the
very symbolism for which
the bridge stood.
The European Union
and others reconstructed
the bridge. In doing so,
they not only replicated the
bridge but reused much of
the bombed materials lying
in the river. The result is
nothing short of bringing
back the majesty of Mostar
– making it one of Europe’s
most known tourist sites.
Mostar Bridge, in modern day Bosnia, is again
playing a major role in
bridging different ethnic groups and in 2005,
UNESCO declared it a
World Heritage Site.
AUGUST 26, 2013 • CANADIAN TRAVEL PRESS • 21
0826PAGE21.indd 21
8/22/2013 3:29:38 PM
50 countries. She can be
reached at 604-279-8794 or
778-773-9850 (direct line).
IN PASSING
Brock Stewart
APPOINTMENTS
Indus Travels
Indus Travels has appointed a new business development manager for the
West Coast. Janice Tozer
“brings with her a wealth
of knowledge to the position and will be responsible for further developing the sales and group
relationships with the
retail travel partners.”
Tozer was most recently
with Exotik Tours, Canada
where she spent the last
three years as product
manager for South America and Africa. She started
travelling 25 years ago
with a backpack strapped
to her back and a passport
in hand. In the late 1990s,
she turned that love of
travel into a career, starting with a boutique Ensemble Agency in Kelowna. Tozer also worked as
a tour director in Southern Africa, Australia and
New Zealand and has
travelled to more than
Travel industry communications expert Brock
Stewart died at his Toronto
home on Aug. 14. Brock
began his public relations
career with Canada Post,
but was best known as Air
Canada’s manager, Public
Relations, from 1973-1993.
ON THE MOVE
ACTA
ACTA has a new address.
It is: 2560 Matheson
Blvd. E., Suite 226, Mississauga, Ont. L4W 4Y9.
All other contact details,
such as phone/fax/e-mail,
remain the same. (http://
www.acta.ca)
GOOD DEEDS
Nexion Canada
Nexion Canada announced
that its agents are assisting The Sunshine Foundation of Canada to make
travel dreams for children
with severe physical disabilities or life-threaten-
GetGoing
Continued from page 17
Citing a recent report on leisure travellers
by Henry Hardeveldt at Hudson Crossing,
Henshaw says that, “37% of them have a place
in mind. They search for that place. That
place happens to be too expensive during the
time that they’re looking to fly and at that
point, they abandon the search. So 37% of
people think that going on vacation is too expensive based on the original place that they
searched for and then they abandon it. That’s
really a shame because as we all know there
are thousands of awesome places where you
can go affordably.”
He continues, “The trouble is most people
don’t know how to find those places. Don’t
know what to search for and even if they did
know all of the places that they wanted to
search for, they’d have to do an individual
Cancun corporate event organizers CEO Mexico held a Toronto
event that was literally cutting-edge, with entertainment including conjurer Dan Stapleton (far right), who had guests cut a rope with scissors, only to see
it reappear intact again. CEO Mexico’s Alejandro Quero (third from right) and John Nedeau
(second from right) also had sketch artist Hector Valladares and mariachi musicians on hand
for the event.
Music to their ears:
ing illnesses come true.
During its 15 years providing travel services for
the Sunshine Foundation,
Nexion Canada agents
have provided service and
expertise in the planning
and execution of once-ina-lifetime dream vacations
for Sunshine Kids. “We
are privileged to play a
small part in ensuring a
dream vacation experience for ailing children
and their families,” said
Nexion Canada president
Mike Foster. “Our hope
is that by leveraging all of
our travel expertise and
supplier partnerships,
and by working closely
with our colleagues at the
Sunshine Foundation, we
can make sure these very
special children have a trip
they’ll never forget.”
The Sunshine Foundation of Canada is a national charitable organization
guided by the vision that
search for each separate location. [FlightFinder] allows you to do a single search and
be able to find all to affordable options for the
travel experience that you’re looking to have.”
On the practical side, GetGoing asks its user
to sign in with an e-mail address, but encourages them to sign in on Facebook.
Henshaw explains, “The reason that we do
this is because we have a bunch of personalization stuff happening in the background
based on the data that you choose to share via
Facebook. So if you share your check-ins and
the geo locations of your photos and things
like that, we’ll be able to pull that data and
say okay, it looks like you’re a fan of Hawaii
and you’ve been there a bunch of times, so
we’ll show you those results at the top, but
then we’ll also show you a bunch of alternatives as well.”
He continues, “And we also take into
consideration where your friends have been,
“every Sunshine child
shall live their dream.”
Because Sunshine Kids
may require special
equipment or assistance,
many of those dreams
involve complex travel
arrangements which
Nexion Canada agents are
adept at handling. In the
past year, Nexion Canada
agent Gillian Scott helped
Sunshine fulfill over 75
dreams that involved a
travel component.
so on both Pick 2, Get 1 and on FlightFinder,
we’ll show you how many of your friends
have been to each location so that you know
who to ask for a recommendation. So it’s just
a good way for us to kind of help personalize
a little bit and provide a little bit more detail
that we think would be of interest to a particular traveller.”
And he adds that users can ignore the recommendations any time they want and simply
search for whatever they want.
As for what’s next, along with adding flights
out of Canada this year, GetGoing will also be
introducing hotels. Currently, Henshaw told
CTP that “while we don’t have the booking
part done quite yet, we do have the average
price per night which helps you make a more
informed decision when you’re looking at this
and you can get a better idea of what the total
cost of your trip is going to be.”
(www.getgoing.com)
22 • CANADIAN TRAVEL PRESS • AUGUST 26, 2013
0826PAGE17_22.indd 22
8/22/2013 2:24:45 PM
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0826PAGE24.indd 24
8/20/2013 3:51:27 PM