Last night, a little earlier than usual this year, Transat held its annual South Product Showcase at the Pearson Convention Center.
More than 500 travel agents and 60 suppliers, and silver partners were in attendance last night to showcase the latest products down south. Hosting the showcase earlier this year is Transat's way of giving agents a head start on booking.
Although it's Transat's south product launch, Winter Europe product into destinations like Spain, Portugal, Costa del Sol, and the Algarve, making it a great time for agents with clients not heading south to educate themselves on what they can offer their clients this year.
This year, Transat set up a mock hangar, where travel agents could network and mingle with silver sponsors and sit in on 15-minute break-out sessions. The hangar concept came about as a way to celebrate Transat's brand new fleet of A-321's. According to Dan Prior, sales manager, Ontario & Atlantic Canada, the hangar was designed to give agents a unique space to find out more about excursions, information, and the overall experience to be expected onboard Transat's brand new A-321.
Flight and fleet updates
"We're maintaining capacity this year, and we're adding more cruise itinerary, said Prior. "We have a brand new destination with New Orleans out of Montreal, so we're adding some cruise packages there with the added lift. "Cuba, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica continue to be popular."
New this year, Transat added a brand new flight from Hamilton to Cayo Santa Maria, and from London, Ontario to Punta Cana, making it easier for those living outside of the downtown core to enjoy easy access to Mexico, the Caribbean, and Florida.
News for Canada
From a local perspective, Transat's domestic program is in continuation, with Vancouver-Montreal, Vancouver-Toronto, and Calgary-Toronto, with added lift from Vancouver to the south and Fort Lauderdale, in particular.
"Our biggest announcement is the launch of our new Airbus 321, as we transition our fleet, taking the Boeing aircraft out of the fleet and moving towards an all-Airbus fleet," Prior told PAX. "We'll have the Airbus 300, the Airbus 321, and the Airbus 310. Moving towards an all-Airbus fleet means greater efficiency for us."
On board the new Airbus, travellers will have access to 12 Club Class seats, 187 Economy Class seats, brand new seatback entertainment with new BlueBox software, a streaming model that provides in-flight entertainment via movies, music, and television, and even mood lighting.
Stay a different way
This year, Prior says Central and South America continue to be popular choices for Canadian travellers. Earlier this year, transat brought back its flights to destinations like Cartagena, Colombia; Roatan, Honduras; and Costa Rica.
"We're seeing a lot more capacity into Florida via our cruise program, as we're working closer with more cruise partners and our cruise package program, where we include the air, the transfers and the hotel," Prior said. "Adding more lift and capacity opens up more itineraries and we can match those dates with cruise line departures."
This year, Transat is prioritizing new concepts over new destinations, explained Prior.
One of those is through redesigning its tours, such as a brand new guided tour through Cuba, where Transat has added one in Havana, Cuba, which focuses on the colonial culture and architecture.
Another concept that Transat is developing aligns perfectly with guests who are looking to get away from that all-inclusive mentality. Transat is able to package air with studio apartments and other alternative accommodation, which allows travellers to truly immerse themselves in the local ways of life.
"We're really seeing a demand there, so we've introduced this new concept, and it offers 22 new condo and apartment-style kitchenettes to popular uran destinations, like Playa del Carmen and Havana, for example," Prior explained. "It gives those clients who don't really want an all-inclusive to do long stays, or a chance to just go out and get their own groceries and do their own thing. There are a lot of options for these kinds of clients now."
According to Prior, this option from Transat gives travel agents a window of opportunity to book something for their clients who fit this description, at really good rates. Transat works closely with valued partners, like hotels and resorts, to offer multiple kinds of accommodation, such as the studio apartments.
Transat's South Product Showcase comes to Quebec next week, and the following week in Vancouver.
Did we catch you last night? Check out the photos below!
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