Despite the rain in Toronto on Monday, Transat still had a chance to shine at the tour company’s first in-person event since the pandemic started. With close to a hundred agents expected over a couple of hours at the socially distanced outdoor gathering in the parking lot outside Transat’s office on the West Mall, it was a chance to get together after far too long, according to a company exec.
The aim of the event, which will also be held in Hamilton, London, Montreal, and Quebec this week, is “to return a little fun to the travel industry,” Transat Tours commercial director Nicole Bursey told Travel Industry Today. “People want to connect, and we owe a great deal of gratitude to travel agents.”
With a DJ pumping out upbeat tunes and a food truck serving burritos and nachos, agents also got the latest news from Transat, which includes the launch of special signage with a QR code for placement in brochure racks to direct users to the company’s latest (digital) brochure, which replaces the paper version this year.
Transat has also launched a hotel sharing tool, which allows agents to send a content rich email to clients.
Bursey says more in-depth virtual training will return later this month.
The events are also an opportunity for Transat to re-engage with the trade after a long pandemic pause that was further complicated last year by the company’s near, but ultimately aborted, merger with Air Canada.
Bursey noted that the corporate intrigue was a definitely a distraction, but said it did little to affect company business. “We never left, we’ve always been here,” she says, “and I think people knew we would be here in some version of Transat; we just didn’t know which version.”
While she believes there would have been new opportunities with an Air Canada deal, she also says Transat is now enjoying a new spirit of energy and renewal.
As for the get-together, Bursey says, “It just felt like it was kind of time and the agents wanted it. This is something they really deserve.”
First published at Travel Industry Today