Travelweek FEBRUARY 29 2024

Page 1


9, 10


Nestled in the Caribbean’s best kept secret, we invite you to discover a five-star oasis of tranquility at Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa in Cancun, Mexico. Virgin beaches, personalized service, gourmet oceanfront dining, stylish accommodations, Zentropia Palladium Spa & Wellness and excellent entertainment await.

With Infinite Indulgence® , it’s all included.

For more information, please contact your preferred travel partner, visit PALLADIUMHOTELGROUP.COM or call 1.866.685.8524

Costa Mujeres (Cancún) MEXICO

Service fees: How much should you charge and what to do if clients push back

TORONTO — Carol Murray usually doesn’t make New Year’s Resolutions, but at the end of 2023 she vowed to do just one thing: to always charge fees for her travel services.

The Concord, Ontario-based travel advisor and owner of Your Vacation Home, who prior to 2024 was inconsistently charging clients here and there, tells Travelweek that the pandemic “changed everything” – including her take on service fees.

“We found out how vulnerable we advisors are,” she says. “If our clients have to cancel their trips, trips that we poured hours into creating, we have to still be paid for our services, regardless if the trip happens or not.”

Now, Murray charges an amount each time, based on how much work is required and the number of passengers. “It’s $250 for up to four people and it will increase from there,” she says, adding that she’s no longer concerned about possible push-back from certain clients.

“In some cases, travel advisors don’t get that much from the supplier and yet we’re doing tons of work for the client. That is not sustainable for a business,” says Murray. “We are professionals and experts and we need to be paid for our time. All advisors need to charge fees, finally making it a norm across the industry.”


In a perfect world, every travel advisor would be charging service fees to compensate for their time and hard

work. But the reality is, only a small percentage of advisors are consistently doing it – why?

“The biggest reason is confidence,” says Zeina Gedeon, President and CEO of Trevello Travel Group. “For a very long time, travel advisors did not believe they should or could charge service fees because they were getting commissions. There are also many advisors new to the industry who are concerned about building their client base, and others who’ve been working with clients for a long time and don’t want to now implement a fee.”

Gedeon does note, however, that more and more advisors are implementing service fees post-pandemic.

“Many advisors re-evaluated their businesses during the pandemic and realized that they cannot depend solely on commissions. They worked so hard to cancel, rebook, cancel, rebook flights and in the end everything got cancelled, and they did all this for no fees and no commission! They realize now the true value of the services they offer,” says Gedeon.

Flemming Friisdahl, Founder and CEO of The Travel Agent Next Door (TTAND) is also seeing an increase of travel advisors charging fees.

“100% we are seeing more fees coming in, as a percentage of sales.

However, it’s still a fairly small number of advisors doing it routinely. But more and more are becoming comfortable charging for their time. I wish it was more the norm than not, but we are getting there,” he says.


When it comes to how much a travel advisor should charge a client, there’s no one-size-fits all; it all boils down to what the advisor is comfortable with, how much they value their time, and the type of booking being made.

“The amount varies based on an advisor’s experience, expertise, location and the type of booking,” says Gedeon. “However, we give our advisors some general guidelines when they consider charging service fees, around 10%-20% of the total cost of the trip, or a flat fee based on the component of travel, like flights, hotel, FIT and vacation package. Every advisor is different, and they should find a fee structure that works best for them and their business model.”

Friisdahl, who sees both ends of the scale with some advisors charging up to $2,000 for a J class airline ticket while others charge nothing, says that TTAND offers a model on service fees

TOP NEWS February 29, 2024 | TRAVELWEEK | 3

though it’s 100% up to the travel advisor to follow it or not. But he’s quick to add that it’s not so much about the amount, but rather about getting consumers used to the idea of a service fee in the first place.

“Remember when we all used to fly from YVR to YYZ and we had a meal included? And now the airlines charge for meals. Nobody barks at paying for this because it has become the norm. So we have to ask everyone to jump on the wagon and make sure consumers know that a professional travel agent’s time is worth money,” says Friisdahl.


It can be an awkward conversation when mentioning to the client what your service fee is, especially if it’s an existing client and you never charged one before. This is why Murray tells them up front, before she starts working on building their itinerary, to avoid any surprises in the end.

“I think it’s more expected now and better received because clients understand that they need us more than they realized! They also understand that we should not ‘work for free.’ Those days have passed,” says Murray.

Gedeon also agrees that starting with transparency is key: “Be upfront about your fee structure from the beginning. Clearly explain that as a professional travel advisor, you provide personalized service and expertise that go beyond simply booking flights and accommodations. Emphasize to

Got a story idea?

Questions or comments?

Cindy Sosroutomo at

clients that the fees are a reflection of the time and expertise that goes into planning their trip, and remind them that they are paying for a personalized service that will save them time, money and hassle in the long run.”

Friisdahl adds that travel advisors should treat a service fee the same as they would for other extra costs, like airline taxes and fuel surcharges: “It is simply part of the cost of travelling! The advisors I’ve talked to just make it part of the entire conversation and they don’t stop to make a big deal about it.”


It’s to be expected that some clients will push back on the idea of paying a service fee, especially if they can find another travel advisor who doesn’t charge one at all. But if this happens, Friisdahl says honesty can be the best policy.

“Tell them the truth, that you’re not paid commission and this is why you’re charging a service fee. Tell them that your time is worth money – the truth is the best way to explain it,” he says.

Gedeon adds that the key to handling clients who don’t want to pay the fee is to focus on the benefits of working with a travel advisor and to address their objections with empathy and professionalism.

“Advisors need to be confident and show the client the value in working with them, focusing on how their services can save the client time and alleviate stress when planning their trip,” says Gedeon. “The personalized service they offer, their access to exclusive deals and amenities, the knowledge they have for the destination, and the support they provide the client while planning the trip, while

they’re on their trip and during any emergencies that may arise – all of this justify the cost of your service fees and help retain clients who may initially be resistant to paying them.”


For travel advisors who have already implemented a service fee, how do they know if they’re not charging enough? And how do they raise their fee without scaring away their existing clients?

Gedeon recommends four tips: Re-evaluate: “We recommend re-evaluating your fees on a yearly basis. You should be continuously researching what other advisors in your area or niche are charging for similar services. Assess your value proposition to make sure your fee structure reflects the value your client receives. And always take into account your clients’ feedback and consider their expenses.”

Space it out: “Rather than implement a significant fee hike all at once, consider gradually increasing your fees over time. This allows clients to adjust to the new pricing structure and help minimize the risk of scaring them away.”

Give notice: “Always give clients advance notice of any fee increases, and explain the reasons behind the change. This demonstrates transparency and allows clients to prepare for the adjustment in pricing.

Get feedback: “Advisors should keep track of clients’ responses to the fee increase and be prepared to adjust their pricing strategy if necessary. Solicit feedback from clients to understand their perspectives and address any concerns they may have.”

TOP NEWS 4 | TRAVELWEEK | February 29, 2024 TRAVELWEEK Tel: 416.365.1500 Toll-free: 1.855.392.8820 Web: CONTENTS COPYRIGHTED We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada. SUBSCRIPTION RATES (PER YEAR) Canada: $85 Canadian + $4.25 GST per year United States & International: $100 US per year SOCIAL MEDIA For circulation inquiries please email

A dream Caribbean getaway

The breathtaking natural beauty, pristine white sands, and clear blue waters of some of Cuba’s finest beaches can be found at Meliá Hotels Cuba resorts. The ideal spot for an unforgettable all-inclusive beach vacation, visitors can expect impeccable service and family-friendly activities everyone will love. Get ready to embrace the purest spirit of Cuba and create lasting memories together in a heavenly tropical setting.

Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa
Transat Tours Canada Inc., registered as a travel wholesaler in Quebec (reg. #754241) with offices at 300 Léo-Pariseau Street, Suite 200, Montreal (QC) H2X 4C2; in Ontario (reg. #50009486) with offices at 5915 Airport Road, Suite 910 Mississauga (ON) L4V 1T1; and in British Columbia (reg. #2454) with offices at 11900 Haney Place, Unit 151, Maple Ridge (BC) V2X 8R9.

Longer cruises with Carnival, maybe someday a world cruise? “Never say never,” says VP Stein

TORONTO — The leisure cruise industry may have been built on the 7-night sailing, but in a sign of how far cruising has come, these days passengers can opt for just about any duration they can think of - from 3- and 4-night getaways, to weeks-long river cruises, to World Cruises that span three-quarters of a year, to anything inbetween.

While the offerings for quick halfweek cruises ramped up pre-pandemic, now the development focus is on longer cruises, as cruise companies work to meet the demand from travellers splurging post-pandemic and making good on their bucket lists.

A world cruise expert told Travelweek recently that the only thing that surprises her about world cruises is how quickly they sell out. While many passengers are booking segments of world cruises, plenty are signing on for the full durations.

Carnival Cruise Line is a company that - to the uninitiated - wouldn’t be

the first line that comes to mind for longer sailings. Certainly not world cruises - not yet, anyway. But “never say never,” says Fred Stein, Carnival’s VP Revenue Planning & Deployment.

We caught up with Stein for a look at Carnival’s longer duration sailings, part of the cruise line’s portfolio known as Carnival Journeys.

Launched in 2015, Carnival Journeys now has more than three dozen annual sailings, according to Stein. This month Carnival announced a new transpacific Carnival Journeys cruise for 2025, on Carnival Luminosa, departing Sept. 18, 2025 from Seattle to Australia via Hawaii and several South Pacific islands on a 22-day voyage.

It’s the latest addition to the expanding Carnival Journeys program, full of longer sailings created around ship repositionings and dry dock schedules.

The Carnival Journeys program currently offers five other transpacific sailings open for sale, with four set to sail this year and another in 2025.

Additionally, nine transatlantic Carnival Journeys cruises are open for sale – with three scheduled this year and six for 2025. A sampling of these sailings include several that cross the Atlantic between Barcelona and the U.S.

We’re looking at the longer cruise trend in a series of articles in Travelweek Daily. The trend is a big one for travel advisors, thanks to high yields and high commissions, and so far it shows no sign of slowing down.

Travelweek: Many cruise lines have expanded their offering of longer duration sailings, to great success. For Carnival, this started back in 2015 with the launch of Carnival Journeys. What was the thinking behind the program, and was it popular from the start, or a slow burn?

Stein: “Our Carnival Journeys cruises continue to draw more interest from our guests. It’s been a steady climb from the start, and I think a good indication of our guests’ increased interest in longer vacations and more

6 | TRAVELWEEK | February 29, 2024

adventurous experiences. That’s why in our most recent deployment updates, our team worked more of these special sailings into our overall plan.”

Travelweek: Are there any metrics that show how Carnival Journeys are an increasingly important part of Carnival's product mix?

Stein: “Over the last few years, we have grown the Carnival Journeys program due to increased interest from our guests. We went from offering a handful of sailings each year when the program first launched to now offering over 40 sailings every year.”

Travelweek: Carnival's brand is so associated with week-long sailings to the Caribbean, that many potential customers may not realize just how much the line's portfolio of destinations and durations has grown over the years. Is that a challenge, and how is Carnival getting its message in front of travellers who might not normally 'think Carnival' for a 29-day transpacific repositioning cruise, for example?

Stein: “I like to think of it more as an opportunity than a challenge. It’s true that we are known as the brand that revolutionized cruising and helped to popularize short cruise vacations in the Caribbean, but we’re also the brand known for our friendly crew, unrivaled entertainment, delicious

food and fun atmosphere. To be able to infuse the Carnival experience on extended voyages, and also deliver special programming as we do with our Carnival Journeys cruises, is appealing to a growing number of our guests. Our message is that we’ve got something for everyone – whether you’re looking for that weekend getaway or you want to spend three weeks on board – and I do think that message is resonating.”

Travelweek: What is Carnival's longest cruise on offer now, and is there a 'sweet spot' for Carnival in terms of number of days for longer durations, and itineraries that work really well?

Stein: “Our longest cruise currently open for sale is a 31-day Carnival

Journeys cruise that sails this April. It’s a transpacific voyage on Carnival Luminosa from Brisbane, Australia to Seattle, Washington. She’ll also visit destinations like Tokyo and Hiroshima in Japan along the way, and then ports in Alaska as well. It’s a stellar itinerary. Carnival Luminosa’s repositions between her Australia and Alaska seasons give us the opportunity to create truly unique cruises.

“I wouldn’t say there’s a sweet spot of a longer cruise, or at least not from our standpoint. That’s why we offer different lengths, visiting different parts of the world. In fact, many of our Carnival Journey cruises are roundtrip itineraries from our homeports, allowing guests who may not have the flexibility to depart and arrive in different destinations or not wanting to take a long airplane flight home, to experience new destinations. Different guests have different preferences, and that’s why it’s important to us to ensure the Journeys program offers as much variety as possible.”

Travelweek: What sort of passengers take Carnival's longer duration sailings, and are there any surprising booking patterns with the longer duration sailings?

Stein : “We have some guests who will sail with us for months at a time on back-to-back cruises, and certainly the unique nature of the Carnival Journeys program gives even the more frequent cruisers a chance to stretch their sea legs a bit further. I think if there’s a throughline among the folks who choose longer sailings, as you can imagine, it’s that they love to cruise and love Carnival Cruise Line.”

Travelweek: Would Carnival ever consider a world cruise?

Stein : “At this time, it isn’t on our agenda. But years ago I might not have guessed we’d be offering several month-long sailings either, and we do, so I never say never to anything.” More information is at https://www.

TOP NEWS February 29, 2024 | TRAVELWEEK | 7


According to The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation, The Bahamas has surpassed all previous records, welcoming a total of 9,654,838 visitors in 2023. This represents a 38% increase over 2022 and a 33% increase compared to the previous record in 2019. The record-breaking results are underscored by a 17% increase in foreign air arrivals, for a total of 1,719,980 visitors compared to 1,470,244 in 2022. Sea arrivals also saw an unprecedented surge, with 7,934,858 visitors in 2023, up 43.5% from the 5,530,462 the previous year. Distribution has been even across its 16 islands, with New Providence attracting 4,441,540 visitors, Grand Bahama welcoming 559,812 visitors, and the Family Islands seeing 4,653,486 visitors.

Canadian tourism in Las Vegas, NV is the highest it’s been since pre-pandemic levels in 2019. In 2023, there were more than 1.4 million Canadians who travelled to Las Vegas, representing a 60% increase from 2022. Canadians make up nearly 30% of the share of international visitors to the destination, with Mexico in second at 23%. Over 52% of international visitors in Las Vegas are North American. Canadians can enjoy an array of new offerings, including Fontainebleau Las Vegas, completed in December 2023 and featuring 3,644 luxury hotel rooms and suites, 150,000 square feet of gaming space, restaurants and shops, pools, nightlife and a spa.

Germany’s inbound tourism is well on its way to recovering, says the German National Tourist Board, with 5.5 million international overnight stays in accommodations 10+ beds registered in November 2023, a 7.8% increase compared to the same month in 2022. The cumulative number of overnight stays by foreigners from January to November reached 74.9 million. This brings the incoming figures to 89.6% of the results for the same period in the previous record year of 2019. The share of foreign guests in the total number of overnight stays was 16.4% in the first 11 months, compared to 14.8% in the same period of the previous year. The country is expected to see a further boost in visitors this year and next due to key events, including the 250th anniversary of Caspar David Friedrich’s birth, the 35th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and Chemnitz being named the European Capital of Culture in 2025.

increase year-on-year.

Tourism revenue also rose to $54.3 billion, a 17% increase from the previous year. This year, the country is aiming to attract 60 million tourists and generate $60 billion in tourism income. Behind the country’s tourism success lies a forward-thinking approach to sustainability. In 2022, Turkey became the first country in the world to sign an agreement with the ‘Global Sustainable Tourism Council’ at a government level, resulting in the Türkiye Sustainable Tourism Program, which offers sustainable experiences and eco-friendly accommodations.

Turkey achieved record-breaking growth in 2023, welcoming 56.7 million international visitors, which marks a 10%

Asia continues to be the top trending spot for Canadians over spring break, says KAYAK, with a 14% increase in flight searches since last year. With overall airfare costs down 12% over 2023, now is the time to book. Top trending March Break destinations include Shanghai, China (207% YoY search increase), Hong Kong (91% YoY), Incheon, South Korea (56% YoY), Tampa, Florida (54% YoY), and Taipei City, Taiwan (35%YoY).


Economic headwinds too much for Lynx Air as it shuts down

TORONTO — Travel advisors have seen more than a few ultra low-cost carriers close up shop over the years but knowing the impact on travellers, and the employees soon out of work, it never gets any easier.

Following Lynx Air’s shutdown at 12:01 a.m. MT on Monday, Feb. 26, travel agents may be thinking of other failed ULCCs and LCCs like Canada 3000, Jetsgo, Greyhound Air, Roots Air, Harmony Airways and more.

With a few exceptions, like Canada 3000, ULCCs and LCCs aren’t typically a friend to travel agents, as they usually sidestep the agent distribution channel and commissions in favour of a cost-cutting B2C model.

But agents are impacted nevertheless when a low-cost carrier like Lynx Air shuts down.

There’s the blow to the airline industry’s reputation, plus more than a few travellers impacted by Lynx’s shutdown will be contacting travel agents looking for help.


the compounding financial pressures associated with inflation, fuel costs, exchange rates, cost of capital, regulatory costs and competitive tension in the Canadian market have ultimately proven too steep a mountain for our organization to overcome.

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce Lynx Air’s departure from the skies. We hope in our absence that our vision to inspire More Canadians to Fly leaves its mark our passengers.”

In a FAQ section on its site, Lynx said passengers with booked flights up until and including Feb. 25 are asked to check the carrier’s flight status page. “Our passengers are our priority, and to ensure we bring as many of our travellers home as possible, we will continue to operate the majority of our flights through this weekend. If your flight is cancelled, you will be notified via email.”

Lynx added: “If your flight is for travel from Monday, February 26 onward, you can contact your credit card company and they will refund your flight. Please note: Lynx Air’s contact centre will not be available to assist with refunds.”

Passengers who are currently in destination are asked to check their flight status, as Lynx will be operating most flights through to Monday, February 26. “If your flight is scheduled for after February 26, you will receive a flight cancellation notification and you will be able to get a refund for your flight through your credit card company. If you would like to move to a flight this weekend, reach out to our contact centre and they will do their best to assist you.”


In the wake of the news from Lynx, WestJet put out this statement:

“WestJet is aware that Lynx Air has initiated CCAA proceedings and the resulting news that Lynx intends to cease operations at 12:01 a.m. MT on Monday, February 26, 2024."

“We recognize the immediate impact this information has on passengers and employees of Lynx, and we are committed to assisting where we can through a number of actions:

• All travel: 25% discount, by using discount code WESTJET, on all economy cabin fares on non-stop WestJet routes previously served by Lynx, for travel between February 22, 2024, and October 26, 2024, booking to be made up until February 29, 2024.

• Canadian repatriation for transborder and sun: Fares are capped at $250 plus taxes and fees on all northbound economy cabin fares, on non-stop WestJet routes previously served by Lynx, for travel up until February 29, 2024, booking to be made before February 29, 2024.

• All domestic fares on nonstop WestJet routes previously served by Lynx, for travel up until February 29, 2024, will not exceed $500 plus taxes and fees. “All bookings should be made online through WestJet has managed pricing to ensure fares reflect a reduction from what would typically be charged."

“We are communicating closely with government officials and supporting agencies that are also working to address the needs of those impacted.”

In a message posted online, Lynx thanked travellers for their support. “It’s been a pleasure to offer you our affordable fares and great flying experience.”

The ultra low-cost carrier went on to say: “Tremendous work was put into the launch, growth and expansion of Lynx Air over the past two years …

February 29, 2024 | TRAVELWEEK | 9


Lynx announced its coming debut during the pandemic, in 2021, and took to the skies in April 2022. The ultra low-cost carrier, a relaunch of Calgary-based charter Enerjet, got its start just as travel was starting to pick up post-pandemic.

The last of Canada’s travel restrictions were falling to the wayside, and Canadians were ready to travel. The next two years saw unprecedented demand for airline travel, hotels, cruises and more.

After those first flights from Calgary to Vancouver, Lynx quickly expanded with more routes in Canada, and then the U.S.

In recent days industry watchers were anticipating a merger announcement between Lynx and one of its competitors, Flair Airlines.

Industry watchers were also on alert for the possible failure of one or more of Canada’s ULCCs in a very crowded field of competitors. In November 2023 Porter Airlines CEO Michael Deluce said “I don’t believe that the traction’s there” for all the ULCCs in the marketplace.

Those thoughts were shared by airline industry expert John Gradek.

In a January 2024 interview with Travelweek, Gradek shared this

insight amid intensifying fare wars: “The economics of such fare action will quickly be felt by those carriers with the weakest financial strength and I expect at least one, or potentially two, carriers not being able to withstand competitive pricing action, resulting in either consolidation or failure.”

On Feb. 21, the cruise line announced its immediate closure and the cancellation of all future cruises.

Meanwhile AQV’s parent company, Hornblower Group, is being acquired with millions of dollars in new equity investment.

“They ran it into the ground”:
Reaction to sudden closure of American Queen Voyages, plus TICO info

TORONTO — The post-pandemic rebound didn’t come soon enough for American Queen Voyages (AQV).

In connection with Hornblower Group’s new acquisition agreement, AQV will either be sold, or if a sale cannot be achieved, its operations will be wound down. In a statement issued the morning of Feb. 21, Hornblower said it is taking this action “because of the underperformance of AQV, which has not rebounded from the pandemic.”

Adam Peakes, President, Hornblower Group, told Travelweek that the financial impact from the pandemic has proven unsustainable. “It is most unfortunate that, despite great efforts by our team, crew and partners, AQV has been unable to fully rebound,” he said.

Peakes told Travelweek: “Please know this decision was not made lightly. We are deeply proud of our employees and crew for the outstanding services they have provided our guests over the years.”

He also praised AQV’s travel agent partners, among others. “We would also like to express our heartfelt gratitude to our guests, partners, agents and the local communities where we call who have each been integral to our journey. It's been a sincere privilege creating unforgettable experiences and lasting memories with all involved. Thank you for the support and understanding as we navigate through this transition.”

A statement from the company and FAQs can be found at

10 | TRAVELWEEK | January 25, 2024
People Discover the World’s Karen Evans retiring in March ANext month Karen Evans will be bidding adieu to the team at Discover the World, where she has worked for an amazing three decades. Joanne Lundy, Discover the World’s long-time owner, says she brought Evans onboard in 1994. “Karen has represented several of our top clients and many of you will know her for her work with BMI, LOT Polish Airlines and more recently with SATA Azores Airlines. Karen worked many years on marketing projects, sponsored events and golf tournaments on behalf of Star Alliance while representing LOT,” says Lundy. Evans will be succeeded in her role as National Sales Manager for SATA by her colleague Andrea Thornton.


Perk up their winter with Sunwing Vacations

If your clients want an unforgettable getaway that’s within budget and offers value-add experiences, our selection of adults only and family-friendly properties is a hole in one, featuring more resort perks like spa credits, room upgrades and Kids Stay, Play and Eat FREE.


In operation since 2011, with a focus on river sailings in the U.S. (and later in Costa Rica), AQV had carved out a strong niche, with its beautiful and historic fleet of paddlewheelers.

In early 2019 AQV acquired Victory Cruise Lines, known for their Great Lakes sailings. The M/V Victory I and M/V Victory II ships were renamed to Ocean Voyager and Ocean Navigator in 2021.

In June 2023 AQV announced its intentions to sell Ocean Navigator and Ocean Voyager. The move was part of a strategic decision to refocus its business on river cruises.


Despite AQV’s strong reputation in years past, the company had shown signs of distress recently, and there were some in the industry who saw this coming.

As one industry expert told Travelweek: “I was expecting AQV to close down … they ran it into the ground, and the issue is there is still a parent company (Hornblower Group) that could have paid its bills. Lots of travel advisors and clients will have to spend lots of time and effort trying to get compensation.”

A story in USA TODAY on Feb. 21 cites the cancellation of at least three AQV voyages earlier this year, and delayed commission payments.


Travelweek also reached out to TICO for their take.

Registrar Dorian Werda told Travelweek: “Consumers who are affected by the closure of American Queen Voyages and purchased their travel services from a TICO registered travel

agency or website may file a claim against the Ontario Travel Industry Compensation Fund. There is a legislated six-month filing deadline, which will be on August 21, 2024. There is a maximum claim limit of $5,000 per person and an event limit of $5 million. TICO will publish a closure advisory with the steps consumers need to take to file their claim. This information will be posted on TICO’s website and emailed to all registrants.


Travelweek asked AQV about travel advisor commissions, and was told that agents are asked to use the resources listed in the FAQ section at

For further information and FAQS: Additional information, including FAQs, is available at www.AQVinfo. com, or by calling toll-free (888) 2025784, or (747) 288-6437 for calls originating outside of the U.S. or Canada.

For refund submissions: “Hornblower has ensured that appropriate information and resources are available for AQV customers. For information about AQV refunds, please visit"

For TICO’s step-by-step instructions on how to file a claim against the Compensation Fund, turn to page 21.

Air Canada Vacations expands summer lineup

with more sun options

MONTREAL — Air Canada Vacations has unveiled its summer 2024 vacation lineup featuring new sun-soaked destinations and increased frequency and capacity to popular hotspots.

“For those seeking a summer getaway, Canadians will find packages tailored to their preferences and budgets, whether it's relaxing on a warm sandy beach, savoring local cuisine, embarking on an unforgettable adventure, or embracing all three, there’s something for everyone” said Nino Montagnese, Vice President, Air Canada Vacations.”

“With non-stop routes recently announced by Air Canada, the return of seasonal destinations as well as an increased capacity, customers will be able to book their next dream vacation with ease and can choose from our extensive collection of carefully selected hotels and resorts,” he added.

Here are some highlights of the summer season:

• Year-round sun destinations like Punta Canaa, Samana, Cancun, Montego Bay, Barbados, Nassau, Turks and Caicos and more.

• Additional frequency and capacity to Cancun, operating 3x/week with nonstop flights from Vancouver.

• Additional frequency and capacity to Liberia, Costa Rica from Toronto, now available with twice weekly service.

• Additional capacity from Montreal (YUL) to Las Vegas in response to high demand.

• New sun destinations including Grenada and Saint Vincent & the Grenadines. Air Canada offers convenient nonstop flights departing from Toronto to Grenada every Saturday starting April 6, and to Saint Vincent & the Grenadines every Sunday beginning April 7.

• New nonstop flights to Tulum from Toronto with Air Canada every Friday and Sunday starting May 3, and from Montreal every Saturday starting May 4, 2024.

12 | TRAVELWEEK | February 29, 2024 NEWS

• Disney Vacation packages featuring a choice of 29 resorts in Florida, California and Hawaii. For a limited time, travellers can enjoy savings of up to 25% for select Flight & Hotel packages to Orlando and California. Canadian residents also enjoy 20% off tickets to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Plus, travellers can benefit from their first checked bag free and more with Air Canada Vacations’ Vacation Promise. The offer is valid for bookings made from Feb. 5, 2024 to March 10, 2024, for travel until Sept. 28, 2024. Click here for more details.

To view Air Canada Vacations’ list of current and upcoming routes, click here.


expands 18-to-29s trip range to 35

TORONTO — Effective immediately, Intrepid trips previously labelled 18 to 29s will become available to travellers into their mid-30s.

The company says this expansion is part of its broader move to cater for next-generation travel, growing its trip range in 2024 to provide more enriching and local-led travel

opportunities for Gen Zs and Millennials.

In 2024, Intrepid introduced 15 new trips exclusive to this age range, including the 9-Day Essential Korea, Six Days in Iceland and One Week in Morocco.

Intrepid has seen a rise in enquiries from travelers in their early 30s wanting to join Intrepid’s young adult trips. The company conducted extensive consumer research which showed that most travellers aged 18 to 35 prefer to travel with those of a similar age.

The top three priorities were: unique cultural travel experiences, small-group size and best value for money. These were followed by a desire for more destinations and local leaders.

“When the average person thinks about travel for young adults, they picture massive groups, fast-paced itineraries, party-packed nights and touristy experiences,” says Intrepid’s General Manager of Global Product, Erica Kritikides. “This generation is more curious, climate-conscious and culturally connected than any other. Our experiences must match that.”

To see Intrepid’s full 18 to 35s trip range, visit https://www.intrepidtravel. com/18-35s.

Air Canada launches luxury motorcoach

landair connections

MONTREAL — Air Canada is hitting the ground running on a pilot project that links airports in Hamilton and Waterloo with Toronto Pearson by way of luxury motorcoaches.

The airline has partnered with The Landline Company to allow customers to book a single itinerary that combines luxury motorcoach service with Air Canada flights.

Now available for booking, the multimodal service will begin operating as a pilot project from John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport and the Region of Waterloo International Airport in May 2024, with the potential to expand it elsewhere in Canada in the future.

"Air Canada is focused on improving regional services and through this innovative partnership with The Landline Company, we are connecting communities and extending our network by offering customers a convenient, stress-free multimodal option," said Alexandre Lefevre, Vice President Network Planning, North America, and Scheduling, at Air Canada.

"Customers travelling between airports on Landline's premium motorcoaches will enjoy the same benefits as those making air-only connections, including the convenience of a single itinerary, through-checked baggage when departing Hamilton or Region of Waterloo, disruption protection and Aeroplan earning opportunities. We will look to further expand our regional network in Canada through our Landline partnership, as it also advances our sustainability programs by potentially removing tens of thousands of vehicles from the road each year,” Lefevre added.

Air Canada operates to 40 communities across Canada, including in partnership with regional carriers Jazz Aviation LP and PAL Airlines.

February 29, 2024 | TRAVELWEEK | 13

Through its new partnership with Landline, the airline is extending its regional network to connect local airports directly to its global network.


Landline will operate six, nonstop roundtrips daily to Toronto Pearson from each of the Hamilton and Region of Waterloo airports in southern Ontario. Air Canada customers beginning their journey at Hamilton or Region of Waterloo airports will check in as normal for their flight and obtain boarding passes for all segments of their trip.

At a designated departure point at the local airport, they will board a luxury, Air Canada-branded motorcoach and their checked baggage will be loaded. Upon arrival at Toronto Pearson, customers will proceed directly through security screening, while checked bags will be automatically transferred to the onward connecting flight.

In the event of coach or flight delays, customers travelling on Landline will be automatically offered the same protections as customers travelling on air-only itineraries. Members of Air Canada’s Aeroplan program will earn points for both ground and air segments, as on any normal connecting

flight itinerary. For more information go to


The motorcoaches used by Landline for Air Canada are made in Canada by Prevost, a manufacturer of touring coaches based in Sainte-Claire, Quebec. Each motorcoach features 36 leather seats in a two-by-one configuration, free Wi-Fi, power and a table tray at each seat, generous overhead storage for carry-on baggage, and an onboard lavatory. Announcements will be made in both English and French, plus coaches are fully accessible with a power lift for customers requiring mobility aids.

"We're very excited about this partnership between Air Canada and our customer Landline, and proud to be able to offer them the comfort and quality that Prevost is known for. These new coach routes will enable them to serve their passengers by providing safe transportation adapted to their needs. For us, this new partnership ensures a solution that meets the current and future needs of the airline industry by giving them the opportunity to connect more of their regional customers to their major hubs," said François Tremblay, president of Prevost and Volvo Group Canada.

Lots new at Trump International Beach Resort Miami

The independently owned and operated Trump International Beach Resort Miami on iconic Sunny Isles Beach in sunny South Florida is set to debut upgrades to its spa and restaurant areas this summer.

Renovations and recent offerings include new air-conditioned spa cabanas, renovated pool / beach cabanas, additional entertainment options, and a new look at the popular Gili’s Beach Club.

Plus, during the months of July and August, the resort is proud to take part in Miami Spa Months, offering guests special deals at its Aquanox Spa. And in August and September, the Miami Spice promotion includes the hotel’s Azzurro restaurant.

Trump International Beach Resort Miami is also excited to introduce their new Director of Sales, Melissa Burce. As a second-generation hotelier, Burce is looking to using her knowledge and background to lead the sales team to many successes in 2024.

“We are thrilled to have Melissa join our team and have welcomed her with open arms,” says Trump International Beach Resort’s Managing Director, Danny Williams. “Melissa has worked for both independent and international corporate brands, and being from a South Florida hotelier family, we are confident that her experience will enhance our team.”

See or call 305-692-5600.

14 | TRAVELWEEK | February 29, 2024 NEWS

Air Canada reports $184M Q4 profit, operating revenue up 11% from year earlier

With file from The Canadian Press

MONTREAL — Air Canada reported a fourth-quarter profit of $184 million, up from $168 million a year earlier, as its operating revenue rose 11 per cent.

The airline says the profit amounted to 41 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2023, compared with 41 cents per diluted share in the last three months of 2022.

Operating revenue totalled $5.18 billion, up from $4.68 billion in the fourth quarter of 2022.

The airline says the increase came as its operated capacity increased nine per cent compared with a year earlier.

“These results stem from the effective management, hard work and customer centric approach of everyone at Air Canada. I thank the entire team for their dedication as we safely transported more than 46 million passengers in 2023. The focus on operational improvements was evident as, even with the growth in traffic and ongoing

supply chain challenges, our key operational metrics and customer satisfaction improved year over year," said Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada.

"We also took important steps during the year to enable ourselves to continue performing consistently as we remain firmly committed to our plan and to enhancing our level of customer service, improving our operational reliability, strategically adding to our key hubs and network and growing profitably. We strengthened our balance sheet, reduced our debt and, despite the continuing macroeconomic and structural cost pressures on our industry, our unit costs were contained within our adjusted CASM guidance. Additionally, we will continue to expand Aeroplan, a key driver of customer loyalty that has doubled its membership to eight million members over the last five years,” he added.

Operating expenses increased eight per cent due to higher costs reflecting the increased capacity and traffic, partially offset by lower jet fuel prices.

On an adjusted basis, Air Canada says it lost 12 cents per diluted share in its latest quarter, compared with an adjusted loss of 61 cents per diluted share a year earlier.


ACTA voices concern over American Airlines’ new loyalty points policy

TORONTO — ACTA is “deeply concerned” about American Airlines’ new policy limiting loyalty points to direct bookings and preferred travel agency bookings.

ACTA President Wendy Paradis says the airline’s decision to limit traveller loyalty points accrual to direct bookings and a select group of travel agencies effectively marginalizes a vast number of travel agencies and travel advisors.

“This move undermines the principle of fair competition and creates an uneven playing field, disadvantaging both consumers and many travel agencies,” said Paradis. “ACTA strongly objects to the recent policy change announced by American Airlines regarding its AAdvantage miles and Loyalty Points program.”

Paradis noted that the American Airlines policy, announced earlier this week, states that effective May 1, 2024, only direct bookings with American Airlines and selected partner airlines, along with a specific list of ‘preferred travel agencies’, will qualify for earning traveller loyalty points.

“ACTA views this change as a significant departure from equitable business practices and a direct threat to the healthy competitive environment that has long benefited consumers and the travel industry alike,” said Paradis.

She added that ACTA is urging American Airlines to reconsider this policy change and work collaboratively with the entire travel agency community to foster a healthy, competitive environment that benefits all stakeholders.

February 29, 2024 | TRAVELWEEK | 15


Discover why days and nights are unpredictable at Palladium Hotel Group hotels. Join the entertainment and turn your stay into a memory that lasts forever. Book at PALLADIUMHOTELGROUP.COM


to an adventure tailored

to your joy”: Palladium Hotel Group

Palladium Hotel Group is ready to welcome guests to the best days of their year.

The company comprises many of the best and most-loved sun destination accommodation brands in the market, including Grand Palladium Hotels and Resorts, Palladium Hotels and TRS.

Last month Palladium Hotel Group proudly looked back on a very successful 2023, marked by prestigious awards and nominations from esteemed travel partners and delighted guests. The company has forged strategic alliances, anticipating exciting expansions, novel offerings, and rejuvenating refurbishments for 2024. These accolades solidify Palladium Hotel Group’s standing as a global hospitality leader, underscoring its unwavering dedication to guests, staff and travel collaborators.

2023 represented an important year for Palladium Hotel Group as the company celebrated the refurbishment completion of Grand Palladium

Jamaica Resort & Spa, in order to adapt to new design and decoration trends, enhance its hotel offerings in the destination, and continue offering an elevated experience to travelers from all over the world. Through its investment of US$27.5 million, the ambitious project has consisted of the refurbishment of 537 suites, as well as various common areas such as the lobby, one of its show-cooking restaurants, and one of its most iconic bars. Of the 537 refurbished rooms, there are two new spectacular categories that stand out in 48 suites with sea views: 40 Superior Junior Suite Private Pool Ocean View and 8 Superior Suite Private Pool Oceanfront View.

As the company itself says, “Welcome to an exclusive stay in paradisiacal beaches and avant-garde cities. Where every day you will live an endless number of moments designed to make you smile throughout your entire stay. Wake up in destinations where entertainment lives. Where everything is designed for you and every

moment will become a new memory.”

Choices abound, and they’re all can’t-miss: “Do you want to spend the day at the beach? Or to enjoy the afternoon at the pool with your children? Do you want to take a tennis lesson? Do you want to taste the flavors of a Michelin Star? Want to dance the night away? Or delight yourself with the best sunsets? We have everything that you are looking for. And even more. Because entertainment is endless in our hotels. Explore the most exquisite flavours, embrace the most intimate encounters and delight yourself with every toast, every song and every smile.”

Guests can recharge their energy, discover new adventures and create more and more unforgettable moments, says Palladium Hotel Group. “Every second of your stay is unique. And we make sure that those incredible moments last forever.”

More details are at

February 29, 2024 | TRAVELWEEK | 17


Make Waves at America’s Beachiest Beach

With 60 miles of wide-open beaches and more than 2,000 restaurants to choose from, there’s a reason we’re known to Americans simply as The Beach.

Visit for the 63rd annual Can-Am Days, March 9 – 17, and get deals on accommodations and attractions during your trip.

Scan to start planning your trip.

Special events on tap for Can-Am Days in Myrtle Beach in 2024

The 63rd annual Can-Am Days will take place from March 9-17, 2024, with special deals and events for Canadians.

It’s a prime week to visit, and even better, most deals extend throughout the year.

Myrtle Beach hosts Can-Am Days every March, with savings and special happenings for Canadians, allowing Canadian visitors to reconnect with loved ones, and mix and mingle with the locals, all while enjoying refreshments and live entertainment. The Can-Am Days welcome event, held at the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, is a perennial favourite.

Why do Canadians love Myrtle Beach so much? The Can-Am Days promotion is a big draw, but this beach favourite attracts Canadians year round. “Canadians are our #1 international visitors to the area. With our close proximity, Myrtle Beach is incredibly accessible via airplane and car. A majority of Canadian visitors can drive to the Grand Strand in a day or less,” says Karen Riordan, President and CEO, Visit Myrtle Beach.

Of course the destination is also reached easily by plane, with service from Canadian cities including

Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City.

Riordan adds that Canadian visitors to Myrtle Beach stay on average much longer than most of Myrtle Beach’s other visitors, with stays typically leading in at 7-10 days, all the way up to several months for visiting Snowbirds.

Nicknamed ‘The Beach,’ Myrtle Beach boasts 100 kilometres of coastline with beautiful beaches and a recently renovated mile-long Boardwalk. It’s an ideal destination for families looking for high-energy all-ages fun, couples booking a romantic getaway; or older travellers who want a warm and social vacation.

No matter their age or demographic, Canadians love visiting Myrtle Beach for the golfing, the beach, dining, shopping and the attractions, like Barefoot Landing, Broadway at the Beach, Ripley’s Aquarium and the Broadway Grand Prix.

The 187-foot glass SkyWheel on the Boardwalk is a must-see for all visitors, offering panoramic ocean views. It’s a big hit at sunrise and sunset and for wedding proposals,

gender reveals or being lit in red to welcome Canadians during Can-Am Days.

Shopping is plentiful, at Broadway at the Beach, Barefoot Landing, The Market Common and Tanger Outlet Mall.

Myrtle Beach also boasts a thriving live music and live entertainment scene, several theatre venues and an array of annual festivals, not to mention sporting events. Plus there are 2,000+ restaurants, many offering fresh seafood caught right off the coast. Regional favourites include shrimp and grits and hook-to-plate seafood.

Myrtle Beach has a free visitors guide (English and French) featuring everything one needs to know about planning a visit to Myrtle Beach. For details see guide. For more destination information visit

Myrtle Beach is represented in Canada by Pulse Travel Marketing

February 29, 2024 | TRAVELWEEK | 19


2024-2026 Luxury Yacht Cruises

luxury yacht

A new dimension in cruising

Experience Emerald Cruises’ award-winning reputation and service as you sail the world’s oceans and coastlines on board our two luxury yachts, Emerald Azzurra and the brand-new Emerald Sakara.

Our yachts are custom-designed to allow exclusive access to fascinating ports and harbours that only small vessels can reach, providing up to 100 guests with a unique cruising experience.

Whether you prefer to head off the beaten track or immerse yourself in cosmopolitan life, an Emerald Cruises luxury yacht cruise gives you the freedom to explore.

For full booking terms and conditions, visit © EMERALD CRUISES | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED | BC CONSUMER PROTECTION #40178 Exclusive offers available. Visit to learn more.

Luxury yacht events with Scenic Eclipse and Emerald for agents, clients

VANCOUVER — Emerald Cruises and Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours are hosting exclusive yacht events in Ontario this March, for both travellers and travel advisors.

The events will give agents and their clients a look at Emerald Cruises’ modern luxury and Scenic Cruises’ ultra-luxury yacht cruises for 2024, 2025 and 2026, highlighting new destinations including Seychelles and the Indian Ocean, additional voyages to Europe and the Med, the Adriatic Sea, the Caribbean, Antarctica, and beyond, as well as experiences, excursions and inclusions.

Attendees will hear from Claudius Docekal, VP Ocean Deployment, while enjoying complimentary light canapés accompanied by a flute of Prosecco.


March 5

Kimpton Saint George

Emerald Cruises presentation: 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. (doors open 10:30 a.m.)

Scenic Eclipse presentation: 1 - 2 p.m. (doors open 12:30 p.m.)


March 6

The Pearle Hotel & Spa

Emerald Cruises presentation: 2 - 3 p.m. (doors open 1:30 p.m.)

Scenic Eclipse presentation: 7 - 8 p.m. (doors open 6:30 p.m.)


March 7

Glenerin Inn & Spa

Emerald Cruises presentation: 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. (doors open 10:30 a.m.)

Scenic Eclipse presentation: 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. (doors open 2 p.m.)

Space is limited. Registration is open for both travellers and travel agents.

For the Scenic Eclipse Ultra-Luxury Yacht Cruising event, register at

For the Emerald Cruises Luxury Yacht event, register at

TICO provides step-bystep claims instructions amid AQV closure

TORONTO — TICO has provided further instructions for impacted consumers following recent news about the closure of American Queen Voyages.

As reported by Travelweek on, Feb. 21, consumers affected by the closure and who purchased their travel services from a TICO-registered travel agency or website may file a claim against the Ontario Travel Industry Compensation Fund. “The deadline to file is Aug. 21, 2024, with a maximum claim limit of $5,000 per person and an event limit of $5 million,” Registrar Dorian Werda told Travelweek.

TICO has since issued a closure advisory for American Queen Voyages, which filed for Chapter 11 to conduct its business shutdown. All

future cruises have been cancelled.

The cruise line, which primarily offered cruises in North America, has outlined a three-step process for consumers to follow in order to receive refunds from Argo Surety. More information about the refund process can be found at and

As it is not known how long the Argo Surety consumer claims process will take or what the level of reimbursement may be, TICO is advising consumers to file a claim with the Ontario Travel Industry Compensation Fund at the same time to avoid missing the claim filing deadline of Aug. 21, 2024.


Consumers who purchased American Queen Voyages travel services from a TICO-registered travel agency or website, and did not receive their travel services due to the closure of the cruise line, may file a claim with the Compensation Fund for reimbursement.

Consumers may request a claim form on TICO’s website or by contacting TICO at 1-888-451-8426 or More information about the Compensation Fund can be found at overview.

There is a legislated six-month filing deadline for claims on the Compensation Fund. The filing deadline is Aug. 21, 2024. Claims received at TICO after the filing deadline will not be valid. The legislation requires claimants to

February 29, 2024 | TRAVELWEEK | 21

explore all other possible options for reimbursement as part of the claims process.

Should claimants not be able to obtain all the required supporting documentation to substantiate their claim in a timely manner, they can submit their claim to TICO with as much supporting information as possible prior to the filing deadline on Aug. 21. Additional documentation can be submitted when it is obtained to avoid missing the deadline.

1. Credit Cards:

• All consumers who paid by credit card and were charged by the cruise line should contact their credit card company to request a chargeback (refund).

• If their credit card company refuses to provide them with a refund,

they will be required to obtain a letter from the credit card company stating that a credit refund will not be issued.

• The letter from the credit card company must be submitted with their claim against the Compensation Fund.

• If they are unable to obtain a refund (chargeback) from their credit card company or obtain all the documentation required to substantiate their claim in a timely manner, they can submit their claim form to TICO prior to the deadline date.

22 | TRAVELWEEK | February 29, 2024 NEWS

• Any additional documentation that is required to complete the claim can be sent to TICO when it is obtained.

2. Travel insurance:

•Consumers who have travel insurance must make a claim with their insurance company.

• If the claim is refused, they must provide written proof of refusal of their claim.

• If they are unable to obtain a reimbursement from their travel insurance company or obtain all the documentation required to substantiate their claim in a timely manner, they can submit their claim form to TICO prior to the deadline date.

• Any additional documentation that is required to complete the claim can be sent to TICO when it is obtained.

3. Argo Surety consumer claims process:

• As there is a surety consumer claims process for American Queen Voyages, consumers must file a claim through the process listed on this website

• TICO recommends filing a claim with the Compensation Fund at the same time as the Argo Surety consumer claim to ensure consumers don’t miss the filing deadline.

• Any additional documentation that is required to complete the claim can be sent to TICO when it is obtained.


Consumers who have a future travel credit/voucher issued by American Queen Voyages that has not been redeemed should note the following:

• Unredeemed future travel credits, vouchers or similar documents issued

by a cruise line for future travel are not eligible for reimbursement from the Compensation Fund. These consumers may wish to contact Argo Surety to determine if they have eligibility as part of their claims process.


Those who purchased other travel services (ie. airfare to/from the cruise port, hotel before/after the cruise, etc.) from a registered Ontario travel agency or website should note the following:

• Payments for travel services such as airfare, ground transportation, hotel expenses, or other travel services that are still available to be received are not eligible for reimbursement from the Compensation Fund.


Consumers who purchased American Queen Voyages travel services from a travel agency located outside of Ontario or directly from American Queen Voyages should note that,

unfortunately, there is no provision under Ontario Regulation 26/05 of the Travel Industry Act, 2002 for a consumer to claim on the Compensation Fund when they purchased travel services from a travel agency outside of Ontario or directly from the supplier. These consumers may wish to explore eligibility to file a claim through the Argo Surety consumer claims process ( or

For more information, contact TICO at 1-888-451-8426 or (905) 624-6241 or TICO can review a consumer’s circumstances and offer guidance on whether they may have an eligible claim against the Compensation Fund.

Porter to launch new seasonal Toronto PearsonQuebec City route

TORONTO — Starting this spring Porter Airlines will offer daily, roundtrip service between Toronto-Pearson and Québec City.

The new flights linking Quebec City


Jean Lesage International Airport and Toronto Pearson start May 17.

Service is initially planned as seasonal. The new route is so far scheduled to run until Oct. 26.

This service complements existing Porter flights between Québec City and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Through Toronto Pearson, the new route will connect to Western Canada destinations including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg.

“This new service will more than double our capacity between Toronto and Québec City, and gives passengers more opportunities to choose our elevated economy experience on the route. Being able to choose flights at Billy Bishop and Pearson demonstrates the range of choice that travellers have when flying to and from Toronto, with Porter having significant presence at both airports,” says Kevin Jackson, President, Porter Airlines. From YYZ, flights depart at 9 a.m., arriving at YQB at 10:25 a.m. On the return leg, flights depart YQB at 11:20 a.m., arriving at YYZ at 12:53 p.m.

G Adventures shares trends, new Geluxe destinations and more at agent gala

TORONTO — On the heels of a record-breaking January, G Adventures held a splashy event for travel trade, agency partners and media at Toronto’s landmark Fairmont Royal York Hotel last week.

It was an event dubbed ‘An Evening with G Adventures & Friends’, where agency partners and Ontario’s top 100 selling agents were invited to join the prestigious appreciation

evening that included a serenade by an electronic violinist during the cocktail networking session, followed by exciting product updates and a delicious three-course dinner.

Some of those ‘friends’ in tow, destination partners marking the occasion and sharing a few of their highlights, were PromPeru, Brand USA, Pro Colombia, Visit Portugal and Jordan Tourism Board.

As the evening’s brouhaha ramped up, multi-trip giveaways found their way to a few lucky agents ranging from seven-day highlights of Portugal to nine-day hiking in Utah’s Mighty Five itinerary, courtesy of Air Canada and Brand USA.

“Sustainable,life-changing, immersive, authentic, community, experience and Canadian – these are all words travellers used when asked to describe G Adventures,” shared Hilary Arsenault, G Adventures’ GPS for Quebec and the Maritimes.

“We’re proud to hear that they’re using all the same words to describe our adventures; that’s big win for us,” added Arsenault.


So, what are some of the key findings G is seeing today?

“No surprise, but it’s time to catch up on the travel bucket list with people booking longer trips, travelling more frequently and spending more money,” shared Erin Rogers, G Adventures’ National Sales Manager.

Travellers also care more about supporting local people and businesses,

prefer to travel solo, and an impressive 42.3% of travellers are repeaters, added Rogers.

Interestingly enough, a company that initially started with youth travel has slowly experienced a shift to their largest age demographic of 6069, currently making up 24% of its total travellers.

More notably, women make up 65% of travellers and drive solo travel at 42%.

There is also an uptick in specific destinations.

Portugal is up 33% compared to the previous year, and G Adventures has seen a surge in bookings to Japan, reporting a 134% increase, with the trend expected to continue.


G Adventures’ newest brand of premium active trips boasting one-of-akind accommodations and elevated dining experiences has added an exciting roundup of 10 new countries and 17+ itineraries coming this year.

Geluxe phase two will include exotic destinations to Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, the Galapagos islands, Iceland, India, Kenya, Portugal, Tanzania, and Turkey, with booking available on March 5.

In addition, a special VIP offer will launch the following day with a savings of $350 per person. The offer will apply to bookings from March 6 to April 30.

Group travel keeps getting better and better. G Adventures provides

24 | TRAVELWEEK | February 29, 2024 NEWS
For more information, please contact your preferred travel partner, visit PALLADIUMHOTELGROUP.COM or call 1.866.685.8524 DOMINICAN REPUBLIC EVERYTHING FOR YOU. Guests of Grand Palladium Hotels & Resorts located on the shores of the Dominican Republic’s best beaches are offered all-inclusive luxury with options for guests of all ages. Whether you are enjoying one of the numerous restaurants with varied international cuisine, cooling off in the award-winning pools or relaxing on the picturesque beaches, these hotels make the ideal vacation for singles, couples and families. With Infinite Indulgence® , it’s all included.
PUNTA CANA Dominican Republic

the perfect option for clients who crave adventure but also want the comfort of travelling with people they know.

Some exciting changes surrounding private group policy have sweetened the deal, making booking private groups even easier.

New to G is 50% off the 8th traveller or FOC spot for the 12th travellers on most departures, access to in-market promotions on duplicate departures, and now only four travellers to guarantee a trip on duplicate departures (the confirmed travellers remain at the original group rate).

“We love our travel agents. We can’t do what we do without you. You are the best of the best in Ontario,” expressed David Green, G Adventures Managing Director, with his closing remarks as the evening wrapped up.

Consortia leaders rave about Egypt on recent Goway trip

TORONTO — Goway and the Egyptian Tourism Authority recently teamed up to host travel consortia leaders on a guided fact-finding trip to Egypt.

Led by Renee Stanton-Defaria, Goway’s Director of Sales, the group hit all the high notes of the destination, exploring the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Sphinx, venturing through the souks of Old Cairo, and cruising the Nile River to discover tombs and temples along the banks of the river. Despite recent conflict in the Middle East, Goway assures travellers that Cairo, the pyramids in Giza and the Nile River are far from any conflict zones.

“Egypt is undeniably a safe country and the locals are earnestly seeking peace. At no point did I feel unsafe during my visit. I highly recommend advising your clients to consider booking a trip to Egypt at this very moment. Not only are there

fewer crowds, but the USD to Egyptian pounds exchange rate is currently at an all-time high, making the vacation exceptionally great value,” says Stanton-Defaria.

Feedback from consortia leaders was overwhelmingly positive following the trip, with many raving about the country’s hospitality and safety.

“The warmth and hospitality of the Egyptian people, the cultural and historical significance of the places we visited, the knowledge and storytelling abilities of the guides and Egyptologists, and the deliciousness and freshness of the food easily puts Egypt in my top five travel experiences of all time,” says Karryn Christopher, EVP Marketing & Preferred Partnerships for Signature Travel Network. “It’s an excellent choice for all types of group travel.”

Sean Tolkin, VP World Travel Holdings, adds that Egypt is often misunderstood: “It’s safe, it’s friendly and the infrastructure is incredible. The sites are very well-protected and pictures cannot do them justice.”

Noting that safety was never an issue on the trip, Cece Drummond, VP Supplier Relations for Travelsavers/ NEST, says: “Egypt is a fantastic bucket list destination for travellers. While there is some concern about global unrest in the region, travellers should not wait to visit this area of the world. Go now before the crowds return and costs increase.”

For more information about this recent trip to Egypt, visit Goway Agent

Contiki to launch Leap Year promotion on Feb. 29

CYPRESS, CA — An extra day in February this year means extra savings with Contiki.

The social travel brand, which specializes in 18-35-year-old travel, is offering a discount of 29% as part of its

special Leap Year promotion.

The discount applies to 29 selected departures and will only be available to the first 29 travellers per departure who can locate the hidden departures on Contiki’s website. Eagle-eyed travellers will need to hunt through Contiki’s 200+ trips around the world to find the select departure dates tagged with the words ‘TAKE THE LEAP.’

The launch takes place on Feb. 29 at 12:01 a.m. EST, and will only be available for 29 hours.

Contiki’s full range of 200+ trips across six continents can be viewed at

Destination France 2024 roadshow delights Toronto and GTA agents

TORONTO — The Destination France 2024 tour, featuring 23 French and local exhibitors, had a successful outing on Feb. 20 in Toronto at the Sheraton Centre Hotel.

More than 80 travel advisors turned out for the event, which featured a detailed presentation on France’s Occitanie region, workshop and networking opportunities, a cocktail hour and an awards ceremony with door prizes.

The Consul General of France in Toronto, Mr. Bertrand Pous, was on hand at the event to meet and greet with exhibitors and travel professionals.

Destination France 2024 showcased the many major events taking place in France this year, including:

• The 150th anniversary of Impressionism (Paris, Normandy)

• The 80th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy (Normandy)

• Olympic and Paralympic Games

26 | TRAVELWEEK | February 29, 2024 NEWS

(all of France)

• The reopening of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on Dec. 8

Atout France is a key player in achieving the ambitious objectives of the Destination France Plan, which was launched by the French President. In addition to the redesign of the Distinction Palace, the renewal of Atout France’s websites (B2B and B2C) and its brand, the agency has teamed up with Netflix (France) for an image campaign linked to television productions shot in France.

After an overall prolific year in 2023, Mélanie Paul-Hus, Director of Atout France’s Canadian office, thanked the industry for its enthusiasm for Destination France’s projects, and for having contributed to a vigorous recovery in Ontario and across Canada for the marketing of French destinations.

Air Canada, the official airline partner of the roadshow, promoted its direct seasonal winter service from Toronto to Fort-de-France, Martinique, as well as its seasonal summer Montreal-Nice service, year-long Montreal-Toulouse and Toronto-Paris and the restart of the Montreal-Lyon flights. New air-rail connections in France, thanks to the collaboration with SNCF and its subcontractor AccessRail provide access to itineraries combining flight and train throughout France.

Air Canada’s Yazdan Bakhtiary, Manager Regional Sales - Toronto, spoke of Air Canada’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality in all its operations by 2050. Bakhtiary also highlighted ACV’s France vacation packages.

An extensive presentation by the Occitanie region included its five partners: Toulouse airport, Carcassonne Patrimoine Mondial, Destination Pyrénées, Uzès Tourism office and Cité Hôtels Groupe.

Later in the evening, the Destination France 2024 Product of the Year award was presented to Patricia Fargeon, President of Planet France, who won return flights to France with Air Canada.

The Atout France team and its partners then travelled to Calgary and

Vancouver to meet up with tourism professionals from Western Canada.

More information about the Destination France 2024 roadshow, including a full list of partners, can be found at: en/page/accueil/

Savings, incentive with Expedia TAAP Spring Sale

TORONTO — The Expedia TAAP Spring Sale gives travel agents access to at least 25% off thousands of hotels globally for most popular travel destinations.

The new sale also includes bookto-win incentives for Expedia TAAP’s agent partners.

The sale applies to bookings made Feb. 20 - March 25, 2024, and valid for travel until May 31, 2024.

During this window Expedia TAAP agents also can participate in the Spring Raffle. Every booking made earns agents an entry into the raffle, offering them the opportunity to win one of five prizes ranging from Cdn$200 to $1,000 in gift cards.

Agents can also join the Florida Booking Challenge. To win a package trip for two, agents have to book the highest combined total value of eligible hotel bookings, including taxes and fees, in Florida. The incentive

trip includes roundtrip airline tickets, a four-night stay at the Sunseeker Resort Charlotte Harbor and rental car. The prize is sponsored by VISIT FLORIDA.

Expedia TAAP works with over 100,000 travel agents globally, offering an inventory that includes more than three million properties, 220,000 activities, 120 car rentals, and 500 airlines airlines. Savings, incentive with Expedia TAAP Spring Sale.

Exodus turns 50 with the launch of 50 Epic Adventures

TORONTO — Exodus Adventure Travels is celebrating its golden anniversary with the launch of a special collection of 50 Epic Adventures.

On sale at up to 15% off until March 5, 2024, this diverse assortment of trips hosted by the B-Corp certified tour operator, features thrilling experiences across continents, expert local guides and a range of itineraries for every type of adventurer.

Highlights of the 50 Epic Adventures include: Walk The Prosecco Hills & Hidden Venice, during which guests will sip award-winning bubbly in the UENSCO-listed Prosecco Hills; Cycling Croatia's Dalmatian Coast, which combines sightseeing and cycling while island-hopping;

February 29, 2024 | TRAVELWEEK | 27 NEWS
Fr i d ay , M a y 1 7 , 202 4 SAVE THE DATE
Watch for more information
Glen Abbey Golf Course

Mont Blanc Highlights, during which guests will take in snow-capped mountain views while alpine walking along France’s Mont Blanc Circuit; and Iceland Northern Lights, which highlights the country’s bubbling geysers, waterfalls and volcanos in one weekend.

The ’50 Epic Adventures’ promotion is available on departures now through Dec. 31, 2024.

TourRadar unveils Radar Rendezvous incentive for top selling agents

TORONTO — TourRadar is introducing Radar Rendezvous, a brand new travel

advisor incentive for 2024.

TourRadar, known as the world’s first adventure booking platform, is launching Radar Rendezvous as a big thank you for its agent partners, after a year of record-breaking sales.

Says the company: “TourRadar is turning the spotlight on those who played a direct role in its success. Radar Rendezvous is its magnum opus – a grand gesture of appreciation for the travel agents who consistently fuel TourRadar’s growth.”


The centerpiece of the Radar Rendezvous incentive is an exclusive, expenses-paid South African adventure, scheduled for Sept. 8 - 18, 2024.

For an opportunity to take part, from Jan. 16 to March 22, every passenger booked on a TourRadar adventure earns the travel agent a point.

After the 10-week period ends, the top five agents holding the most points will secure a spot on the South African adventure.

Booking a passenger on an adventure that includes at least one overnight in South Africa or booking a passenger with participating operator ATC (member of TUI Group) counts as two points.

The South Africa incentive trip includes international and domestic flights, excursions with expert local guides, and one-of-a-kind experiences, from Cape Town to Kruger National Park.

Agents can start earning points immediately by booking passengers on TourRadar adventures.

Travel advisors can also unlock exclusive agent discounts on adventures with TourRadar.

For inquiries and assistance, reach out to TourRadar at agents@tour

February 29, 2024 | TRAVELWEEK | 29 NEWS


Become a Polar Expert eLearning program

As the Leader in Polar Adventures, we explore the Polar Regions differently from everyone else. When you travel with Quark Expeditions, you’re exploring alongside the most experienced polar experts on Earth, setting foot where few ever will, and doing what few ever dream.

Welcome to Martinique! eLearning program

With its natural beauty, fascinating history, rich culture, and welcoming people, the island of Martinique is a jewel of the French Caribbean. We’ve gathered all of the information you need to get to know and love Martinique. We look forward to welcoming you and your clients soon! Explore the Isle of Flowers and become a Martinique specialist today.

Become a Lauderdale Loyalist eLearning program

To help you learn more about Greater Fort Lauderdale’s exceptional offerings, Visit Lauderdale invites you to become a Lauderdale Loyalist. When you join this free program, you’ll have access to ready-made sales presentations, promotional materials, insider tips and promotions, and much more.


Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.