Lisa McLean, Contiki; John Boulding & Cris David, Insight Vacations;
Jeff Element, The Travel Corporation Canada; Doug Patterson, Trafalgar Tours
Pam De Haan & Paul Foster, Tripcentral.ca; Rita Polegri, Transat Distribution Canada;
Dave McCaig & Heather Craig-Peddie, ACTA
Anju Bliss, V.com; Penny Martin, Travel Professional International; Christine James & Linda Khanna, V.com
l-r: Doug Patterson, President Trafalgar Tours Canada; John Boulding, President/CEO Insight Vacations;
Juan Carlos Munoz Sanchez and
Javier Fernandez-Mellado Gallego, Tourist Office of Spain; Cris David, President Insight Vacations Canada
Picking a venue isnâ€™t easy when youâ€™re launching the distinct products of three prominent escorted touring companies. But Torontoâ€™s elegantly restored Palais Royale fit the bill perfectly for The Travel Corporation and its Trafalgar Tours, Insight Vacations and Contiki Holidays brands.
As a former dance hall where couples swayed to the sounds of big bands like Duke Ellington and Count Basie, the Palais Royale ideally complemented Trafalgar Tours as it unveiled a whole new brand profile at the event, featuring graphic hearts and the tagline â€˜Rediscover the Romance of Travel.â€™Â
The Art Deco stylings of the lakeside building blended perfectly with Insight Vacationâ€™s graphic look and enduring invitation to venture in the spirit of the â€˜Golden Age of Travel.â€™
And what about youth touring specialist Contiki Holidays — many of its passengers may have never heard of Count Basie? The Palais Royale has that covered too: in recent years it has played host to bands that many of the travel agents, tour operator and tourist board representatives may never have heard of, like Sigur Ros, Sloan and Godspeed You Black Emperor!
The three brands each presented their highlights for 2010. Trafalgar has its new look, along with a very professional six-minute movie that will give your potential clients a real feel for the escorted touring experience. For Insight, the 2010 highlight is Select, a new program offering the benefits of escorted touring but tailored to independent-minded travellers. And coming off a 2009 that defied the economic gloom, Contiki Holidays is promising its young guests â€˜moreâ€™ in 2010, with more trips and departures, more included extras and more savings, with trips starting at $89 per person, per day.
Insight Vacations Managing Director John Boulding travelled from Guernsey for the launch and subsequent events in Victoria and Vancouver. TravCorp Canada President Jeff Element, Trafalgar Tours President Doug Patterson, Insight Vacations Canada President Cris David and Contiki Canada National Marketing Manager and acting President Lisa McLean welcomed guests.
Many TravCorp Canada top producers were on hand for the evening, which featured a diverse and delicious buffet reflecting the international destinations of the hosts. The Spanish National Tourist Office supplied fine Rioja wines for the meal, while representatives of VisitBritain and Tourism Ireland were also on hand.
Ontarioâ€™s retail community was well represented at the Palais Royale, including Ross & Trish McTavish from McTavish Travel, Ensembleâ€™s Chris Lackstrom, Jason Dusautoy and Carol Cooper from FlightCentre,Â Meg Murgatroyd and Pina Malfara from CAA, Brenda Kyllo from Merit, Joanne Thachuk from Travel Sensations, Pamela Murphy from Sears Travel, TDCâ€™s Tanya Sampson and Advantage Travelâ€™s Doreen Lynch.