The travel industry is giving travel advisors everywhere a collective standing ovation today (May 4) to mark Travel Agent Day, an annual day of recognition that takes place on the first Wednesday of May.
Travel agents and agencies, throughout time, and especially since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, have proven themselves to be remarkably resilient, resourceful, strong and courageous in the face of adversity.
COVID revealed to travellers the true value of working with travel agents when pursuing their travel dreams.
This is what inspired Pax Global Media to display superhero-themed banners on our websites and newsletter today in celebration of Travel Agent Day.
To our travel advisor readers, we saw how the COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on you – personally, financially, and emotionally. It's still taking a toll as we work together to rebuild our industry.
As travel came to a near halt, and as travel restrictions changed constantly, we talked to you on a daily basis. We listened to you to better understand what you were going through.
After all that has happened, you, members of the Canadian travel advisor community, saved the day. We salute you!
You are superheroes in our books.
Travel Agent Day was founded by Colleen Lorenzen of Uniglobe Carefree Travel in Saskatoon, Sask, twelve years ago. (You can join the official Facebook group here).
And since then, the day has evolved into a globally-recognized event, lasting an entire month in some circles, bringing together travel pros from all corners of the industry.
Here’s how some trade groups, tourism boards and suppliers are celebrating Travel Agent Day 2022.
During Travel Agent Appreciation Month in May, travel agents can enter Air Canada's weekly contest called “Your Turn to Travel” for the chance to win exciting prizes such as Business Class tickets, an all-inclusive package, Aeroplan points and more.
"At Air Canada, we're proud to work with you, our travel agent partners, every single day," reads a company statement.
For more information, click here.
The Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA)
“There has never been more reason to take a moment and celebrate travel agents as there is today,” said ACTA in a new release on Wednesday. “Travel agents have never faced so much adversity as in the past 25 months – yet they have worked tirelessly for their clients, advocated for support over and over again, and now travel agents are finally seeing the return of travel.”
ACTA invites agents to take a moment to connect on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) or visit acta.ca/travelagentday to learn how ACTA is celebrating travel agent day and the amazing prizes that are up for grabs courtesy of Air Canada and Sandals Resorts.
The following Travel Agent Day video has been produced by ACTA with travel agents in mind.
Five lucky Canadian Travel Agents will be randomly selected to win one of four prizes:
- 2 system-wide, Air Canada economy class tickets
- One – four-night prize to any Sandals/Beaches Resort
- One complimentary Independent Travel Agent Membership
- One complimentary enrollment to Travel Agent Essentials Course
- One complimentary enrollment into an ACTA's Certified Travel Counsellor (CTC) Course
To qualify you must:
- Follow @ACTACanada and/or @ACTAQuebec
- Like its Travel Agent Day post
- Tag a fellow Travel Agent in the comments (Every comment = 1 entry)
- Share this in your story. You must tag @actacanada/@actaquebec for 5 extra entries
The last day to enter the contest will be Wednesday, May 25 at 11:59 pm EST.
The winner will be announced in ACTA's member newsletter and on ACTA’s social feed on Friday, June 3rd. This contest is only open to Canadian travel agents.
For those looking for some social media inspiration, the ACTA social media toolkit offers beautiful graphics and captions to make it easy to share your message.
The AMR Collection is kicking off travel agent appreciation month with the company’s annual “Amazing May” celebration.
The company continues to reward agents for their dedication to their portfolio with a variety of incentives that include a one million AMRewards points giveaway, reduced rates on AMRewards points stays, special Master Agent rates, tour operator incentives, and upskilling sessions featuring newly opened resorts, including Secrets Moxché Playa del Carmen and Dreams Karibana Cartagena Golf & Spa Resort.
"Five years ago, we created Amazing May to show our appreciation for the heart of our industry, our travel advisors," said Mary Ellen Burke, national director of sales, AMResorts. "AMR Collection strives to continue enhancing and expanding programs, incentives and resources to better serve these important partners. This year's programming is a direct reflection of that commitment, and we are grateful to be able to show our appreciation for their loyalty."
This year, AMR Collection is offering the following perks:
One million AMRewards Points Giveaway: Travel agent partners can earn points at AMR Collection Amazing May Webinars, events, in-person meetings and visits, and through participating tour operators. Points can be used to redeem free stays, purchase resort amenities for themselves or to surprise their clients, or receive a cash bonus.
Master Agent Rates and Reduced AMRewards Points for Resort Stays: Travel agents can book stays at participating AMR Collection resorts with discounted Master Agent rates and reduced points stays for AMR Collection, with the ability to save up to 4,050 points per night on their AMRewards points bookings and up to 25% off Master Agent rate bookings.
Upskilling Sessions: Two webinars will be held in the month of May, showcasing new resorts in the portfolio featuring interactive site inspections and activities across the portfolio. Registration for these webinars is available on AMRAgents.com.
First webinar – May 5, 2022: The first webinar will feature five travel agents that won the opportunity to appear, and each agent will be at one of five select resorts in the AMR™ Collection portfolio. This will include a first look of AMR Collection’s newest resort, Secrets® Moxché Playa del Carmen with a chance to win a complimentary stay for two.
Second webinar – May 26, 2022: Broadcasting live from Dreams Karibana Cartagena Golf & Spa Resort, the final webinar will feature a site inspection of the first AMR Collection resort in Colombia and opportunities to win three night stays for two.
Additionally, participating agents can register all bookings accumulated through May in AMRewards for the opportunity to attend the 2022 Amazing Agents Celebration, which will be held December 1 -4, 2022 at Dreams Macao Beach Punta Cana.
To be considered for this prestigious event, all bookings from July 1, 2021, through July 11, 2022, for travel by December 31, 2022, must be registered at [AMRewards.com]AMRewards.com by July 11, 2022.
The Amazing Agents Celebration, which was first held in December 2020, honours AMR Collection’s top-performing agents and travel agent leadership from the United States and Canada.
The event showcases the company’s appreciation for its loyal travel agent community with complimentary travel and resort accommodations and spotlighted its award-winning brands, while providing agents the opportunity to meet and engage with AMResorts executives and senior leadership team.
For more info, visit AMRAgents.com or contact your local BDM.
Atlas Ocean Voyages
Atlas Ocean Voyages is featuring its valued travel advisor partners weekly through social media starting this week.
Additionally, Atlas Ocean Voyages is providing Travel Advisor’s a $500 bonus for every new luxe-adventure booking made in May for summer 2022 luxe-adventure voyages.
For more information, please visit www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com and click on Travel Advisors.
"Atlas Ocean Voyages recognizes the importance of Travel Advisors and the invaluable role they play in our industry," said Carlos Garzon, Senior Vice President of Business Development, Atlas Ocean Voyages. "We sincerely appreciate all the work Travel Advisors have done to promote our new luxury expedition cruise line. Our new $500 bonus commission program is one of the many ways we thank Travel Advisors for their hard work recommending Atlas Ocean Voyages.”
In addition to receiving a bonus commission all May, travel advisors can deliver up to $6,000 savings to their clients on any new suite or stateroom booking.
The consumer offer is applicable for all new booking made from April 1 through June 30, 2022, aboard World Navigator and World Traveller, departing June 17, 2022, and later. Additional restrictions may apply.
"The Atlas Ocean Voyages Sales team, Oya Bekisoglu, Paul Girouard, Anthony Iozzia, Cathy Kusuma, and Michelle Rodriguez Suarez are dedicated to all travel partners this month and in the future," the team wrote in a statement.
Learn more information, stay up to date on offers, and connect with the Sales Director team through the Atlas Advisors Central Facebook page, made exclusively for travel partners. Join the page here.
Club Med is celebrating agents for the seventh year in a row with a month-long celebration.
This year again, Club Med is excited to honour its treasured travel advisors for their incredible work, support, and dedication.
“Through a shared passion for tourism, Club Med and its travel partners have always been united,” the company said.
During the whole month of May, Club Med will reward their travel advisors with many gifts, among them, free stays in the most beautiful resorts.
From May 4 through June 1, 2022, advisors are invited to participate every week in fun and exciting challenges via the dedicated Facebook group for Canadian Travel Advisors, Club Med Samantha, Amazing you!
The activities will be posted every Wednesday and agents will have until the following Tuesday to complete the challenge.
Through those exciting missions, agents will take a journey through the Club Med universe.
Each week, the agents participating in the challenge will have a chance to win gift cards, Club Med goodies or free stays for two people.
Every Wednesday, the winner from the previous week’s challenge will be announced.
In addition to the weekly challenge, a month-long challenge will also be announced.
The winner of this month-long challenge will be rewarded with a Big Prize: Four nights for two people in the Exclusive Collection Space of the newest Québec Charlevoix resort.
"They will feel like real VIPs and have access to all the premium experiences and services: accommodations with exceptional views over the mountains and the St Lawrence River, champagne by the glass every day from 6 p.m. in the dedicated lounge, access to the private lounge with a terrace overlooking the river and private Jacuzzis," Club Med says.
As Club Med continues to embark on new ventures like the new Club Med Utah that is planned to be open in 2024, the freshly opened resort in Club Med Québec Charlevoix in Canada and in few weeks, Club Med Magna Marbella in Spain, travel advisors will continue to be a vital part of the journey.
“Club Med travel partners are the backbone of the tourism industry, and the brand is thrilled to applaud agents’ commitment and loyalty this May,” the company said.
The contests aim to show support and recognize Club Med ambassadors and their contribution to the continued success of the travel industry but also to grow the Club Med community by expending its network of ambassadors, inviting new agents to discover the brand through the challenges.
“While Travel Agent Appreciation Day lasts only one day, Club Med is delighted to give back to the leaders of the travel industry and ensure every partner feels appreciated during an extended Travel Advisor Appreciation Month,” the company said.
For more info on Club Med’s Travel Advisor Month, join its Facebook page for travel agents here.
Collette has launched a “Share Your Travel Moment” giveaway for travel advisors, in honour of travel advisor appreciation month.
The giveaway, which is open to all travel advisors, can be accessed through Collette’s Travel Agent Network page on Facebook.
Once a travel advisor joins the page and posts their favourite travel moment, they will be entered to win a $1,000 travel voucher.
“Joining the Travel Agent Network on Facebook is a great opportunity to learn and share all the latest information about new tours, flash sales, and product offerings with your clients.” said Jaclyn Leibl-Cote, president and chief brand officer of Collette. “
The winner will be announced in early June.
If advisors don’t want to wait until the giveaway is announced, Collette offers 50 per cent off advisory travel and 25 per cent off companion travel.
Bookings can be made beginning 180 days prior to departure.
Collette also has big booking incentives during the month of May. 3.
Agents will earn $50 toward the “Travel Advisor Appreciation Booking Incentive” program by securing two or more bookings for travel in 2022.
The top three agents who secure the most bookings in May will also earn more; $1,000 for first place; $750 for second place; $500 for third place. All bookings must be for travel in 2022.
As part of Collette’s advanced commission program, travel professionals will also receive a portion of the full commission amount based on type of booking.
Collette will not recall the advanced commission payments if a client chooses to cancel.
“On behalf of the entire team, we want to thank the dedicated travel advisors for their hard work and perseverance over the past year.” said Leibl-Cote. “These incentives programs are designed to reward travel advisors during a month-long celebration.”
Internova Travel Group
Internova Travel Group took out a full-page ad in The New York Times on May 4 to thank the more than 70,000 travel advisors represented in its portfolio of travel brands.
“Our incredible advisors have thrived despite a tremendous amount of change over the past two years, and this is my way of saying thank you,” said J.D. O’Hara, CEO of Internova Travel Group. “In a time of great disruption, our advisors demonstrated the importance of a human connection, providing the personal service that no online booking tool could ever match. Our advisors have prepared us for what I believe will be the best year that travel has ever seen, and I am grateful to them and remain committed to supporting their work.”
Global Travel Advisor Day is the perfect time to honour experienced professionals across the country and around the world, the company said.
“They prove their value to their clients every day. Travel advisors are passionate about their craft, with firsthand knowledge of destinations at home and abroad. They have the expertise that comes from ongoing education and years of working with clients to plan a variety of travel. And, most importantly, the peace of mind that their experience provides is priceless.”
“All of us at Internova are united in one common belief: humans do it better,” added O’Hara. “When it comes to travel, booking sites are programmed to do only one thing: sell. Our company fundamentally believes in a human’s superior ability to plan, book and manage travel. That’s why today, and every day, we celebrate how humans are the way we connect the world to the joy of travel.”
Jamaica Tourist Board
The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) is thanking loyal travel advisors for all of their hard work with a coffee break this week.
Starting at 12pm EST on May 4, agents are invited to sign up for a “Coffee on Jamaica” card at the JTB’s Maple Leaf Room page.
The first 200 applicants will receive a $10 Tim Hortons e-card.
Additionally, any Jamaica Travel Specialist member that logs Jamaica bookings between May 4 through 10 will earn an automatic additional 3,000 bonus points.
“Travel agents are undeniably important in our business, and we would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge and express our gratitude to all our partners and travel agents across the country. Their continued engagement and passion for Ireland and urging travellers to press the Green Button and book their trip to Ireland in 2022, is hugely important for us and we could not do it without them,” said Sandra Moffatt, manager, Tourism Ireland, Canada. “Our message is simple: Ireland is open for business, and we cannot wait to welcome you and your clients back to the island of Ireland in 2022!”
Tourism Ireland will be hosting a series of travel agent events next week, travelling across Canada from May 9-12 with 15 partners from the island of Ireland, showcasing the ‘Best of Ireland’ to the travel trade in key gateway cities Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria.
To further assist agents and arm them with the tools they need to sell the island of Ireland to their clients, Tourism Ireland offers a wide range of supports for advisors, including:
- The Ireland Specialist Program
- IrelandsContentPool.com: Content Library – 45K+ video and images free to use
- Ireland Insiders Facebook Group – Exclusive to travel agents
- Sign up for monthly e-zine updates including itineraries, events, FAMs and more.
Ireland is open and waiting to greet you with its signature Cead Mile Failte – one hundred thousand welcomes!
Playa Hotels and Resorts
Playa has a couple of activations in store for travel advisors:
Pacific Mexico FAM contest
Book any Playa Resort for your chance to win a spot-on our Pacific Mexico FAM. Playa will be giving away thee guaranteed spots on this FAM so the more you book, the easier it will be to win.
Every booking made and registered on AgentCash+ is one entry into the draw.
Any bookings made direct via www.agentcashplus.com will earn a bonus entry.
Booking window: May 4- June 30, 2022; travel window is anytime
Guaranteed Spot Includes:
- 3-night All Inclusive Accommodations based on single occupancy at Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta (30Nov – 03Dec)
- 3-night All Inclusive Accommodations based on single occupancy at Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos (03Dec – 06Dec)
- Site Inspections
- FAM fee
Not Included: Roundtrip air and airport transfers
“We appreciate all your support and resilience that has helped us continue to grow this past year. The best is truly yet to come!” Playa said in a statement to the trade.
Also, earn double the points for the month of May.
Offer is valid when booking and of Playa's Wyndham Alltra resorts, Hilton All-Inclusive resorts and Hyatt Zilara/Ziva Rose Hall and Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun.
Book by May 31, 2022; travel by October 31, 2022
Riviera River Cruises
Riviera River Cruises will offer a weeklong incentive that includes gift cards for advisors and drinks packages for their clients.
During the week of May 2-6, advisors will receive a $200 gift card and their clients will receive a free drinks package for every cabin booked on a 2022 European river cruise.
The incentive is available for any cabin or suite, including cabins with no single supplement and cabins on solo traveler departures; group bookings excluded.
“As the only European river cruise line that doesn’t accept bookings directly from consumers, we’re appreciative of all that travel advisors do for us throughout the year,” said Marilyn Conroy, Riviera River Cruises’ executive vice-president sales and marketing North America. “For the week of Global Travel Advisor Day, however, we’re offering this incentive as an additional way of saying thank you to advisors and their clients for choosing Riviera.”
Riviera’s drinks package offers a selection of beverages served during lunch and dinner in the main and stern restaurants aboard its ships.
Pick from a range of draught beer, non-alcoholic beer, sodas, juices and red, white and rosé house wines by the glass.
Riviera River Cruises offers 20 itineraries on 10 rivers and waterways, including exclusive departures for solo travellers with no single supplement and holiday season cruises.
Riviera’s fleet of 12 world-class ships is one of the youngest in Europe, with spacious cabins and suites, and its cruises include fine culinary experiences, from breakfasts to four-course dinners featuring regional and international specialties, as well as expert-led excursions to classic sights and lesser-known places.
Sandals and Beaches Resorts
It’s no secret that Sandals Resorts loves and supports travel advisors.
Since day one in 1981 when Sandals Montego Bay opened its doors and every day since then, travel advisors have played a key role in the company’s success for over 40 years.
In celebration of Travel Agent Day, Unique Vacations Canada Inc, affiliate of Unique Travel Corp, worldwide representatives of Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts, has announced the following prizes, gifts and incentives:
Prize Trips to Sandals Royal Curaçao – A Canadian exclusive, advisors who register and attend an upcoming Masterclass online session throughout the entire month of May 2022 will have a chance to win a four-night, land-only stay at the brand-new Sandals Royal Curaçao (opening June 1, 2022). One prize trip will be awarded for each May Masterclass. Travel advisors can contact their local BDM to register.
Red Lane Spa Credit – As a special gift to travel advisors during their next visit to a Sandals or Beaches resort, a one-time US$50 spa credit will be added to their booking. Travel advisors must contact their local BDM at least two weeks prior to travel in order to apply the spa credit and travel must be completed by Dec. 31, 2023.
Additional Cash Incentive – For all new bookings of six nights or longer made with Unique Vacations Inc. between May 4 – May 6, 2022 (and for travel in 2023 – 2024) travel advisors will be eligible to receive an additional cash incentive as follows:
- US$100 – Over-the-Water suites
- US$75 – Butler suites
- US$50 – Club Sandals/Concierge suites
In addition, Unique Vacations Canada Inc. has placed full-page newspaper ads in support and celebration of Canadian travel advisors in The Globe and Mail and Toronto Star on May 4, 2022.
“Now more than ever before, consumers need the expertise of a professional travel advisor to help them navigate the ever-changing travel landscape and choose a partner they can trust,” said Maureen Barnes-Smith, vice-president of sales and marketing, Canada, Unique Vacations Canada Inc. “We couldn’t think of a better way to let Canadian consumers know that the days of ‘DIY Travel’ are over than by placing ads in two leading newspapers so readers from Victoria, British Columbia to St. John’s, Newfoundland can be reminded of what we’ve always known….travel advisors are the trusted travel experts.”
For more details, agents are invited to call their local Sandals BDM or Inside Sales at 1-800-545-8283 or visit Sandals Travel Agent Portal.
Scenic Group Canada
Scenic Group Canada, which includes Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours and Emerald Cruises, is celebrating Travel Agent Appreciation Month—and beyond—with bonus commissions paid on new bookings made for 2022 and 2023 seasons.
In addition, Scenic Group will be giving away five free cruises to advisors—including one on the ultra-luxury Scenic Eclipse—as a way of saying “thank you” for the ongoing support.
Travel agents who make a new booking through the online agent portal ExpressBook system by June 30, 2022 will receive:
- 5% bonus commission on all Scenic and Emerald Cruises river and ocean cruises
- 2% bonus commission on all Scenic and Emerald Cruises river and ocean cruises
To further sweeten the deal, Scenic Group will be giving away five free cruises across Scenic and Emerald Cruises brands, including a 10-day sailing along the Pacific Coastline of North America from Vancouver to San Diego, as follows:
- Two free, eight-day river cruises for two in Europe or SE Asia on Scenic
- Two free, eight-day river cruises for two in Europe or SE Asia on Emerald Cruises
- One free “Iconic West Coast Experience” cruise for two on Scenic Eclipse
For every booking made using ExpressBook, travel advisors will receive an entry to win a free cruise on the line they made the booking on. To be entered to win a Scenic or Emerald Cruises river cruise, advisors will receive one entry per river cruise booking made.
To be entered to win the Scenic Eclipse Iconic West Coast Experience cruise, entries will vary based on itineraries booked: one entry for Alaska, Antarctica and the Med voyages booked, two entries for Arctic voyages booked, and three entries for West Coast US and South America voyages booked.
Bonus commissions are applicable to all Europe and Southeast Asia river cruises across both brands, Scenic Eclipse cruises and Emerald Cruises yacht cruise bookings.
Rebookings using Future Travel Credits are also valid for bonus commissions.
Sunwing is sharing direct-to-agent communications, including extending a special offer to agents for double the STAR Rewards Points on all Sunwing vacation packages booked today (May 4) for travel up to April 30, 2023.
Stay tuned as messages on Sunwing's agent Facebook page will be posted today, as well as words ofsupport for the agent community on the company's social channels.
TravelBrands is honouring their travel agent partners with an incredible Loyalty Rewards points incentive.
“As we celebrate Travel Agent Day, we want to recognize the dedication and professionalism of the travel agent community. TravelBrands loves agents, and that’s why we are committed to supporting them in every way possible so they can do what they do best: inspiring people to travel and helping them travel well,” said Nathalie Tanious, COO, TravelBrands. “We wish all travel professionals a very happy Travel Agent Day! To us, travel agents are one of the most valuable assets to the industry and we’re here to help them flourish in new ways.”
For one day only, travel agents can earn up to 10X Loyalty Rewards points on all bookings made online on May 4, 2022.
Travel agents will earn 10X Loyalty Rewards points on cruises, hotel only, addition land components, car rentals, Sunquest packages, and TravelGenie packages booked online with a minimum value of $100.
The offer is also applicable to Exotik Journeys products booked by phone.
Travel agents will also earn 5X Loyalty Rewards points on eligible flight-only products entitled to 100 Loyalty Rewards points booked online.
To make eligible bookings, visit www.travelbrandsagent.com.
To thank travel agents for their hard work and celebrate Travel Agent Week, Transat is raffling off a series of exciting prizes.
By booking with Transat from May 2 to 6, travel agents are automatically entered into the draw.
- Every day from May 2 to 6: $200 in Bonbon rewards (for travel agents with a Bonbon number)
- At the end of the week: 3 pairs of Economy Class tickets to the destination of their choice
Each eligible booking gets them one draw entry. On your marks, get set... Book!
For contest conditions, travel agents are invited to visit Get Connected.
WestJet celebrates Travel Agent Appreciation Day with the month-long launch of its Travel Agent Appreciation Month Giveaway.
The giveaway, which kicked off on May 2, features exclusive discount rates for travel advisors and weekly prize packages to destinations in Europe, Mexico, the U.S. and Canada.
“We know these past few years have been challenging for our trade partners,” said Chuck Crowder, vice-president, contact centre, sales, distributions and WestJet Vacations. “Our partners have been at the forefront of travel, providing their expertise and planning experiences for their clients. We are beyond grateful for their continued support and believe it’s time for them to get away and love where they’re going.”
With a total of eight prize packages up for grabs, advisors are invited to enter for a chance to win an experience in a WestJet destination.
Weekly prize packages vary, with opportunities to win round-trip flights, hotel accommodations and as an added bonus, Silver status with WestJet Rewards.
Silver status includes first and second checked bags free, advanced seat selection, airport lounge access and more.
The contest is open for entry until May 30, 2022. For more information, click here.