Tourico Holidays and Visit California welcomed travel trade to the grand opening of Tourico’s new downtown Toronto offices, while showcasing the wholesaler’s California hotel offerings.
Representatives from Tourico welcomed the trade to the new Yonge St. office, joined by Alison Theodore, Visit California’s new travel trade manager for Canada, who was also on hand for the event just weeks after taking on her new role.
Tourico, which marked its 20th anniversary in 2014, has maintained a Canadian presence since that time, gradually expanding from a small office at Yonge St. and Bloor St. to its current location, as the company’s Canadian business has grown.
“The reason we’ve grown is because of the people in this room,” said Deborah Kenton, Tourico’s VP sales for North America. “Before we were in Canada, we had a small client base but now that we have an office and a team here, we’ve really seen our sales grow both as a source market and a destination both domestically and for our global clients on an inbound level.”
In 2016, Kenton told PAX, Tourico saw its Canadian business grow 58 per cent as a source market and 33 per cent as a destination. She added that first-quarter results for 2017 were up 24 per cent, adding that the team is setting its sights on some large growth goals for the year.
“There’s a lot more to come from the Tourico team in Canada for 2017,” Kenton said.
The opening of the new Toronto office comes after the February announcement of plans for Tourico’s merger with Hotelbeds Group’s Bedbank business unit, which was recently followed by news of Hotelbeds’ purchase of rival wholesaler GTA. According to Kenton, it will remain “business as usual” following the finalization of the Tourico/Hotelbeds merger later this spring, with the integration of GTA taking place over the next six months.
“It’s a very exciting time for us,” said Kenton, who is on the integration team for Tourico as it joins Hotelbeds. “There’s a lot of opportunities for Tourico, our staff and our partners and as a new company, our goal is to create a best-in-class supplier and partner to the trade, from the perspective of pricing, product, customer service and technology.”