Thursday,  August 18, 2022  1:01 am

VIDEO: “Feel the love, show the love”: Transat hosts in-person events in ON, QC

VIDEO: “Feel the love, show the love”: Transat hosts in-person events in ON, QC
Transat's in-person pop-up series kicked off Monday morning (Oct. 4) in the parking lot of Transat’s office in Etobicoke, ON. (Sheila Aue)
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

There are some big smiles happening under those masks.

In an effort to inject some fun into the travel industry, the Transat sales team has been hosting in-person events this week in both Ontario and Quebec, providing travel advisors with an opportunity to catch up with friends and colleagues in an upbeat and casual space.

The pop-up series kicked off late Monday morning (Oct. 4) in the parking lot of Transat’s office in Etobicoke with DJ Mike on the decks, spinning dance-friendly beats, as well as food truck, which served tasty eats.

More events are unfolding this week, with stops happening in Hamilton, ON, and Montreal, QC, today (Oct. 5), and then in London, ON and Quebec City, QC, on Thursday (Oct. 7).

Transat’s Commercial Director Nicole Bursey (front) with team and partners. (Courtesy of Susan Kooiman)

“Feel the love and show the love”

Speaking with PAX over the phone Tuesday morning, Transat’s Commercial Director Nicole Bursey said the events aren’t focused on selling – “just celebrating.”  

After several challenging months of processing refunds and coping with ever-changing travel restrictions, it was important to “feel the love and show the love” by hosting some live party-like gatherings, Bursey said.

Monday’s kick-off attracted roughly 70 travel partners, with some dropping in just to say hello while others stayed for the entire two-and-a-half-hour duration.

Most importantly: “We felt it was safe to have outdoor events,” Bursey said, noting the merits of taking a break from the virtual platforms that have become so common during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Transat is still hosting a virtual training academy on Oct. 26, but “we still wanted to have that personal touch wherever we could,” Bursey said.

Transat welcomed partners for some fun outdoors on Monday. (Photo: Susan Kooiman)

QR code-enabled brochures

While the events have no formal presentation, travel partners have been able to discuss updates with the Transat team, in person, and grab the latest marketing materials.  

READ MORE: Transat appoints group sales managers to Atlantic & Western Canada, ON & Quebec

Transat, like many travel companies, decided not to print brochures this year. Instead, “brochure covers” were created, which agents can display on racks in their offices.

QR codes are displayed on the front of each cover, which allows customers to scan and retrieve information about Transat’s latest travel offerings.  

Transat handed out QR Code-enabled brochure coverings and traveller care kits  (Sheila Aue)

Attendees can collect the covers at Transat’s events this week and “we want to get them into the hands of as many agents as we can,” Bursey said.

Travel advisor Sheila Aue, of Sheila's Destined to Travel, an affiliate of Travel Professionals International (TPI), said it was "great fun" meeting up with the Transat team face to face at Monday's event. 

READ MOREAir Transat lands "World's Best Leisure Airline" for the 4th time

"Despite the dreary weather, the mood was relaxed, laid back and filled with great music," Aue told PAX

Transat also displayed their onboard food options, as well as their new traveller care kits, which contains a mask, hand sanitizer and sanitization wipe.  

"Another highlight was the food truck, which offered delicious burritos with nachos or french fries. Oh so yummy!" Aue said. 

Travel advisor Sheila Aue (front) poses with the Transat team on Monday (Oct. 4). (Sheila Aue)

“A lot to be optimistic about”

As the travel industry gradually reopens, there is “a lot to be optimistic about,” Bursey said.

Air Transat was recently named "World's Best Leisure Airline" for the 4th time at the Skytrax World Airline Awards, for one

On the backend side of things, the processing of refunds for cancelled travel during the pandemic is almost complete, Bursey said.

“The last remaining [refunds] will be done soon,” she said. “I think everyone in the industry wants that to be over.”

Air Transat, recently, announced the return of several international routes to destinations, such as Manchester, London (Gatwick), Portugal and Cuba.

READ MORE: Air Transat resumes Cuba flights, launches "Keep Palm & Travel On" promo

Transat also, this week, launched its Keep Palm and Travel On promo, inviting travellers to take advantage of great deals to book getaways in the tropics.

From left (of Transat): Susan Kooiman, Laura Albrow, Diana Zincarelli, Claudia Da Silva. (Susan Kooiman)

Sales, in general, are “up and down” these days, Bursey said, noting how the next big hurdle will be getting families to feel comfortable with booking and travelling again.

But: “We’re further along than we were months ago,” she said. “With everything, we have to take changes in stride.”

“Everybody booking travel right now needs to do their research and keep an open mind if there are changes. It’s still very tough, but we’ll get through it.”

Registration has closed for Transat’s remaining events this week, but travel advisors who would still like to attend are invited to email for details.

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