|Wednesday, 29 August 2012|
|TRANSAT DISCOVERIES LAUNCHES INTO ITS SECOND YEAR |
|Launch event showcases the tour operatorís new 2012-2013 brochure |
Nearing its first anniversary, Transat Discoveries unveiled new destinations, new itineraries and new goals for the coming year as the newest member of the Transat family launched it sophomore program.
|Of Transat Discoveries: Dan Prior, sales director & Sherry Brown,, sales representative, Toronto & Southwestern Ontario
Beginning in September, the new Transat Discoveries brochure will be distributed to travel agencies across Ontario featuring escorted tours in Thailand, Laos, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey as well as packages in Eastern Europe and fly & drive tours exploring Iceland and Scandinavia.
Two out of three tours offered are exclusive to Transat Discoveries, and everything in the brochure is customizable, which was a major selling point for Transat Discoveries in its first year, according to Dan Prior, sales director, Transat Discoveries.
After having made its debut on the English Canadian travel scene last October, the tour operator has ladi out several goals for itself in year two. During the press conference and lunch, Prior discussed Transat Discoveries’ development and its ambitions.
“We introduced the Transat Discoveries brand into the English market, starting with Ontario. So it wasn’t Canada wide,” said Prior. “We wanted to take baby steps and really make sure we develop the product as we go; to start with the Ontario market and continue forward. We’ll continue doing the same in 2013 and we will be looking into doing [a] soft launch into Atlantic Canada this year as well.”
Prior expressed that the Transat Discoveries team was happy with its performance in its first year and was looking forward to moving into 2013 with a year of experience under its belt.
|2012-2013 Launch Lunch attendees examine the new Transat Discoveries brochure
“Every year moving forward now we have a measure to look at," he said. "[We have] ways to tweak products, work with our tourist boards and suppliers in making the product even better, and offer more of a product range.”
Looking back on 2012
“Launching a new brand into a market... we had to make sure that we had that brand awareness with the trade,” Prior said of the tour operator’s primary goals during its inaugural year.
Transat Discoveries used 2012 to establish relationships and general sales agreements within the Canadian travel industry in order to ensure that agents knew the company was out there.
“B2B was always our focus in the first year, and it continues to be,” said Prior, “but we still have to reach the consumers. So we did work with some partners... [and] we did reach the consumer market at least to get that brand starting to circulate through B2C.”
|Dan Prior, sales director, Transat Discoveries
Prior added that training travel agents to have a familiarity with the new product was also integral to the company’s success in year one.
Transat Discoveries’ best selling tours of 2012 were the 12-day Magical Morocco, the 13-say Mysteries of Peru, the 12-day Kenya & Tanzania: The Call of the Wild, and the 17-day South African Dreams.
Goals for 2013
For 2013, Prior said that brand awareness will continue to be one of the company’s main goals as it continues to expand in the marketplace.
“You can’t just do it in a year," he said. "We’re going to continue on with the brand awareness [effort].”
Strategic marketing, identifying key agents and agencies, achieving minimum occupancy on brochure departures and custom groups are Transat Discoveries main goals for 2013.
“We really want to focus on that niche product and [find out] who are the partners that can really focus in on that and take it to the next level to attract consumers,” said Prior.
New for 2012-2013
The tour operator has also expanded its Asia product line for 2013 with the addition of river cruising. The Legendary Mekong is a first class Mekong River cruise aboard the brand new deluxe Mekong Prestige. The ship provides travellers with an intimate atmosphere in its 32 outside facing staterooms and suites, each at least 23 square metres in size with private balconies. Public areas include a sundeck with a whirlpool, a restaurant and lounge, spa and fitness area.
New Asia itineraries include the 13-day Enchanting Thailand, the 13-day Charming Vietnam, four- and five-day mini tours of Bangkok and Chiang Mai, and a three-day Hong Kong stopover with hotel and breakfast.
In South America, Transat Discoveries has unveiled its new 12-day Colours of Brazil itinerary. The change was made to include Iguazu Falls, explained Prior.
An eight-day Johannesburg to Cape Town honeymoon package, as well as a four-day Bakubung private reserve mini-tour, join Transat Discoveries’ Africa product for 2012-2013.
“Let clients know that [they] can do South Africa if [they] just want to book a four- or five-day little stop-over trip before [they] maybe fly on to Cape Town," Prior said. "We want to indicate as much as possible that clients can modulate the product that we have."
The tour operator is also introducing new products for Europe for 2012-2013. The 16-day Turkey: Ottoman Discoveries tour, which Prior described as a “very involved tour of Turkey”, is the first Transat Discoveries tour in which flights are with Air Transat.
“It is very unique to anything our sister brand (Transat Holidays) is doing,” explained Prior of the Turkey tour.
The Transat Discoveries fly & drive tours will offer travellers the chance to explore Iceland and Scandinavia on their own, while flights, accommodation and itineraries are taken care of, said Prior. The Iceland Adventures Fly & Drive tour is 12 days long, and the Discovery of the Fjords Fly & Drive tour is 13-days long.
The tour operator is offering early booking promotions that save travellers up to $400 per couple; a repeat traveller discount which provides additional saving of up to $120 per couple. Also, consumers booking by Nov. 30, 2012 will benefit from a reduced deposit of $250 instead of $500.
Pamela Fenwick ē 2013-02-23
|Just back from your Magical Morocco tour--not enough superlatives to describe your choice of Atlas Tours to run it--very magical time indeed! we are currently looking into your 16 day Turkey adventure...keep up the excellent job you are doing..|