|Thursday, 20 September 2012|
|SUNWING TALKS CAPACITY ADDITIONS AND SMILE & RELAX OFFERINGS|
|Andrew Dawson, president, tour operations, Sunwing discusses extra flights, programs, and plans for fall—winter|
Constant growth is just part of a natural evolution for Sunwing, according to Andrew Dawson, president, tour operations.
|Andrew Dawson, president, tour operations, Sunwing
“We’ve always said that we would continue to grow the company whenever we had product to match up to,” Dawson told TRAVELHotNews.com. “So, whenever we can secure product then we will continue to add capacity where it makes sense. It’s important to know that we haven’t gone crazy with capacity additions this year... we’ve been quite restrained and we’ve added it in markets and time periods where it makes sense for us.”
TRAVELHotNews.com recently visited Sunwing’s head office in Toronto to get an update on the company’s plans for the fall and winter seasons, new programs and to ask about the importance of the Sunwing Selection program.
The capacity additions Dawson refers to are the day flights from Toronto and Montreal to Cancun, Punta Cana and Jamaica; the new gateways in Grand Prairie and Fort McMurray; and the extra flights from Toronto to Vancouver during the holiday season.
The company has also decided to continue offering packages to the Dominican Republic from Kitchener because, as Dawson said, it’s important for Sunwing to stay in the smaller markets and eliminate the hassle involved with big city airports.
“We actually fly from 32 gateways across Canada, which is more than anyone else," Dawson said. "It’s been a real cornerstone of the company to ensure that we serve the smaller communities and we actually say 'we bring our plane to your door.' We cut out all the having to change planes, having to do a night before in Toronto or whatever it is [and make travel easier].”
Another way the company is trying to eliminate the hassles is by expanding the Sunwing Selection Program. The new inclusions are Cayo Coco, Cayo Santa Maria, and Holguin. Dawson said that this was done to give the company an extra edge.
“[We want] to give people the benefit of the best possible up-front price and a guaranteed beach front property of a certain quality,” Dawson said. “[Travellers are] going to get a price, and the certainty of the date. It’s the best value out there. They know wherever they go it’s going to be a good quality property.”
The two programs that Sunwing has designed to help travellers choose the best property for their vacation needs are Smile and Relax.
Sunwing’s Smile program is in its second year. It's designed for families and offers promotions such as up to two children aged 2-12 stay, eat and play for free every night of the year; no single parent supplement to pay if sharing a room with children; and special deals for teens aged 13-17. The program also offers beach towels for each guest; a re-stocked litre bottle of water each day in the room; Smile Kids Club program; and a shaded playground and play area.
Sunwing has selected more than 20 all-inclusive resorts throughout the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico. They all feature kids’ clubs, restaurants with child friendly options and nightly family entertainment.
The Relax program has been introduced this year and was designed with adults and couples in mind. Sunwing has selected a number of resorts throughout Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Mexico that offer travellers a relaxing experience. The packages include a welcome cocktail at check-in; express check-in; 20 per cent discount on spa services; a bottle of sparkling wine, rum or tequila in the room upon arrival; unlimited a la carte dinners; a welcome gift; beach towels; and late check-out (up to 4 p.m. – subject to availability).
Dawson said that these offers last all year long, with no black-out dates. People are also able to custom build durations that are not just the standard seven and 14 nights. For example, Sunwing offers from three- or four-night vacations, up to six-week vacations.
As for the fall-winter season, Dawson said that it’s the company’s busiest period.
“We have some promotions coming this fall which [agents are] going to see later. We also do a lot of work to promote the sale of properties from our collections,” he said. “We’re very conscious that a lot of selling is being done purely on the basis of price, so, the theme and the work that we’re doing is to try to push people away from just the price consideration.”
“I mean we’re still offering good value,” he added. “But we’re [going to] try and ensure that people get the vacation they actually want... and we’ve created these collections that are exclusive to us: Smile and Relax. That’s the direction that we’re heading towards this [season].”
To view the full list of resorts and to learn more about the Smile and Relax programs, visit our Brochure section.