Tour operators confirm prices going up

Here’s what Transat’s Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Joe Adamo has to say:

Are prices going up for next winter? 

“Like everywhere else, widespread inflation has had an impact on pricing as have the usual forces of supply and demand. However, by offering a wide variety of destinations and resort choices there are travel opportunities available to Canadians with varying budgets.”

Can you explain why and by how much?

“It is impossible to estimate the impact on prices, but I can tell you that our teams are working very hard to mitigate these factors. Our product team is working with our hotel partners to ensure that increases are reasonable and that the later-booking habits of Canadians do not leave us disadvantaged. Booking early is still the best strategy as prices do tend to increase as availability decreases. Also, fuel is a particularly volatile commodity, and we are making every effort to offset these effects and improve our performance.

“We have also put in place a hedging program to balance a potential further increase in prices during the summer and are looking to extend this coverage beyond the summer season.  Our fleet of Airbus A321neoLR aircraft is very fuel efficient which is especially beneficial now.”

Do you anticipate fuel surcharges?

“We have increased our carrier surcharges over the past few weeks in line with the market to absorb part of the increase in the price of fuel. Jet fuel prices are significantly affected by two main items which bring a disequilibrium between offer and demand: Offer: The Russo-Ukrainian conflict is causing a decrease in offer due to sanctions against Russia – the third largest oil producer in the world. Demand: The airline industry recovery after two years is in full effect, resulting in an increase in demand for jet fuel, which hasn’t been produced at full capacity during the pandemic.”

Here’s the scoop from Andrew Dawson, COO & President of Tour Operating, Sunwing Vacations:

Are prices going up for next winter? 

“In most, but not all, cases we are seeing higher prices for next winter. These are somewhat offset currently by Early Booking Bonuses and promotions in the market.”

Can you explain why and by how much?

“The increases are mainly due to two factors …

“Increased commodity prices – as well as the obvious increase in aviation fuel costs, a large proportion of hotel costs relate to energy, so the oil price is having a double impact.

“Increased global demand – as travel rebounds, and restrictions are almost gone, the more popular destinations which draw visitors from across the world (such as Cancun or Jamaica) are experiencing high levels of demand from all major markets, many of which book much earlier than Canadians. As a result, many of the bargains and many of the rooms in the peak weeks have already been snapped up. This is definitely the winter to book early.”

Do you anticipate fuel surcharges?

“With the markets so volatile, it is difficult to say, however travellers booking before July 28 taking advantage of Sunwing’s early booking promotion will be guaranteed to not have a future Fuel Surcharge.”

Strategies for agents to help clients save

As these industry leaders point out, there are Early Booking offers and other incentives in place for clients right now. This is definitely the year to book early.

However, travel agents have a number of tools at their disposal to mitigate rising costs for their clients.

One of the best tools an agent can have is a Buy Now, Pay Later program. At The Travel Agent Next Door, the Z.I.P program — or Zero Interest Program – is an exclusive TTAND program for its travel agent partners. This is the TTAND secret weapon!

This program is the best in the business because clients pay NO interest for a year on their travel purchase.

Booking early AND using the Zero Interest Program allows TTAND agents to offer clients the best protection against higher prices next winter.

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