Collette Galapagos and Windstar Tahiti
Collette Vacations' 'The Galapagos Islands & Machu Pichu' tour is part of its small group
tour line Explorations. Highlights of this 14-day tour include a five-day cruise of the
Galapagos Islands with a naturalist guide to see blue-footed boobies, sea lions and iguanas;
giant tortoises at the Charles Darwin Research Station; climbing the Sacred Valley to
Machu Pichu aboard one of the world's most famous trains; overnighting at the base of
Machu Pichu; dinner at the Larco Museum in Lima; visiting the colonial cities of
Quito and Cuzco and a visit to the Equatorial Line Monument. An optional four-night
Ecuador Amazon per-tour extension is offered.
Call us for details. www.collettevacations.ca
DREAMS OF TAHITI
A graceful sailing yacht is the perfect way to experience the true wonder of Tahiti.
Join Windstar Cruises' 148-passenger, newly refurbished yacht Wind Spirit as the trade
winds fill her sails and she visits one legendary island after another.
On Windstar's 7-night Dreams of Tahiti itinerary, Wind Spirit will stay overnight
in most islands (Moorea, Raiatea and Bora Bora) to provide ample time for swimming and
snorkelling in crystal-clear lagoons, meandering through lush rainforests and experiencing
the fascinating Polynesian culture from tikis to tiare flowers. Onboard you can watch the
passing scenery from a favourite spot on deck, or visit with the captain on the bridge.
Highlights of Dreams of Tahiti include sailing, swimming and kayaking from the yacht's
Watersports Platform; drift snorkelling among coral gardens; a fun-filled beach party;
an onboard barbeque; local entertainment onboard and more. Sample fares for the 7-night
cruise in a Category B cabin range from USD2,799 (24OCT, 31OCT, 07NOV14) to USD3,399
(02MAY, 16MAY, 23MAY14) per person double plus USD405 fees and port taxes, cabin upgrades
are available. Wind Star is offering an air and hotel option that includes roundtrip
airfare from Los Angeles to Papeete, Tahiti via non-stop Air Tahiti Nui service; one
night pre-cruise at the Le Meridien Papeete; a convenient day room at Le Meridien after
the cruise, until the evening flight departure and all Papeete transfers.
The air and hotel option is USD1,999 per person. Wind Star's beautiful sailing ships
offer a private yacht experience with exceptional value, pampering without pretense and a
casually elegant style. Wind Star is a proud recipient of awards from Condé Naste Traveler,
Cruise Critic, Travel Weekly and Travel and Leisure.
Call us for reservations. www.windstarcruises.com
McTAVISH TRAVEL WINS AGENCY OF THE YEAR
As agency approaches its 40th anniversary, Trish McTavish says secret to success
is providing excellent customer service - Terrilyn Kunopaski
The McTavish Travel team - Back row: Cathy Faleiro, Marian Strus, Jessica Scott,
Allyson Pelisek, Marybeth Parrott, Diane Hink, Jody Grierson, Kathryn Butt,
Christine Hillis, Kelly Howard, Carolyn Valenti, Ance Gheorghescu, Deanna Pesa,
Sandra McGregor, Nadine Davies, Betty-Anne Ley, Lisa Spears, Dianne McHugh,
Tina Leslie & Jo-Anne Wilbur. Front: Ross & Trish McTavish. McTavish Travel
has earned the title of Travel Agency of the Year in the TRAVELHotNews.com Awards
of Excellence contest 2011.
No stranger to industry recognition, the agency was also recently awarded the
title of North America’s Leading Travel Agency at the World Travel Awards and
has an array of other trophies on display at their Oakville office.
Ross & Trish McTavish, owners, McTavish Travel with Terrilyn Kunopaski, editor-in-chief,
TRAVELHotNews.com “We’re honoured to have even been nominated. I think when you’re
given an award by your peers, it’s probably the biggest honour you can be given,
particularly by our industry in Canada,” said Trish McTavish about the Award of
Excellence. “I have to say, I’m really proud of the travel industry in Canada -
I think we have a really good industry here, a lot of integrity, so to win this
in that circle is a great honour.”
The Award of Excellence comes at an appropriate time as McTavish Travel approaches a
special milestone of 40 years in business. When the agency was first launched by Ross
McTavish, it was Ross plus one teammate running the show. Trish started working with
the business in the early 80s and now, the team has grown to 28 in total and continues
to attract new business as well.
Originally, McTavish Travel focused mostly on leisure travel “because that’s what travel
was all about,” Trish said.
But, after seeing a lot of corporations coming to them in the early 80s, the agency
established a dedicated corporate department and now, that niche represents 50 per cent
of the business. Twenty-five per cent is leisure, and another 25 per cent is made up by
humanitarian/mission bookings as well as groups.
In fact, McTavish Travel is one of only two humanitarian/mission-accredited agencies
in Canada, which means it holds contracts with most of the legacy and large international
carriers to provide special fares to large charities, not-for-profits, humanitarian
organizations and missionaries.
Whatever the reason for travel, McTavish’s clients come from across Canada, as well
as some from the U.S. and other international markets.
So what’s the secret to the success of an agency that does very little marketing yet
continues to grow year-after-year?
“Our success has definitely been on the foundation of providing exceptional customer
service and referral,” Trish said.
“We have never strayed from our core value and that has been client-centric, client-focused;
we always have felt that if we do right by the clients, everything else will fall into line.
There are a lot of organizations that put call centres in place and that’s not about the
client, that’s about profits. Anything we do, the first question is: how does that
benefit the client? If there isn’t a benefit to the client, why are we doing it?
“We’ve never taken on an action because it’s better for us; some of the things we do
are more difficult for us, but there’s a huge benefit for the client – it doesn’t matter
how hard it’s going to make it for us to do this thing, if it’s good for the client,
that’s what we do. And it’s worked for us – if you look after your clients and you
look after your staff, your staff will look after your clients and
it all works out in the end.”
Being in business for 40 years, McTavish Travel has had many clients with them
for more than 30 and staff that has worked there just as long.
In the economic downturn of 2008, the agency was impacted just as everyone else
in the industry but was still able to turn a profit without making any layoffs.
“We don’t have growth for the sake of growth,” Trish said. “The important key to
growing is just growing enough that you don’t lose business because you’re not
able to provide that same level of service.”
McTavish Travel is affiliated with the Ensemble and Uniglobe networks in Canada.
McTavish Travel wins big at World Travel Awards
McTavish Travel is very proud of two recent awards!
McTavish Travel was awarded "North America's Leading Travel Agency" in the 19th annual
World Travel Awards. It's McTavish Travel's third World Travel Award in 5 years!
In 2007 and 2008, we were named "North America's Leading Business Travel Agency".
The much coveted World Travel Awards are considered to be "the Oscars of
the travel industry".
Launched in 1993, the awards "acknowledge and recognise excellence in the
global travel and tourism industry." A World Travel award is "regarded as the very highest
achievement that a travel company could hope to receive. Separating the good from
the outstanding. Identifying companies that consistently excel beyond expectation.
Taking customer expectations to a new, unparalleled high." For more information on
the awards, visit www.worldtravelawards.com
On December 22, 2011 McTavish Travel was named "Canadian Travel Agency of the Year"
in the travelhotnews.com Awards of Excellence.