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Quantum Seas


Riu Palace St. Martin is the newest addition St. Martin / St. Maarten’s variety of upscale resorts. The hotel is beachfront on Anse Marcel, a natural reserve that features exotic fauna and flora, crystal-blue waters and white beaches. Families will appreciate the daily kids club, dedicated children’s pool section and varied activities program; while active couples and singles can take advantage of the varied water sports including snorkeling, scuba diving and Aqua Gym. Other features include spacious suites, an on-site spa, infinity pool, daily champagne breakfasts, a choice of à la carte dining at three restaurants and 24-hour room service.

Hotel guests travelling on Signature Vacations’ direct flights from Toronto also benefit from a host of exclusive RIU-topia features such as unlimited international drinks, unlimited dining at specialty restaurants, in-room liquor dispensers, spa credits and discounts on popular excursions.

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For over 30 years Insight Vacations has built a strong reputation among discerning travellers. Insight is calling 2015 their “Signature” year, where every Insight vacation on every continent will include unique Signature events. These are events handpicked by Insight, which take travellers far beyond the traditional tourist-trodden sites to unique places they would not get to see. Examples include: going behind the scenes at the Vatican in Rome, picking up glassblowing in Prague, or learning to make pasta the Italian way from a local chef in Umbria. New in 2015, Insight Gold provides an all-inclusive luxury experience. All visits, sightseeing and evening dining are included in the price of the vacation. Dining experiences (with wine) will delight “foodies” with variety and exclusivity – sit down to a gourmet meal one night, a Freestyle Evening of unlimited choices the next, taste rustic country-cooking in an authentic bistro, or enjoy delightful dining in the hotel. Gold inclusive itineraries are perfectly balanced with enlightenment and engaging experiences, private events, fantastic excursions and spectacular evenings.

All Insight Vacations include: smaller group sizes (maximum 40) with travel by luxury, WiFi-equipped motor coach; unique local travel by trains, open-top taxis, hydrofoils and gondolas; Local Experts – where you learn about Europe’s treasures from Local Experts, art historians and artisans; centrally-located hotels; authentic dining – welcome dinners, a la carte dine around, freestyle evenings and celebration dinners; and more free time – due to leisurely itineraries and convenient hotels. Book early for great savings with Insights’ promotion ion 2015 Gold and Premium European Escorted Journeys, available now, and if you book by 15JAN15 you can save 10% of the land cost.

Call us to help plan your 2015 Insight European vacation.


Book the Melia Nassau Beach Resort with Air Canada Vacations by 09DEC14 and save the equivalent of the taxes and earn up to 8,000 Aeroplan miles. Air Canada rouge flies to Nassau daily from Toronto and the offer is valid for travel between 01DEC14 and 30SEP15. Melia Nassau Beach Resort is part of Air Canada Vacation’s Privileges program offering a number of added value features exclusive to ACV passengers.

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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 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, “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

travel 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

On December 22, 2011 McTavish Travel was named "Canadian Travel Agency of the Year" in the Awards of Excellence.