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Wednesday, 29 November, 2017, 12 : 46 PM [IST]

‘We offer agents attractive commission levels based on annual productivity’

Mazda Travels, the exclusive General Sales Agent for Rocky Mountaineer Rail Tours in India and the Middle East, having recorded double digit growth year-onyear since 2010 recorded a drop in number of passengers travelled in 2016. However, counting on its new products and marketing efforts, Mazda Travels are confident of growing numbers in 2018. Mernoz Shastri, Director, Mazda Travels in an e-mail interaction with Anurag Tiwari shared insights.
Q How many customers did Mazda Travel serve last year and during the current financial year?
We had a fairly good season. Numbers unfortunately were lower than 2016. Long delays for visa at the Canadian High Commission and hotel availability in the Rockies were major factors in drop in our overall numbers. We had 3,080 passengers travel till October 31, 2017.

Q What has been the overall year-on-year growth for the company?
We have enjoyed double digit growth year-on-year since 2010. This was the first year where we saw numbers drop to 2016 levels. However, we hope to continue growing numbers in 2018. We are actively working with our hotel partners in the Rockies to secure more allocations for next year. Destination Canada along with various travel partners across India are engaging with the Canadian High Commission for faster visa processing.

Q How popular is Canada as a destination among Indians?
Canada is very popular with longhaul travellers during summer. The bulk of the travel is to Western Canada with focus on Canadian Rockies. Air Canada offers year round direct flights from Delhi and Mumbai to Toronto and a seasonal direct flight during winter from Delhi to Vancouver. Escorted group departures continue to be the preferred choice for leisure travellers. Major corporate entities in India have sent large MICE groups to Eastern and Western Canada.

QHow are you promoting Rocky Mountaineer Rail Tours in the Indian market?
Rocky Mountaineer is a premium luxury rail experience and we are their exclusive General Sales Agent in India. While continuing to focus on major metros, we plan to expand sales visits to Tier-II and III cities. We conduct agent workshops across India to showcase Rocky Mountaineer. We offer agents attractive commission levels based on annual productivity. In 2018, we are participating in several travel trade shows across India and will

be showcasing Rocky Mountaineer at SATTE, Delhi. We are actively marketing Rocky Mountaineer through various social, digital and print media channels. Rocky Mountaineer offers attractive early booking incentives and promotions.

QWhat new products in terms of experiences and destinations Mazda Travel will be adding in its portfolio?
Our 2018 Discover Canada brochure is now available. The brochure features independent vacations, self-drive holidays, private journeys and rail vacations across Canada and Alaska. The new emerging travellers are looking for unique experiences. Self-drive holiday offers freedom to explore remote locations in the Canadian Rockies, follow the wine trail along Route 97 in British Columbia, visit Blue Mountains & Muskoka region in Ontario, and explore the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton Island, NS

considered one of the world’s most scenic destination. Canada is a winter wonderland. We have programmes offering wide range of family-friendly activities like dog sledging, horse drawn sleigh rides, snow shoeing, ice skating and a variety of options to learn skiing and snowboarding in Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, Vancouver and Whistler.

Q What are your marketing and promotional strategies for the market?
Canada continues to an evolving destination in India. During our visit to agents across India, we notice lack of destination and product knowledge among front line sales team. We have developed detailed, easy to refer destination and product training modules. We conduct on-site trainings for agents to have them confidently offer Canada as a year round destination appealing to the Indian traveller. Our sales team will be visiting Tier-II and III cities across India, participate at several trade shows and be visible through various social media channels. We are working with our preferred partners in Canada to offer a wide range of programmes, services, activities, attractions and experiences at best rates.

Q How are you innovating your website?
Last year, we revamped www. to make it more user-friendly. Visitors to our website are now able to view our popular programmes, activities, featured product and destination of the week on the home page. The content is available through easy to use tabs, and is ready for download in word format. We also feature loads of information with high resolution images and videos for easy reference.
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