Sunwing Travel Group recognized among Canada’s top employers by Forbes

Sunwing Travel Group recognized among Canada’s top employers by Forbes

Press Release:

The Sunwing Travel Group is pleased to have been included within Forbes’ ranking of Canada’s 300 Best Employers. Considered to be one of the world’s leading sources of reliable business news and financial information, the global media company collaborated with online statistics provider Statista to survey over 8000 Canadian employees—81% full timers—working for companies with at least 500 people to rate their willingness to recommend their own companies on a scale of 1-10. Those who took part in the survey were consulted anonymously through several online access panels.

The news was welcomed by Stephen Hunter, President and CEO of Sunwing Travel Group, who commented. “We believe investing in our employees is vital and are extremely pleased to be included in this list. The Sunwing Travel Group has grown and expanded dramatically over the years and we attribute this growth and success to the passion and dedication of our team.”

North America’s largest vertically-integrated travel business, the Sunwing Travel Group employs almost 17,000 people internationally and has been included on the PROFIT 500 list for the last 12 years consecutively. The company’s headquarters in Toronto were recently extended and refurbished. Employees benefit from free parking, a subsidized staff restaurant and coffee house, together with a lunchroom to enable them to make their own meals if they prefer.

Employees also receive an attractive benefits package which includes medical and dental, and they can opt to join an RRSP matching program.  A new user-friendly HR portal was also recently implemented to provide employees access to their payroll, benefits, and many other features anywhere and anytime. Employees can take advantage of preferential rates on a number of services from insurance to gym memberships. In particular, Sunwing is the only airline to reward employees with confirmed flight passes for travelling to and from any of Sunwing’s destinations domestically and internationally. Staff members also receive discounted rates at certain hotels and resorts, as well as selected excursions. Friends and family members of Sunwing employees also benefit from travel promotions.

To learn about career opportunities, visit www.sunwingtravelgroup.com

About Sunwing Travel Group

The largest integrated travel business in North America, Sunwing Travel Group is comprised of Sunwing Vacations, the leading leisure tour operator in Canada; Sunwing Airlines, Canada’s premier leisure airline; Signature Vacations, one of Canada’s leading tour operators for all inclusive package vacations and Vacation Express, a growing tour operator in the United States together with the Group’s own travel retail businesses SellOffVacations.com and Luxe Destination Weddings. Blue Diamond Resorts is the Sunwing Travel Group’s own hotel management company, an innovative organization that operates popular resort brands like Royalton Luxury Resorts, CHIC by Royalton, Grand Lido, Memories, and Starfish, across the Caribbean, Cuba and Mexico; while NexusTours provides destination management services to individuals, agencies, tour groups, corporate businesses and tour operators.

SOURCE Sunwing Travel Group

Here are 7 ways we can make travel safer:

Here are 7 ways we can make travel safer:

A new report, Digital Borders, looks to a future in which eligibility to travel is based on the individual rather than the legacy system of a country of origin.

  1. More intelligence and data sharing. Secure, routine intelligence and data sharing between sovereign national governments and international security organisations on travellers is vital. While significant efforts have been undertaken to improve regular and timely information sharing, additional cooperation and collaboration among these groups is needed.
  2. Provide advance passenger information. The global aviation system and the efforts of all governments to strengthen aviation security are critical to enabling the movement of people across borders. At the same time, sovereign nations are dependent on each other to provide a common secure aviation environment, which is undeniably connected to each nation’s individual economic security. We thus need to drive forward the UN Security Council Resolution 2309 (2016) which urges nations to require airlines to provide advance passenger information to the appropriate national authorities.
  3. Make the traveller part of the solution. It’s time for governments to reconsider the role of the traveller. People on the move should be able to own their digital biometric profile and have the ability to push this secure data in advance to make their journey easier. Traveller participation will enable the wider use of pre-clearance and will make international border crossings more efficient.
  4. Utilise enhanced harmonised biometric standards. International organisations have established harmonised and routine sharing of traveller data, including biometrics for identity verification and travel eligibility, which have improved security and facilitated international travel and commerce between partner countries. To take this forward, national governments need to implement the international standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and assist emerging economies in implementing those standards.
  5. Expand multilateral agreements. Based on the success of bilateral agreements to date, and on the current state of international security, governments should aim to expand established agreements multilaterally. These expanded agreements should incorporate the harmonised requirements for traveller data.
  6. Aim for a single application and a single fee. Many nations currently collect country-specific applications, with varying information requirements and separate application fees for travel security programmes. For multi-national implementation, there should be a single application to electronic travel systems with harmonised security requirements and a single cost-based fee with appropriate revenue sharing between participating governments.
  7. Move to a digital process. Over time, the entire process of border management used by most travellers should be a wholly automated, electronic platform, built on verified biometric data. Evidence is clear that e-visas do not undermine security; they facilitate border crossings for many travellers, reduce paperwork and allow public safety officials to direct more attention and resources to threat identification.

This article was republished courtesy of World Economic Forum.

Booking an obscenely cheap vacation package? It might be too good to be true

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Self-made millionaire: Millennials, don’t travel-yet

CNBC Make it.

There are many benefits of traveling: getting recharged, inspired, bonding and connecting with others, and having a new respect for life back at home.

I want my daughters to experience new places and new people. Traveling is an education that can’t be bought at home.

When it comes to millennials and travel, however, I have a few words of caution.

When I was younger, I was not clear on why or what I was learning while I was at college, so I left my university with a piece of paper, debt, no clue about my future and very few skills. Many millennials today find themselves in a similar position. That is why so many young people are wandering without direction.

When you don’t know what you should be doing, it’s easy to put life on hold and backpack abroad staying in hostels and eating ramen.

What I want to do is inspire millennials to work hard now so they can travel the world in style later.

If you’re going to waste time at a job you hate trading hours for dollars, not trying to learn and grow, then you might as well go and waste a few months traveling around southeast Asia. Either way, you’re not building your future.

Young travelers party on a beach in the Indian resort of Goa.

Ami Vitale | Getty Images

The reason many millennials want to travel is because they have no purpose at home. They believe time off is going to allow themselves to somehow “find” that thing they know is missing in their life. But travel, while there are some benefits to it, does not guarantee you will find your purpose.

I took too much time off early in my entrepreneurial career and it almost derailed me.

I had traded in the obsession I thought I was chasing for hanging out with my friends, going to the movies, playing softball and weekend barbecues. But how much introspection does one really need before it’s time to get to work?

“I SUGGEST THAT MILLENNIALS PAY THE PRICE TODAY SO THEY CAN PAY ANY PRICE TOMORROW.”-Grant Cardone, self-made millionaire

It’s not all about the hustle. You must have skills. When you educate for skills it will result in money, and you can use skills every day to bring more value to the marketplace.

If you are a millennial and need to take time off, then take enough time off to fulfill your desire for time off. Just realize, your life will probably be no better at the end of it, and your financial situation will probably be even worse off than it already is.

If you focus on finding your purpose, if you end up getting fulfilled by what you do, you may find your desire for time off goes away.

We live in a society where it seems people have an entitled form of laziness to assume that we work five days and take the weekend off. Why is that? Forget about travel: Should a millennial who is working 40 hours a week making $32,000 a year even be sitting around all weekend taking it easy?

The acceptance of the idea that eight hours invested in your job is enough regardless of your financial position is a misunderstanding of epic proportions.

Twenty-seven-year-old Garston Tremblay, a developer, enjoys a bowl of cereal at his desk while at work at Rally Software Development.

Cyrus McCrimmon | Getty Images

I suggest that millennials pay the price today so they can pay any price tomorrow.

I can travel the world in my own plane today because I put in the hard work and became serious about my career when I was 25. Get obsessed with your purpose, and you’ll find that your travel plans can wait.

Comfort is the enemy of abundance. Don’t let travel get in the way of your freedom.

Grant Cardone is an entrepreneur, New York Times best-selling author, and sales training expert.

KAYAK reveals top trending destinations of the year for Canadian travellers

KAYAK reveals top trending destinations of the year for Canadian travellers

Havana, Reykjavik, Rio de Janeiro, in. Osaka, Istanbul and Kahului, out.  KAYAK, the world’s leading travel search engine, reveals the Top Ten Trending Destinations of the Year according to Canadian traveller search data.1

“Canadians are seeking experiences both rich in culture and history in some of the world’s most interesting cities,” said David Solomito, VP North America Marketing. “Havana has seen an amazing amount of renewed interest as has Reykjavik, but there are some exciting additions to the list – like Casablanca, Auckland and Manila – proving long distance isn’t necessarily a variable when booking a trip.”

This year’s worth of data uncovers where Canadians are heading to next:

  • Havana is this year’s hot spot. While Canadians have always had a love for the historic tourist destination known for its cigars and famous vintage cars, interest in the city skyrocketed with a whopping 230% increase in searches compared to last year. Get there fast before Americans are allowed to start vacationing there, which will likely drive up costs and crowds.
  • Strike while the Reykjavik iron is hot and while you can still score a cool deal. The European hotspot took the #2 spot on KAYAK’S Top Trending Destinations list for Canadians with a 116% increase in searches compared to 2015.
  • Canadian travel to some of last year’s top destinations is expected to drop. Osaka was the top trending destination last year, but saw a 41% decrease in searches this year. Florida may also see fewer Canadians; Fort Lauderdale and Panama City’s temperatures couldn’t keep the cities from cooling down for Canadians.
  • Nashville is “singing your song”, Canada. No surprise with attractions and events continuing to expand in this great American city, Nashville sees a 43% increase in searches among Canadian travellers.
  • Canadians will go the distance for a rich cultural experience. KAYAK data shows that long flights aren’t always a factor when planning a trip. Long-haul destinations Casablanca, Manila, Auckland and New Delhi all saw 30% + increases in searches.

 

IN

OUT

Havana – 230%

Osaka – 41%

Reykjavik – 116%

Istanbul – 31%

Rio de Janeiro – 77%

Kahului – 24%

Casablanca – 76%

Brussels – 23%

Auckland – 58%

Hong Kong – 21%

Manila – 44%

Santiago – 20%

Nashville – 43%

Shanghai – 19%

New Delhi – 39%

Panama City – 18%

Guatemala – 36%

Fort Lauderdale – 14%

Bogota – 34%

Buenos Aires – 12%

_______________________

1 Methodology: Search dates Sept. 1, 2015 – Dec. 1, 2016 on ca.kayak.com; travel dates Jan. 1, 2016 – Dec. 31, 2016. Trending destinations are those with the largest increase/decrease in year-over-year searches.

KAYAK, as part of its annual Travel Hacker Guide, also reveals that Calgary is one of the hotspots of the year for North Americans,2gaining 27% more searches and proving Cowtown is a must-visit destination. Known as a gateway to some of the dreamiest ski getaways and the home of the Calgary Stampede, KAYAK data shows it’s best to book 2-3 months in advance. Want the best rate on a hotel? Book it for February.3

Solomito also shared tips to help Canadians travel like a pro “We have some great, intuitive features and tools that will arm you with all the information you need to make the right decisions”:

  • Check out KAYAK’s 2017 Travel Hacker Guide which features insights on what’s trending, popular and wallet-friendly among North American travelers. Based on data from over a billion travel searches, the guide is packed with data-driven insights on where to go, when to go and when to book.
  • For North American travelers, KAYAK’s data found it’s best to book 2-3 months out for Central America, Europe and Asia, but 1-2 months out works for the South Pacific.
  • The explore tool – Enter the budget you have in mind to spend on flights, and KAYAK will tell you all the places you can go within that budget.
  • Flight Hacks – These pro tips will help find the right flight for you.

 

To start planning your next vacation, visit ca.kayak.com.

ABOUT KAYAK
KAYAK is the world’s leading travel search engine. The company’s websites and mobile apps allow people to easily search hundreds of travel sites at once for flights, hotels, rental cars and vacation packages. KAYAK processes 1.5 billion annual searches for travel information and operates more than 40 international sites in 20 languages. KAYAK is an independently managed subsidiary of The Priceline Group.

20 Things You Want to Pack – But Shouldn’t!

20 Things You Want to Pack – But Shouldn’t!

Source: Wendy Perrin | Trip Advisor

What should you keep out of your bag?  Here are things that travel experts and savvy frequent travelers advise never to pack:

  1. More than one pair of shoes

“I have a strict two-pair limit per trip. I wear a comfortable pair of walking shoes onto the airplane, and I pack a nicer pair for dinners/nights out. Depending on the type of trip, I might substitute hiking boots or sandals in place of the dressy shoes. It’s a lot easier not to check luggage when your bag contains only one pair of shoes.”

—Sarah Schlichter, senior editor, Independent Traveler

  1. New shoes
  2. White sneakers

“Shoes need to be broken in before you commit to walking around in them day in and day out.  While sneakers may be comfy from the get-go, in foreign cities bright white sneakers are a dead giveaway that you’re a tourist.”

—Wendy Perrin, TripAdvisor’s Travel Advocate

  1. New underwear

“Take your oldest underwear with holes in them, and when they’re dirty, just throw them away!  Also, use compression bags or packing cubes to organize your clothes; use the compression bags to store your dirty clothes.”

—Nancy Quon

  1. Clothing with patterns

“Instead of clothes with patterns or colors I can wear only once, I pack multi-purpose clothes that won’t look dirty after one use or clash with other items.”

—Josh Roberts, managing editor, Smarter Travel

  1. Clothing with logos
  2. Expensive watches

“I’m always tempted to pack T-shirts or hats with my alma mater or favorite sports team labeled on them, but these clearly shout ‘tourist.’ I usually pack only clothing with no writing on it; it helps me blend in. I also never pack my expensive watch, since it’s another safety hazard.”

—Johnny Jet, JohnnyJet.com

  1. Every medication you could ever need

“Pack your prescription meds, but don’t pack an arsenal of over-the-counter medications and things like throat lozenges. Buy yourself a purse-sized pill container and take what you need in that. Unless you are visiting remote places, most pharmacies abroad are fabulous to spend time in and it can be part of your overall travel experience. Some of my favorite over-the-counter lozenges and topical creams come from France!”

—Robyn Webb, RobynWebb.com

  1. Clothing that requires ironing or drycleaning

“Hotel laundry services are super-expensive, and there are plenty of great fabrics that can be washed and air-dried so you can bring fewer items and wear them more often.”

—Jeanne McGeehan Egan

  1. Hairdryer
  2. Curling iron
  3. Hairspray

“You just don’t need them. They will have a hairdryer and spray at your hotel—and, at a nice hotel, a curling iron too—all to borrow (says the woman who still packs all three. I blame my mother.)”

—Paula Froelich, editor at large, Yahoo! Travel  and A Broad Abroad

  1. Beach towels

“Hotels give out pool towels, and if you need beach towels, you can buy cheap ones locally and either leave them behind or, if you love them, send them home.”

—Julia Hauldren

  1. High heels
  2. Anything you can buy at your destination

“Unless you are traveling for a wedding or a special event, there are a multitude of modern shoe options that will keep you looking stylish during your travels and are practical enough to use more than once. I never find myself reaching for the heels I used to throw in my bag ‘just in case,’ most of the time because I’ve spent the day exploring the city and my feet are tired.  And anything you don’t pack gives you the perfect excuse to buy while there!”

—Tyler Govaars, The Weekend Edit

  1. Guidebooks
  2. Maps

“Once upon a time we needed to pack guidebooks, but today you can download maps and guidebooks as apps. They are more up-to-date than books and don’t weigh a thing or take up valuable space. And an app such as TripAdvisor for Mobile doesn’t require Internet service to use.”

—Lissa Poirot, editor in chief, Family Vacation Critic

  1. Books

“I know that holding a Kindle is not the same as holding a book, but traveling with one is much easier. Plus, most libraries offer e-books, so you don’t have to pay for great things to read on your trip. You can even download more books from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an Internet connection.”

—Jonathan Sacks, Everybody Hates a Tourist

  1. Laptop

“Unless you have heavy-duty work to do, leave your laptop at home and rely solely on your smartphone. I’ve even started leaving my tablet at home. My Android Note 5 can do just about anything I need to do while on leisure trips.”

—Linda Terrill, The Luxury Travel Group

  1. Luggage

“I do two-night trips with just my laptop bag. If you can avoid checking a bag, you avoid losing a bag, and you save precious moments of your life at baggage claim. If you can avoid even needing overhead bin space, you don’t have to board the plane as early, and you move around unfettered through the airport and through life.”

—Gary Leff, View From The Wing

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