Transat A.T. Inc. launches an outgoing tour operator in Mexico

The company, which already enjoys a strong Mexican presence with departures from Canada and France, gains a new source market to feed destinations that it knows well

MONTREAL, June 10 /CNW Telbec/ - Transat A.T. Inc., one of the largest integrated tourism companies in the world and Canada's holiday travel leader, is setting up shop in Monterrey, Mexico, under the Eleva Travel brand, to offer leisure travel products to Mexican customers beginning this summer. Eleva Travel will initially market the following destinations: Cancún, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, Los Cabos and Ixtapa, all in Mexico, along with Las Vegas, Nevada. Other destinations are expected to be added later, including Canada, which is a popular destination for Mexicans.

The majority of Mexican leisure travel is focused on domestic destinations, with a high demand during summer. More than 2 million Mexican travellers visit Cancún and Puerto Vallarta, mainly between April and September. Transat already has agreements and business relationships with several hoteliers in these destinations, where it already operates as an incoming tour operator.

"The creation of Eleva Travel is an important decision for Transat, as it allows us to open up a new source market and also take advantage of strong summer demand to complement our operations," said Jean-Marc Eustache, President and Chief Executive Officer of Transat. "This new company will enhance the service offering for Mexican consumers and be beneficial to us as a Canadian tour operator, to our incoming tour operator located in Mexico and to our hotels along the Maya Riviera. This is therefore truly a strategic project for Transat."

Eleva Travel will initially comprise some 30 employees, most of whom are already at work. The company, which will sell its products mainly through travel agencies, will be headed by Esteban Benavides. Mr. Benavides has more than 15 years' experience as manager of a tour operator in the Monterrey market serving Mexican and U.S. destinations. The official opening of Eleva Travel is scheduled for early July 2010.

Mexico, including the Cancún and Puerto Vallarta regions, has been a major year-round destination for Transat out of Canada and France for more than 25 years. With nearly 10,000 rooms a night in high season and partnerships with close to 150 hoteliers, Transat is one of the most active international tour operators in this country. It also operates in Mexico as an incoming tour operator, under the Trafic Tours brand, and as a hotelier through Ocean hotels, under a partnership with H10 Hotels, based in Barcelona, Spain.

About Transat

Transat A.T. Inc. is an integrated international tour operator with more than 60 destination countries and that distributes products in over 50 countries. A holiday travel specialist, Transat operates mainly in Canada and Europe, as well as in the Caribbean, Mexico and the Mediterranean Basin. Montreal-based Transat is also active in air transportation, destination services, accommodation and distribution. (TSX: TRZ.B, TRZ.A)

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SOURCE Transat A.T. Inc.

For further information: For further information: Jacques Bouchard, Manager, Media Relations, (514) 987-1616, ext. 4662, jacques.bouchard@transat.com; Source: Transat, www.transat.com


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