Centre Holidays has certainly proven its worth in its professional approach along with a personalized support system all year round. The continued and consistent help from head office has been incredible.
Centre Holidays was established in March 2003 by Carlton Montaut and Barbara Sasiadek and has been a retail travel agency since its inception. In 2009, Centre Holidays established itself as a host travel agency for home based travel agents across Canada.
We are proud to say that we have overcome some of the most turbulent times in the travel industry and not just survived, but grown. During the economic recession in 2009, many travel agencies "closed their doors" whereas we grew from a 2-agent organization to roughly having over 300 home based travel agents associated with us since January 2010. We also increased our administration staff from two to nine.
The proof of our success stems from the dedication of our team and all our home based travel agents. Our gross sales have increased by over 500% in most areas.
We give our home based travel agents priority on all educational and ‘FAM’ trips because we feel that the more educated they are, the easier and more effective they will be at selling.
We have regular in-house, webinar, one-on-one training sessions and presentations by various travel suppliers and more.
We strive to constantly provide all our home based travel agents with quality customer service and support so that they can concentrate on their customers.
We can only be successful if our home based travel agents are. We will do whatever we can to ensure that they have all the tools and support they require to grow a profitable and rewarding home based travel business.
Travel has been my only career and I joined the travel industry in 1979. I have been in various positions since then, but marketing and management have been my forte. Of course, during these years I have travelled the world extensively for leisure and business. Another important aspect of myself is in all these years of travel I have only helped to grow various travel businesses. I have never been the cause of any closure. Now that’s what I call 35 years of success in the travel industry.
I am a firm believer in the importance of travel professionals and that they do make a difference handling customer travel requirements. I have strong leadership skills and a very good understanding of the Canadian and American markets. My extensive years in travel have helped me to build contacts and relationships within the industry across Canada, the USA and many other countries worldwide. As the founder of Centre Holidays, there are three words that have brought about success for myself and my agents: Passion, Dedication and Support. Of course, all of this has been possible because of the wonderful team I have at head office:
Andre Montaut, Manager, Marketing & Technical Support
Dustin Shaw, Administrator, General Support
Kristen Montaut, Administrator, Accounting
Renee Tsang, Trainer & Representative, Alberta
Cara Fahlman, Representative, Saskatchewan
Jay Stoller, Representative, Manitoba
Ami Jagger, Community Pod Leader
Anna Aitchison, Community Pod Leader
Donna McGougan, Community Pod Leader
Kristin Hoogendoorn, Community Pod Leader
Centre Holidays was established in March 2003. Barbara Sasiadek and I started this as a partnership. I am proud to say that we have overcome some of the most turbulent times in the travel industry. During the economic recession many travel agencies closed their doors whereas we expanded. In October 2009, our Home Based Travel Agent business was launched and since then we have grown from two agents to over 300 across Canada. How was this possible? I mentioned previously, three words.
Passion: My passion for travel is and was so great that in spite of financial difficulties at the start, I overcame all obstacles.
Dedication: Passion just proves my dedication to make this program successful.
Support: In any business, if you do not provide support you will not get results. My agents get the best of everything. This is a family business with the phrase "We care for our staff and agents." Hence, this would not be possible without the support of my family who support my travel venture.
A special thank you to my wife Jillian of 38 years but a friend for 44 years.
Thank you to my children, Jermaine and Kristen, who support me and presently play a role in my operations.
However, nothing would have been possible to date without the tireless effort of my eldest son Andre who heads IT and Marketing and is continuously thinking of ways to improve the business and make it easy for our home based travel agents to market themselves.
As for our home based travel agents, I thank them for being a part of our ever growing family and wish them all the best.
If you wish to share this experience with us, join us.
Chief Executive Officer
Home Based Travel Agent Testimonials
When I was doing my research of agencies to join, Centre Holidays stood out first as their initial information was very transparent and easy to follow. I reached out to Centre Holidays and a few other agencies and Jillian responded within hours. I felt that if I was given this kind of attention this early then this is the place for me. From day one I have had support from the team at Centre Holidays. No question is too small and I am always guided in the right direction with great care. My business has grown each year with Centre Holidays and that is all thanks to their support and valuable training tools. I have also been supported by fellow agents within Centre Holidays. You will find when you join, the first thing they will say to you is 'welcome to the family'. We are not part of a business we are part of a family. We support each other and celebrate our successes together.
I can’t say enough about being with Centre Holidays. In these past few months I have seen how agents pull together to really help each other out. They have gone as fast as setting up a Zoom conference call so that we are all on the same page to getting together to discuss topics like fees, flights, how to book groups, etc. It’s all on the table, intimate and interactive.
After making the decision to return to the travel industry, I started looking for options to be able to work from home to fit my family's schedule. After doing some homework and research, Centre Holidays was at the top of my list. They checked off everything on my list that I was looking for. They provided me with everything I need to get started from a laptop and stationary to training and on-going support. Whenever I have had a question or needed help, it has been there in an instant. The other agents with Centre Holidays are also willing to help and are very knowledgeable, it is like one big family that I'm very proud to be a part of and hope to continue my learning and growth with this company for many years :)
I joined Centre Holidays in July of 2015! I have a young family and a full time job but I love travelling and wanted to try out being a travel agent. So far I'm loving it! The head office team is awesome and have been really helpful and supportive! I'm so happy with my choice to join Centre Holidays!
For the first six months working with Centre Holidays I was astounded with the service that they offered. The training that I got was outstanding, easy to follow and understand. They walked me through the entire process, make me feel appreciated and not frightened to ask questions because they are so professional and very helpful.
When you need them, they respond to you right away whether they are at home or at the office. I'm so thankful to be part of a successful and growing travel company. I don't hesitate to sell my products to my clients because I know that Centre Holidays is an excellent company.
Centre Holidays is the best travel agency I've worked with! I've been with them since 2010 and the training, and services they provide are over and above anywhere else. The start-up fees were minimal and the monthly management fees are very manageable with the services they provide (including: website and email maintenance, invoicing system, and a great agent resource for training and vendor directory). Best of all, the management team is always available and are a great resource with the experience and connections they have and are always looking to grow the business of each of their agents.
I have been a home based travel agent with Centre Holidays for over 7 years. I started with no experience in the industry, just the desire to become a certified travel consultant. Centre Holidays provided the training I required to get my certification and then further training was done one on one to enable me to become knowledgeable about providing quality travel products for my clients.
Even though I am working from home, there is excellent support available if needed, both from the head office and from an ever-increasing pool of fellow agents located across the country.
As far as costs go for starting your own business, I found Centre Holidays to be very reasonable and have easily made back my initial investment.
I am enjoying the freedom of working from home and can put in as little or as much time as I have.
For anyone considering entering this business, I would say that my experiences have been very positive and would not hesitate to recommend Centre Holidays.
I joined Centre Holidays in October 2011 and it has been a great adventure!
They offer a turn key opportunity and give you all the tools to be successful in the travel industry. Carlton and his team at head office are phenomenal. You can always count on their ongoing training and support. They will answer any question you have. Centre Holidays gives you the freedom to focus on your Niche.
Being a Home-Based Agent, I don't feel like I am alone. I have this amazing group of fellow Centre Holidays agents all over the country I can rely on! We all have our area of specialty and we are all willing to help each other with tips and ideas.
When I approached Centre Holidays to explore my options in becoming a home-based travel consultant after being employed with a few other travel agencies, I instantly knew this is where I need to be.
I appreciate the well thought out marketing strategies, on-going trainings, and real support from the management. They are so easy to communicate with and responsive if there is an issue or a question arises.
I am particularly pleased with all the support I get to add more value to service my clients such as promotional flyers, exclusive wedding invitations for my wedding groups and my bride and groom’s very own mini website. The devil is all in details.
I found my experience with Centre Holidays rewarding as my client list has increased dramatically. It is fantastic working with them and I can’t rate them highly enough.
My wholehearted appreciation to Centre Holidays for giving me the opportunity to sell travel. Head office has always been there for me any time I need them, yet they have never interfered with anything I am doing. It is gratifying to know that I can depend on my manager for her invaluable assistance with any questions that I may have. Furthermore, my manager went out of her way to book travel for my clients when I was unable to do so during my recent operation.
Because of Centre Holidays' knowledge in the travel industry they have consistently made extra efforts to help me in completing and making sure my bookings go smoothly, and for that I am truly grateful.
Though, I am relevantly new at being a home based agent my commissions have been wonderful. As an example, two clients of mine went on a safari to South Africa. My commission for just that one booking was over $800. Not bad for a home based agent – eh? Therefore, because of all of the above, I look forward to many more years with Centre Holidays.
My Husband and I joined Centre Holidays in 2009 when they started their home based travel program. In February 2010, I joined the management staff as a trainer, to train and support agents.
Recently I have stepped into the role of manager. Our head office staff is always there to answer questions and guide the agents whether they are new to the industry or have years of experience.
As a home based travel agent, you develop a very different relationship with your co-workers than you would in an office setting. Networking is very important and Centre Holidays' agents help each other with tips and ideas.
Centre Holidays gives you the freedom to focus on whatever market you have an interest in. If you want to focus mainly on cruises, air, groups, weddings or a particular destination, you will get the support, training and guidance to be successful!
Why Join Centre Holidays?
When it comes to starting your own travel business, there are a lot of benefits to joining a host travel agency like Centre Holidays. These benefits include:
Training And Education
Licenses And Accreditations
If you plan on opening a travel agency, it can be expensive. You have to consider the cost of an office space, phone line, internet, agency licences and accreditations, etc.
By joining Centre Holidays, you can work right from you home and all you have to pay is an initial setup fee and a monthly recurring fee, both of which are relatively inexpensive. Your training, support and a few other aspects of your business are covered under these fees.
*Individuals from British Columbia will have additional fees which have to be made payable to their government.
Once you join Centre Holidays and get set up, you are initially trained on a one-on-one basis over multiple sessions. This helps ensure that you become competent and comfortable as a travel agent. Centre Holidays also offers on-going one-on-one and group training sessions as it is covered in your monthly recurring fee.
On top of the training that we provide, you will have access to hundreds of online courses which can help you become a specialist (eg: destination weddings, river cruises, luxury travel, etc. ).
Today, technology is a key factor to running a business. From your email to your website to networking with colleagues, some sort of application is required.
Once you are a part of our company, you don't have to worry about what is required as we provide you with all the essential applications to run your business.
Your website is maintained by us so that you don't have to worry about updating it yourself.
You will also be given access to our agent portal, a backend system that contains various resources, marketing material and information about the suppliers we deal with.
As for networking with our family of home based travel agents across Canada, you will have access to our communities where you will be able to share ideas, ask for assistance and get to know each other on a personal level.
If you choose to open a travel agency, applying for licences and accreditations takes time and money. One benefit to joining a host travel agency like ours is that you can use our licences and accreditations when contacting our suppliers to book trips, registering yourself for rewards programs, educational courses, advertising, etc. Basically from the minute you join, your travel business can start operating.
With selling comes making and receiving payments. This can range from credit card payments, wire transfers, cheque payments, etc. Our accounting team handles the majority of this on your behalf so that you can focus on operating your business.
We offer a wide range of commission levels for you to choose from (50% - 80%). You can choose to start at any of these levels or work your way up to the maximum that we offer. If you choose to work your way up, you will never be downgraded for a lack of sales.
We make commission payouts once a month. As commission is received from our suppliers, we release them to you. We Do Not hold your commission until your clients return from their trip.
*If you have any questions on how commission works, feel free to give us a call and we can discuss it in detail with you.
All our home based travel agents receive extensive and on-going support. Whether it's a technical issue, booking emergency, training or marketing request, etc., we have someone in place to help assist you. There is no additional cost to this as it is all covered in your monthly recurring fee.