When we were first told our friend and respected industry veteran Denise Heffron was returning to the travel industry, we were excited! As TravelPulse Canada was the first to report Thursday morning, Heffron has been appointed Managing Director, Uplift; a service that’s new to Canada and offers innovative travel payment solutions.
How fitting then, that on International Women’s Day, we learn more about her role at the helm and how Uplift will be a win-win for the industry and consumers alike?
The company’s already on a roll in the United States, where it’s secured partnerships with some of the world’s biggest travel brands such as American Airlines Vacations, Spirit Airlines, Norwegian Cruise Line, Universal Studios and more. Investors have put their support behind the company as well, with the company closing a $123M USD Series C equity financing round, led by Madrone Capital.
Heffron’s task will be to bring that same success to the Canadian market, which with her at the helm, is entirely feasible. This is a woman after all, who is one of Canada’s top travel and tourism professionals known for her strong partner relationships, business acumen and drive to deliver results.
Tom Botts, Chief Commercial Officer for Uplift tells TravelPulse Canada that the company has been focused on travel from the beginning and that their earliest partners were in the vacation package space.
“Building on that experience, Canada was a natural extension for Uplift given the strength of the vacation package market,” Botts explains. “When we were able to find a true industry leader like Denise, all the pieces came together for us to enter the market in a bold way.”
Heffron tells us that for the average person, travel is a goal – it’s something to look forward to, save up for. Uplift provides consumers with a tool to budget and see tangible options for their travel. Costs are entirely transparent, and unlike other forms of payment, shows a finite time to be paid off. The result is travelers can realize that for only a few extra dollars a month, they can afford that oceanview upgrade or business class seats for their vacation.
“Travel is a manifestation of our “dream vacation” and our ultimate destination, but so far, not everyone has been able to reach their goal,” says Heffron. “Uplift wants to provide travel opportunities to as many Canadians as possible! This doesn’t have to be a dream we put on the top shelf – it’s something attainable that every consumer can tangibly see and cost out right in front of them.”
Consumers aren’t the only ones who benefit, however. The industry does too and there is something for everyone. On-line travel sellers benefit from the display of monthly pricing in their booking flows where the accessibility and affordability of vacations are clearly displayed and easily understood. Travel agents and call centre agents can have access to Uplift financing as well through Uplift’s stand-alone off-line agent tool.
“We are super-excited to connect with Canada’s top travel businesses to provide our technology and tools as a means to close sales and delight their customer-base. It’s going to be a win-win for them and it has the potential to deliver significant return!” says Heffron.
Canadian partnership announcements will follow later this month while integration of Uplift technology will be added for consumer access via top Canadian travel providers, as early as April 2019. You can check out Uplift at www.uplift.com