How Momentum Ventures is reshaping Canada’s tourism industry

The Canadian company demonstrates how technology and quick thinking have been critical to recovery

Created for “Momentum

The pandemic created uncharted territory for everyone, not least of all Canada’s tourism industry. Now the industry is on its way to recovering, and much of its resilience is built on innovation and dedicated customer service. One business helping the industry’s recovery is Momentum Ventures, a Canadian holding company that oversees a portfolio of subsidiaries operating in the travel industry, such as successful startups FlightHub, a leading Canadian online travel agency (OTA), and JustFly, the fourth largest OTA in the U.S. 

“With the sudden emergence of global travel restrictions and the ensuing uncertainty, our companies experienced a significant impact,” says Matt Keezer, CEO of Momentum Ventures. “Travel bookings plummeted as travellers faced uncertainties and concerns about safety, resulting in a substantial decline in revenue. The situation demanded swift adaptation to the new reality, as our subsidiaries navigated the complexities of the evolving travel landscape. Despite these challenges, our commitment to innovation and resilience fueled our response to ensure our companies were equipped to weather the storm and emerge stronger on the other side.”

Automation to the rescue

Effective decision-making and swift development and implementation of new technology were needed to confront the highly demanding situation. On the day that widespread border closures were issued, Momentum Venture’s OTAs had approximately 250,000 passengers with bookings for upcoming trips. “In stark contrast to the typical volume of around 5,000 calls per day, our subsidiaries found themselves inundated with an exceptional 70,000 calls daily,” Keezer recalls. To compound the problem, a significant number of JustFly and FlightHub’s call centre staff were under isolation orders, resulting in less than half of its workforce being available for an extended duration. “Despite these substantial challenges, we expedited the implementation of automation for various processes, enabling customers to efficiently initiate requests for refunds, credits or changes to their itineraries,” he says. “The dedicated development team demonstrated commendable dedication, working incessantly for weeks on end to bring these crucial enhancements to life.”

By doing so, Momentum and its subsidiaries have been able to negotiate the recovery with grace under pressure. Momentum’s proven growth-driven philosophy now supports its OTAs to reignite the travel economy and workforce. “The recovery journey has been marked by resilience and adaptability,” affirms Keezer, who is a well-established, Montreal-based entrepreneur. “As travel restrictions gradually eased and vaccination efforts gained momentum, we began to witness a positive shift in the industry. While the recovery is ongoing, we remain cautiously optimistic about the industry’s trajectory moving forward.”

Federal tourism strategy provides support

The federal government’s Canada 365 tourism growth strategy is key to improving the country’s infrastructure and modernizing the travel experience. The visitor economy is one of Canada’s top service exports. Global projections point to continued solid growth; in fact, the forecast from the World Travel and Tourism Council indicates that tourism’s contribution to Canada’s GDP could double by 2033. This potential worldwide growth represents a tremendous opportunity, especially as no other sector has an economic impact that reaches every region in the country.

“We inspire travellers to explore Canada’s beauty and cultural richness, in line with the spirit of the Canada 365 initiative,” affirms Keezer. 

Making travel fun again

Travel fosters personal growth and meaningful connections. “Our focus is to facilitate transformative experiences that align with these aspirations,” Keezer adds. “By blending technology, safety measures and personalized service, we’re enabling travellers to embark on journeys that rekindle the joy of discovery and create lasting memories.”

Through its commitment to prioritizing the customer, operational excellence and collaborative teamwork, Momentum’s OTAs continue to succeed in the ever-changing travel landscape. “We strive to correctly identify what matters most to our customers and then we work hard to continually improve our products and services to make our customers happy. Additionally, our investment in technology has enabled us to streamline the booking process and enhance communication with travellers. Lastly, our adaptability and resilience in the face of challenges, coupled with the dedication of our skilled teams, have been instrumental in driving our companies’ success in the dynamic and ever-evolving travel industry.”

To learn more, visit mventures.ca.

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