Avanti Expands Its Offerings for Travel Agents

The tour company introduces new products, river cruising and escorted small-group tours By: Emma Weissmann
Agents have asked Avanti for more itineraries in Asia. // © 2015 iStock
Agents have asked Avanti for more itineraries in Asia. // © 2015 iStock

The Details

Avanti Destinations

Avanti Destinations will expand its product line to include six destinations in Asia, river cruising in Europe and escorted small-group tours in Europe and Latin America. The first selection of itineraries will become available in late November.

Why It Matters:
Travel agents are speaking up, and Avanti is listening. By reviewing agent surveys, researching past bookings and forming partnerships with like-minded companies such as Back-Roads Touring and CroisiEurope, Avanti has planned each piece of its expansion strategically. This is a smart move, considering the company will soon be experiencing rapid growth in a short amount of time. Avanti even commissioned its own agent survey, which revealed that China and Southeast Asia are increasingly attracting North American leisure travelers and that Avanti trips are often booked as pre- and post-cruise extensions.  

Fast Facts:
- Agents can now preorder the “Essence of Asia” brochure on Avanti’s website. 

- Before the expansion, Avanti sold customized FIT itineraries that included accommodations, transfers and sightseeing in Europe, Central and South America. 

- New FIT travel destinations in Asia will include China, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

- Mark Grundy, former head of Wendy Wu Tours, has been appointed as Avanti’s managing director of Asia.

- With Avanti’s addition of 14 CroisiEurope river cruises, agents can book a cruise as a highlight of a longer European itinerary, or just the cruise itself.

- Cruise itineraries and prices will be available by the end of October, coordinating with the release of Avanti’s 2016 “Essence of Europe” brochure. This includes sailings through Central Europe, Germany, Portugal, Benelux countries and France. 

- Small tours will feature 17 of Back-Roads Touring’s products, in destinations such as Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the U.K. Details and prices will be in Avanti’s 2016 “Essence of Europe” brochure.   

What They Are Saying:
“We conducted a comprehensive survey of travel agents booking with us, and these products were high on their wish list,” said John Hanratty, chief marketing officer of Avanti Destinations. “So to deliver the high-quality, authentic experience agents have come to expect, we brought onboard an Asia expert, Mark Grundy, and we are partnering with leading European suppliers who share a commitment to the Avanti style of travel: CroisiEurope and Back-Roads Touring.”