Customizing Egypt

This tour operator holds the key to customization and commission

By: Kara Cutruzzula

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Key Tours is offering 16 percent commission
on land portions to destinations like Luxor.
For clients seeking customized trips to Egypt, Key Tours International has been providing clients with expert guidance for 16 years. Specializing in FIT and escorted packages, the company offers personalized service and convenience that extends from clients to agents. Their level of accommodation and cuisine, combined with individual attention, makes FIT travel desirable for first-time or repeat visitors. Currently, agents can take advantage of an uptick in interest to the area.

Nigel Osborne, executive vice president, Key Tours International, said customer demand for more tailor-made trips encouraged the company to expand their brochure with the Discover series.

“Our new products reflect our commitment to the travel agency community and the changing travel patterns,” said Osborne.

Recent business to the region has been up over 25 percent, with group inquiries for 2009 steadily increasing.

Tour guides customize itineraries to help visitors absorb 7,000 years of history while traveling through Cairo, seeing the Pyramids or embarking on a Nile cruise.

“Our destination experts in Egypt have extensive information on our clients and can anticipate their needs,” said Osborne.

University-trained experts in Egyptology, Key Tours guides are selected for each client according to the depth of knowledge requested. The new, deluxe Discover program excels at cultural immersion. Three themed customized itineraries give those looking for a unique and in-depth sightseeing experience a more detailed journey. To celebrate the company’s anniversary, Key Tours is offering 16 percent commission for land portions.

On the five-day, four-night Memorable Cairo tour, clients design their own program, including the famous Giza Pyramids, Sphinx, the Egyptian museum, the Saladin Citadel and the fascinating El Khalili Bazaar. Guides recommend local restaurants where clients can sample authentic cuisine. A tour to Qaroon Lake and the Fayoum oasis precedes a felucca (boat) ride around the waterfall in Wadi Al Rian. Osborne recommends clients journey from the Bahariya oasis to the Black and White deserts, where the striking landscapes provide spectacular imagery.

The Egyptian Jewels program expands on the attractions in Cairo and includes two additional nights in Luxor and Aswan. Stunning sights range from the Sound and Light show at Karnak Temple to viewing the Valleys of the Kings and Queens and the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. A private guide leads a tour of the High Dam, the Temple of Isis and the unfinished Obelisk. A day can also be spent admiring the monuments of Abu Simbel.

For those wanting to sail the Nile, the nine-day, eight-night Egyptian Treasures package spends four days on a cruise touring the West Bank with continuations to Edfu and Kom Ombo. A Galabaya party and dinner followed by a Nubian show onboard provide nightlife excitement at sea.

All Discover packages boast accommodations in luxury or boutique hotels, private transfers, a welcome drink, buffet breakfast daily, exclusive dining, flexible private touring and expert local guides. A travel funds protection program, which holds all funds in escrow until travel is complete, also gives clients peace of mind.

Six additional programs are available, with a selection of Nile cruises to suit all styles of travel. Osborne suggests lesser-known destinations such as Sharm El Sheikh, a Red Sea resort and Saint Catherine Monastery.

“It’s a long journey but a private guide and car will make it worth it,” he said.

Key Tours offers personalized services for agents, including partnering with destination experts, which gives reassurance that customers are provided with correct information. Agents are offered co-op advertising and marketing support, including Web product help and e-mail marketing. Training and fam trips can help agents become better acquainted with the area.