IsramWorld’s new program helps women connect in the Middle East. // © 2011 Skye Mayring
For a lot of visitors, a trip to the Middle East could be intimidating. There might be concerns regarding safety, different customs or preconceptions based on nationality, race or religion. For female travelers, these considerations are multiplied. In response to some of these concerns, tour operator IsramWorld -- a leader in travel to the Middle East and elsewhere -- has recently launched its newest travel program, called A Woman's View.
The new tours will bring travelers to IsramWorld's top destinations, including Egypt, Israel, Morocco, Central and South America, Indochina and South Africa, with custom itineraries designed specifically for women. The trips -- led by female escorts and featuring local women guides -- will allow travelers to meet local female figures and entrepreneurs and participate in special one-on-one cultural-immersion programs based on interests such as cuisine, art, music and dance.
The new division will be under the guidance of IsramWorld senior vice president, Eileen Lowe Hart. Hart will take on the title of managing director for A Woman's View.
"What we've seen from working with groups of women is that, in these destinations there is so much to see and do, but there are many women holding back from traveling to these places because they don't want to go alone," Hart said. "So, we are giving them the opportunity to travel with people of like-minded interests and be able to share it."
The first tour under the new program, Egypt & A Women's View, will include a homecooked dinner in a private home, a visit to the Gayer Anderson Museum, camel rides at the Pyramids, belly-dancing lessons, cooking lessons with the executive chef of the Nile Cruise and more.
"People traveling abroad are always interested in sharing an authentic person-to-person relationship and learning what it's really like living in a destination and meeting people from there. For instance, what is life like for women in Egypt today?" said Hart. "Clients come back with more than just a sightseeing tour. Also, it's great fun. Women love to talk to other women. And they also love that they are free to do the things they love when they are on vacation."
Ady Gelber, president and CEO of IsramWorld, said the new program is already getting a lot of interest and enthusiasm from agents. Gelber feels this is another tool for agents to use to bring in more business, while utilizing the company's existing destination expertise around the world. He also pointed out that these programs have a broad appeal as well.
"Basically, what we found out with our other groups is that this is not only for single women," Gelber pointed out. "For married women, maybe their husbands have other interests and the woman wants to go but she doesn't want to go alone, so she feels very comfortable traveling with other women."
All of the A Woman's View itineraries can also be customized for groups, and Hart said that many agents have already expressed interest in accompanying a customized group of women themselves.
"We will have special departure dates to each destination for those agents," she said. "We made the commission for this program 15 percent because we are focused on the travel agent community. They have been so supportive of us in the past."
Itineraries for all A Woman's View tours are already set, and information should be available online by the end of the month. The itineraries will also be available in all 2011 destination brochures.