Exclusive Group Travel founder Elyse Elkin // © 2015 Exclusive Group Travel
Feature image (above): The Caribbean is a popular destination families. // © 2015 Thinkstock
Exclusive Group Travel (EGT), celebrated its first birthday this month, but founder Elyse Elkin has been in the travel industry for more than two decades, which is part of the reason she calls EGT “the oldest new company” around. The fresh tour operator, which sells exclusively to travel agents, specializes in FIT and group travel to the Caribbean and Mexico.
Elkin talked with TravelAge West about current trends in the market, from international weddings to multigenerational trips.
Outside of Cancun and Riviera Maya, EGT is fielding increasing requests for destination weddings in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Excellence Punta Cana and Paradisus Resorts properties are among popular choices, but Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana leads the pack.
According to Elkin, Hard Rock’s Colin Cowie wedding packages — created in partnership with the eponymous celebrity-event designer — are luring couples to the Dominican Republic all-inclusive hotel, as well as to brand properties in Mexico.
Multigenerational groups are also heading to the Caribbean; EGT sends an equal number of families to Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. Elkin has been especially impressed with family products from the new Royalton Luxury Resorts brand.
“Royalton is an up-and-coming company that understands what families are looking for,” she said. “Royalton Punta Cana Resort & Casino, for example, offers a phenomenal waterpark, and similar amenities are available at Royalton White Sands Montego Bay in Jamaica. The brand is coming out strong in the marketplace.”
What Agents Should Know
Travel agents can expect EGT to widen its focus in the coming months, as it expands its product offerings to hotels, tours and transfers in the Bahamas, Aruba and St. Martin. Elkin is also quick to remind agent partners of the company’s expertise and respect for the travel trade.
“We pride ourselves on our customer service,” Elkin said. “We are here to help agents grow their business by marrying the right product with the right agency. No matter the occasion, our experienced team will guide you every step of the way.”