Tour Operator 9-15-2006

John Severini, President, Trafalgar Tours

By: Kaitlyn Voyce

Q:What itineraries are creating a buzz for 2007?

A:Before getting into ’07, people think of Christmas first. We’re going to start out with a bang. We’ve got Christmas in England, Christmas in Paris and the Christmas markets of Germany and France. They go from November through January. They’re very strong, top-of-the-line of what we’re promoting going into 2007. We also have the Winter Escapes that go from Fall 2006 to April 2007. It offers the same first-class experience, but you don’t get the crowds or heat and you save up to 25 percent because it is winter.
One thing that we’re very excited about is that we launched family experiences to Southern California, Canyon & Parks Adventure and Wild West Cowboys & Buffalo. It’s the first time Trafalgar has launched family tours. We’ve always had a good demand for families, but our clients wanted specific family itineraries.

Q: What destination do you think will set the tone in the new year with your destination-of-the-month promotions?

A: Right now we have the Australia/New Zealand Experience program. We offer one or two nights free depending on the length of the tour. We have a focus on Europe coming up, the continental U.S. and China will all be featured in 2007.

Q:What advice do you have for agents selling the Trafalgar product?

A:The most important thing to remember is that Trafalgar offers a tour for everybody. We are really driving home that this is a hassle-free way, the right way and the right pace for people. Trafalgar offers a one-stop shop. We offer tours at different paces, from leisurely to active, there is something for everyone. We allow clients to see the destination the way it should be seen .... If [agents] want to invest, to really get the most out of their investment, they should go to e-learning, which offers a series of modules online that you can take when and where you want. It shows people how easy it is to sell Trafalgar.

Q:What is the biggest benefit of a Trafalgar Tour?

A:People will pay 30-40 percent more if they are bundling. I like to use the analogy; it is the difference between chartering a ship and buying your own ship. We offer everything that you would get from going online and buying air, buying land, but with structured itineraries. You’ll get an escorted tour, a concierge and a guide that takes it all the way.