Experiential Travel Tours With Blue Parallel

Experiential Travel Tours With Blue Parallel

The Virtuoso-preferred supplier specializes in high-touch experiential travel in Central and South America and the Mediterranean By: Mindy Poder
Blue Parallel guests might enjoy a private picnic overlooking Argentina’s Lake District. // © 2015 Blue Parallel
Blue Parallel guests might enjoy a private picnic overlooking Argentina’s Lake District. // © 2015 Blue Parallel

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The Details

It might seem odd for a South and Central America tour operator to expand into the Mediterranean — particularly when each itinerary is custom-made and promises high-touch insider experiences. But for Blue Parallel, a Virtuoso-preferred supplier since 2013, these parts of the world are as familiar as family. Founder Emmanuel Burgio explains.

Why Blue Parallel Goes Where It Goes
“It’s all very personal,” Burgio said. “I grew up in the south of France, my father is from Sicily, and I have friends and family in the Mediterranean Basin. This is a region I belong to. My wife is Argentine, so I’ve been living in Argentina for many years. After focusing and expanding our reach in Latin America for 12 years or so, we decided to expand into the Mediterranean. We have an administrative office in Maryland and an office in Buenos Aires, and we are also opening a satellite office in Barcelona to help us manage the time difference with our Mediterranean product.”

Dynamic Duo
“Whenever we make a booking, there are two people dedicated to it. One is a customer-care staff member (an American person) who is an expert and has been in contact with the travel agent. That person will continue to be the contact for the entire trip — there is no call center you’re handed to. Then there is a member of the logistical team who is assigned to a given trip. The two work hand-in-hand and are on call for 24 hours during the trip. They provide daily updates to the agent if there are changes in plans or plane delays, for example. The logistical person ensures that all flows well on the ground and that there is a plan B for anything unexpected.”

Ground Control for Major Clients
“On the ground is a Blue Parallel host or hostess who we personally vetted and who has experience working with discerning travelers. These individuals hire the best local guides, scholars, chefs and drivers. It’s a joint effort between the office staff and the ground team that means we are always one step ahead.”

Conference Call
“Tell me who you are, and I’ll tell you where to go. Whenever we work with agents, we have them arrange a three-way conference call with their clients and us so that we can give an ideal trip recommendation. It’s in our DNA to work with clients directly, but working with an agent who knows his or her client can be an advantage.”

Picking Up Steam
“Last year we launched our operation in Colombia because we started receiving more demand. The Coast of Uruguay is becoming a very trendy destination over the holidays. In the Med, it’s all about the Adriatic Coast.”