Explore Marketing Update - Issue 14

Working With Receptive Tour Operators

Happy New Year! We hope you had a great start into 2018 and are getting prepared for the busier months of the year. Also on our end, we are excited to continue our efforts in promoting our partners in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry in 2018. We will once again lead a number of sales missions to New York City, Florida, Europe, Asia, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. On the New York City Sales Mission from March 19 – 22, we will make 16 sales calls with receptive tour operators (RTO) and wholesalers responsible for selling U.S. to international markets from across Asia, Europe, Australia and South America.

For those who are not familiar with RTOs and their role in product development, here is a quick snapshot of why it is important for suppliers of travel services to work closely with them. Receptive tour operators are wholesalers of tourism products to international tour operators, and hence play a significant role in the process of product contracting and management, as well as the development and execution of tour packages. For this reason, international tour operators and travel agents rely heavily on RTOs and utilize them to handle all their onsite operations. In addition to accommodations, sightseeing services, attraction tickets, and rental cars, RTOs also offer a variety of other ground services such as pre-arranged and customized escorted group tours, MICE itineraries, and multilingual step-on guides.

Therefore, it is important for suppliers to build a strong relationship with RTOs, and have products contracted and available for sale through them. This will help to streamline distribution channels for suppliers; plus RTOs can function as an extension of sales and marketing teams, as they tend to be the first point-of-contact for overseas tour operators and travel agents. Indeed, many tour operators and travel agents will insist on sourcing your products through RTOs, as they themselves wouldn't be able to contract all travel experiences on their own.

To ensure RTOs are fully able to sell your products, it is crucial to have fast response times to any of their inquiries and to equip them with tools such as net rates and retail pricing tables, product descriptions, high resolution images, and any logistical information, such as opening hours, capacities and location details.

Road Trip to South Tahoe

Lying at 6,225ft (1,897m), Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America, spanning between California and Nevada. Offering stunning, breathtaking views, visitors easily can get there by plane with the closest airport being located in Reno (1 hour), Sacramento (2 hours) and San Francisco (4 hours). The journey from San Francisco to South Lake Tahoe makes for a stunning roadtrip for any visitor to Northern California. Located approximately 190 miles (305 km) from San Francisco, visitors can either drive directly along Interstate 80 and Highway 50 for approximately four hours, or stop at various destinations along the way.

A suggested scenic itinerary from San Francisco to South Lake Tahoe begins with a drive over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge through Marin County towards Sonoma, home to over 370 wineries and 500-plus eateries. On the way there, stop in Sausalito to enjoy the San Francisco bay view. After spending a night in one of Sonoma’s many resorts, head west through the famous Napa Valley towards Sacramento, the California State Capital. Once there, visit Old Sacramento and the Capitol Building, before traveling to Placerville, an old gold mining town in the foothills of the Sierras. On route along Highway 50 through the Sierras, enjoy scenic views of the Eldorado National Forest, consider a hike along the Pyramid Creek Trailhead, and be sure to stop for photos at Echo Summit, before heading back into South Lake Tahoe.

Regardless of the time of the year, there is always something to do year-round, from winter sports to hiking and outdoor concerts. While in Tahoe South, be sure to visit the breathtaking views of Emerald Bay State Park, the jewel of South Tahoe and a National Natural Landmark. You can cruise aboard the M.S. Dixie II or drive around the lake on Highway 89. In addition to this, there are also hiking, biking trails of all levels that take visitors to spots where they can enjoy serene views of this natural lake.

Growth Expected In Hawai'i Tourism

Tourism in Hawai’i is expected to experience strong growth this year as airlines announce new services and turning seasonal routes into year-round services. For clients booking a trip to Hawai’i, don’t forget the Go Oahu Card which offers up to 55 percent off 30+ to activities, attractions and tours in Oahu for one low price. Enjoy the flexibility to choose attractions as you go and take up to 14 days to use your pass. All 3, 5, or 7-day passes include a bonus choice of a Dolphin Encounter by Sea Life Park, Polynesian Cultural Center Alii Luau and Dinner Show, Diamond Head Luau, Semi-Private Surf Lesson, Makani Catamarn Sunset Sail, or Oahu Hidden Gems Tour + Snorkeling with Turtles.

What's New On TourOperatorLand

The Leaderboard on TourOperatorLand.com provides users with a quick glance of What’s New on their portal including new destinations added to the portal, new itineraries, new things to do and new royalty free images. Newly-added destinations include Ithaca located in between New York City and Niagara Falls and The Countryside of Philadelphia; and new itineraries Santa Monica, a vibrant seaside town in Los Angeles, are now available. All resources available on the portal are free. To sign-up, click here.

Biking Around New York City

One of the cheapest and most convenient ways of getting around a city, namely biking, is increasingly becoming one of the most sought-after activities by travelers while on vacation. With nearly 1,200 miles of protected bike lanes in New York City, why not try exploring the city this way. Pick-up an adult, child, or tandem Cannondale bike from one of Unlimited Biking’s four locations near Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, Harlem and the Hudson River. All rentals include a Cannondale bike and other necessary equipment such as a helmet, color coded map, basket and bike lock. Baby seats and children’s trailers are also available for families exploring together.

If you want to avoid riding your bike through city streets, consider Central Park instead. With over 47 miles of paths traversing 843 acres, Central Park provides an excellent ride for both experienced and casual bike riders. Not only can you take advantage of the endless paths, but you can also take in the art, architecture, and history that makes Central Park so unique.

Located in the heart of Manhattan in New York City, Central Park is an oasis inside one of the largest cities in the world. In Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn Bridge Sightseeing offers a variety of tours of the iconic bridge and numerous neighborhoods and landmarks such as Lower East Side, Little Italy, Chinatown, the City Hall area and the World Trade Center. For those who do not want to explore on their own, guided bike tours are also available for FITs and can also be customized for groups. To book your rental bike or tour, go to unlimitedbiking.com.

Ride, Blast and Compete At 7D Experience

Conveniently located at Pier 39 San Francisco, the 7D Experience offers guests the thrill of a rollercoaster and the excitement of interactive laser shooting experience all at once. Guests can immerse themselves in any of the six onscreen experiences to fight zombies, combat cowboys or defeat robots to save the world from colossal damage. Ranging from mild to wild adventures, the 7D Experience offers a fun, safe, and dry alternative to outdoor activities on cold and rainy days. The interactive 20-seat digital theater can accommodate 240 guests every hour and operates daily from 10am to as late as 10pm. For more information, visit 7DExperience.com.

Exclusive Hotel in Palo Alto

The San Mateo County & Silicon Valley CVB is the tourism promotion agency for San Mateo County, home to San Francisco International Airport, the gateway to San Francisco and Northern California.

San Mateo County welcomes millions of visitors to its numerous famous landmarks and sights, including Stanford University, the Hiller Aviation Museum, The Computer History Museum, and Filoli Gardens. For travelers visiting the area and craving the ultimate in luxuries, The Clement Palo Alto sets a new standard for personalized luxury accommodations in a contemporary residential-style atmosphere. While unparalleled service is key to any great luxury hotel, The Clement Palo Alto takes its impeccable service to another level with an all-inclusive concept, including personalized concierge services, breakfast, lunch and dinner in an on-premise location of the guest's choice. All wine, beer and cocktails, in-room mini-refrigerator (stocked with the guest's favorites), and fully-stocked Guest Pantry available around the clock, are just a few of the amenities included in this all-inclusive experience. In fact, The Clement Palo Alto is more than all-inclusive, it is all-exclusive, catering exclusively to the guest's personal tastes and desires.

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EXPLORE MARKETING - International Tourism Strategy Development and Trade Representation Services for Travel Experiences & Destinations across the USA

© 2019 by Explore Marketing LLC. 

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