Key Takeaways from UK and Europe Sales Missions
Last month, Explore Marketing led two sales missions to Europe covering the UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. During the two-week mission, we met with 34 tour operators, trained over 140 trade professionals on clients’ services and destinations, as well as met with the new Brand USA offices in London and Amsterdam. A few key takeaways include:
Belgium laws required promotional materials, such as as travel catalogs, to display exact pricing in the past. In the age of dynamic pricing, this wasn't possible in print collateral, and hence tour operators had focused on creating inspirational magazines instead. However, changes to this law will allow operators to showcase specific products and itineraries with “starting from” prices going forward.
In many European countries, working through receptive tour operators continues to be the preferred way of doing business, for legal reasons, but also to streamline purchasing and ground operations. In France, Belgium and Holland, some of the more commonly used receptive operators that were mentioned in our meetings include Travalco, Hotelbeds, Bonotel, New World Travel, ATI, American Ring Travel, and Cali Fun.
System connectivity is becoming an increasingly important aspect of conducting business in the travel trade. Suppliers complain that vouchers cause a great deal of overhead in terms of reconciliation, slow down reimbursements, and many times also create losses. Also tour operators seek more connectivity to ensure immediate access to hotel inventory (increasingly also activities) and the ability to quote and confirm trips without any lag time. As a result, in many of our meetings we heard about the increased implementation of channel manager tools by companies like Rezdy, Bokun and Fareharbor.
To learn more about our sales missions or to join us, click here.
New Go Cancun Card and Cancun Explorer Pass
The Leisure Pass Group, the largest attraction pass company in the world, is launching the Go Cancun Card and Cancun Explorer Pass on August 7th and will make these passes available to the trade immediately. For one low price, the all-inclusive Go Cancun Card offers discounted access to more than 20 attractions, including Tulum Express Tour, Paradise Snorkel at Paraiso Nizuc with Underwater Museum, and more. Guests using the Cancun Explorer Pass will have the option to choose 3,4,5,7, or 10 attractions to redeem within 30 days after the first attraction visit. Available digitally, this is one of the most cost-saving and convenient ways to visit top attractions in Cancun. Click here for more information.
Summer in Tahoe South
No matter the season, there are many fun things to do in Lake Tahoe! In the summer, the warmer temperatures and longer days are ideal for endless options of outdoor activities, concerts and other evening events. For hikers who want to see Tahoe South from new heights, the region is crossed with an extensive network of backcountry hiking trails suitable for hikers of all levels. Most notable is the 165-mile Tahoe Rim Trail – the ultimate trek and hikers can choose from any of eight sections of the trail to explore. For music lovers, there are the Heavenly Village Concert series which offers free outdoor concerts every Friday and Saturday, or weekly concerts at the Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena. Additionally, Tahoe South is also home to six distinctive golf courses including the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course which is also home to the annual American Century Celebrity Golf Championship. Taking place from July 10 – 15 this year, this year’s tournament will see celebrities such as Marcus Allen, NFL Hall of Famer; Ben Higgins, The Bachelor, Season 20; Derek Lower, former MLB All-Star Pitcher; Ray Romano, actor: Everybody Loves Raymond; and more. For more tips including a summer guide, click here.
Get Active in New York City
New York City is not just a holiday destination but also a gym for travelers as they explore the largest city in the U.S. actively by foot or by bike. For those who prefer to be on a guided tour, Central Park Sightseeing offers not only in-depth tours of Central Park by foot and bike, but also off-the-beaten path bike tours with insiders’ views of Harlem, Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan. Its sister company, Unlimited Biking, offers bike rentals for those who prefer to explore the five boroughs New York City at their own leisure. Learn more.
Now Available: TourOperatorLand 2018-19 Magazine
In case you missed it at IPW, TourOperatorLand Magazine is now available electronically. This annual magazine includes cool new products, an analysis of new air service to the USA, latest inbound trends, receptive operator directory, and much more. To read it, click here.
Coming Soon: Multi-lingual Tours of San Francisco
To further enhance guests’ experiences, Tower Tours will soon be launching multi-lingual audio experiences in eight languages – English, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin), German, Italian, Korean, Japanese, and French. Guests will be able to experience a voice narration of the many world-famous sites within San Francisco and the surrounding areas in their native language. Using VUTAGS, a trademarked “VoiceTours” technology, guests can scan a QR code using their I-Phone camera or Android QR reader to listen in on a brief description. Stay tuned for launch date.
Boarding Soon: The Flyer - San Francisco
The anticipation grows as we wait for The Flyer – San Francisco to announce the grand opening date of the world’s first 3D flying theater. After more than two years of planning the attraction, the ride equipment has been installed in the indoor theatre space at the entrance of Pier 39 during the month of June. Next will be the installation of the 50ft x 24ft-sized giant screen, before the first test flights take place. See the video of the latest construction progress with the ride being lifted into the theater.
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