Tour Operators

Tour Operators

Eye on the World: Alaska

Earlier this month, I left the humidity of Miami for the dry—and delightful—weather of Alaska. I hopped on one of John Hall's Alaska tours and...well, the images speak for themselves. Stunning? So much more than that.

Why Adventures by Disney’s Danube Sailing Works

We go one-on-one with vacation planning specialist Melissa Jiles, who gives us the 4-1-1 on Adventures by Disney's Danube River sailing.

Eye on the World: Adventures by Disney on the Danube

Adventures by Disney's 8-day Danube River cruise is an action-packed itinerary that takes clients to eight destinations in four countries, and I've got a whirlwind photo tour with all the highlights.

Island Routes Adds New Destination

Island Routes celebrated its seventh anniversary on June 1, and with that came the announcement of a new destination (its 12th one, in fact)—Mexico.

Selling an Active Honeymoon

In the June issue, we covered weddings and honeymoons across the globe. And for those of you whose clients prefer to take on an adventure whether it's immersing themselves in a unique culture, going in a safari, or taking a hike or bike ride through some of nature's most splendid landscapes versus sipping margaritas by the beach, we rounded up some pointers from top tour operators on how you can sell these active honeymoons.

Get in the Saddle for Biking Tours Through Minneapolis

Le Meridien Chambers Minneapolis and W Minneapolis - The Foshay recently announced travel packages to encourage your clients to get out and explore "the most bikeable city in America" with the property's general manager as their personal guide.

Coffee Time with Industry Vets: Phil Cappelli

Think you know Phil Cappelli, think again….
CW Safaris takes clients to Botswana, said to have the highest elephant population in Africa.

Southern Africa’s New Enticements

We’ve got a sprinkling of new tours and lodges in Southern Africa for a range of clients, whether they’re looking for a dream safari vacation, a budget-friendly travel experience, or tours made specifically for those with a disability.
DuVine offers a bike tour in Zion National Park.

Tour Talk: A Peek at Our Peaks

This trio of tours offer a bird’s-eye view of the U.S.’s varied terrain.

Coffee Time with Industry Vets: Scott Wiseman

Think you know Scott Wiseman, think again...

Q&A With Paula Twidale, USTOA’s New Chairperson

Paula Twidale, the executive v.p. of Collette, prays for peace, embraces social responsibility and hopes that her new position as the first female chair of USTOA inspires other women not to take a back seat in their professional lives. We chatted with her during the 2015 USTOA Annual Conference & Marketplace, which took place in Chicago in early December.

Q&A With USTOA’s Terry Dale

Recommend’s Editor-in-Chief Paloma Villaverde de Rico had a few moments to catch up with USTOA’s president and CEO Terry Dale during the organization’s annual conference & marketplace.

Get the 4-1-1 on Booking Tokyo & Japan

Japan, which has been re-gaining popularity with U.S. tourists lately—it won Recommend Readers’ Choice Award for Best Selling Destination in Asia and has come up as an emerging destination in USTOA’s annual survey of its members—is a stunning country that has much to offer its visitors, but if you have not experienced this Asian country first-hand, booking a vacation for your clients can get a little tricky.

USTOA: Positive Outlook for 2016

Listen closely to what USTOA members are saying, and you’ll be all smiles going into the holidays and into 2016. There’s a positive outlook for the coming year, with tour operator members showing strong growth this past year and going into 2016, and affirming that travel agents contribute significantly to USTOA members’ business. Let’s look at the numbers, shall we.

Avanti Destinations Unveils New Asia Program

Avanti Destinations just unveiled, at a press conference at USTOA, that it will now offer 22 customizable FIT vacation packages and more than 30 city stay packages in Cambodia, China, Japan, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, with all packages featuring private guides from arrival through departure.
The Mako roller coaster will debut at SeaWorld Orlando in 2016. (SeaWorld Parks Entertainment, Inc.)

North America: Eyes on 2016

Tourism across the U.S. and Canada is booming, with new tours, hotels and attractions adding to its allure. Plus, we’ve got the Centennial celebration of the National Parks Service coming up in 2016, which to you translates to more booking opportunities at these local gems. No question—North America offers an array of popular tourism destinations.
Guestroom at the newly opened W Amsterdam.

Europe: Looking Ahead

Europe is never one to rest on its laurels, with new vacation experiences awaiting first-timers as well as those North Americans who just can’t get enough of this continent. Let’s take a look at what’s new for next year.
Sceptre Journeys offers trips to Germany with visits to Nuremberg.

New Leadership, New Divisions, New Tours

Tour operators search out new destinations.
Apple Vacations offer people-to-people programs to Cuba that offer an in-depth look at the island.

Cuba for Everyone

In its 2014 Economic Impact Study, members of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) named Cuba one of the top two “emerging” countries whose popularity would grow in 2015.

Apple Leisure Group Is Growing

The Apple Leisure Group is as all-encompassing an enterprise as you'll find in any industry. This is the real big Apple, with three distinct tour operators (Apple Vacations, CheapCaribbean.com, Travel Impressions), AMResorts' six hotel brands (Zoetry, Secrets, Breathless, Dreams, Now, Sunscape), the Unlimited Vacation Club at AMResorts, and the destination management company Amstar DMC. What's more, all branches of the family are on a roll.

Travel Impressions Discontinues Sale of Sandals Resorts

Travel Impressions will discontinue sale of Sandals, Beaches and Grand Pineapple Resorts effective Oct. 15, 2015.
A camel ride is only one of many adventures on Kensington Tours’ Morocco trip.

Family Adventures

According to Kathleen Doheny, v.p., marketing, Kensington Tours, “Families—including multi-generational families traveling together—are becoming more adventurous. They want to explore the world together.”
Trafalgar’s Samurai Discovery tour includes drumming lessons for the kids.

Escorted Tours That Pack a Punch

“Lord of the Rings” movie sets, ninjas, and forbidden cities…the family tours we’ve sprinkled on this page make me want to pack my bags, grab my daughters and husband, and jump on a plane to far-off lands.
Ross Castle in Killarney, Ireland.

In the Footsteps of History…

To be able to see the church in Madrid where my 101-year-old grandmother—who now lives in Miami—got married or see the stately apartment building where she spent her childhood, so close to the city’s famed Retiro Park, is one of those “cue the grand orchestra” moments that doesn’t come along every day.
Delta Vacations now offers packages to Colombia, including Medellin.

New Offerings Abound

From added destinations to bonus perks, these tour operators have raised the stakes.
Delta Vacations now offers trips to Cartagena.

Delta Vacations Expands to Colombia

Delta Vacations is expanding its presence in Latin America with the addition of packages in Bogota, Catagena, and Medellin, Colombia.
Central Holidays now offers five people-to-people tours to Cuba.

Central Holidays Expands to Offer Cuba Itineraries

Central Holidays has expanded its destination offers beyond Europe and the Mediterranean with the launch of five people-to-people itineraries in Cuba—Afro Cubanismo, L'Chaim Cuba, A Taste of Havana, The City & The Sea, and Hola Cuba.
Cuba Tour Planner’s 6-night program includes a visit to Cienfuegos.

Cuba Calling

Tour operators keep upping the ante when it comes to their Cuba offerings.
Mt. Everest in Nepal.

Tauck Resumes Fall Departures to Nepal

Tauck has announced it will resume all scheduled fall departures of its 17-day Northern India & Nepal itinerary starting with the Oct. 20, 2015 departure (it took a 6-month hiatus following the April 25 earthquake).

Europe Through the Eyes of a Teenager

Last month, while my family and I traveled through Central Europe with Adventures by Disney, I gave my daughter one mission: to video record the sights that captivated her.

Virtuoso Agent Staci Kimball Gives Us the Scoop on Adventures by Disney

Virtuoso agent Staci Kimball gave us her take on what it's like to sell the Adventures by Disney product and what she learned from her recent travels to Central Europe with the tour operator.

Travel to Cuba

Since the U.S. changed travel regulations to Cuba this past January, tour operators, cruise lines, and the travel industry as a whole have been buzzing with excitement about newer and better travel opportunities to the island.
View from the Flower Garden of Dubrovnik in Croatia. (Photo courtesy of Central Holidays.)

Central Holidays adds New Croatia Tour

Central Holidays has added the 7-day The Jewels of Croatia's Dalmatian Coast itinerary to its portfolio after reporting an increase in demand for travel through Croatia.

Downtown Travel Launches New Leisure Brand

Downtown Travel, one of the largest air consolidators serving the U.S., recently announced its launch of a new leisure travel brand, Holidays with Downtown.
Experience South Africa with Lion World Travel.

Experience South Africa

Your clients can experience South Africa on safari and by luxury rail with Lion World Travel's 11-day Planes, Trains, and Safarimobiles itinerary.
The Makalali Lodge.

Great Safaris’ Two-for-One Deal

Great Safaris is offering a 2-for-1 deal on its 10-day Cape & Kruger safari that visits Cape Town and Kruger National Park.

Branding America

Brand USA is a marketing organization with one very special client: the United States of America.
Travelers can learn to take nature photos with Canadian Photo Adventures, (Photo courtesy of: Canadian Photo Adventures.)

Canada Offers More

Canada offers guests more than cold winters. We've picked three of our favorite tour operators from Rendez-vous Canada to help you plan unique experiences for your clients.

Apple Will Offer Cuba with Packages Unlike Any Other

Recommend just got off a conference call with Apple Vacations' president Tim Mullen, and his claim that Apple is offering a rarity in the "Brave New World of Cuba" travel rings true.
Guests can enjoy a private picnic and go on a whale watching adventure with Gatherall's Puffin & Whale Watch. (Photo courtesy of: Gatherall's Puffin & Whale Watch.)

Puffin & Whale Watch Picnic

Gatherall's Puffin & Whale Watch tours allows guests to spot puffins, whales and glaciers, or all three (depending on the season).

Travel Impressions’ 31 Days of Giveaways

Travel Impressions is once again rewarding agents with its fourth installment of the 31 Days of Giveaways promotion.
Picnic in Chiang Mai.

Khiri Travel Adds Culinary Experiences

Khiri Travel has added seven culinary experiences across five countries in Asia that showcase authentic local food in iconic settings.

G Adventures’ G-Normous Encore Program

G Adventures is extending its G-Normous incentive program for two additional months with the G-Normous Encore program.

Eye on the World: Canada

Recommend's Associate Editor spent nine days in Canada for Rendez-vous Canada and then touring Ontario's Playground on a post-FAM. Don't miss out on her adventures on this installment of Eye on the World: Canada.
The Mantra Samui Resort.

Q&A with Co-Founders of the Louis T Collection

Recommend's Editor, Paloma Villaverde de Rico, recently had a chance to get the scoop on the Louis T Collection, a new personality-driven hospitality and building solutions company, which was inspired by the life and times of Louis T. Leonowens.

2016 European Vacations at 2015 Rates

European-guided vacations for 2016 are now available at 2015 rates through Trafalgar and Brendan Vacations.

The Bells are Ringing at Perillo Tours

Think romance. Think leading honeymoon destination. Think Italy. It seems time to think of speaking with Steve Perillo, president of Perillo Tours, as Recommend did. During the conversation, we learned that the company that has been taking American travelers to Italy for 70 years is applying its Italian know-how to delivering top-of- the-line destination weddings.
MIR Corporation explores the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia's east coast.

Unique Russian Excursion

MIR Corporation is taking travelers on a unique excursion focusing on the remote Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia's east coast, an area with wide volcanic activity from the Pacific Ring of Fire.

INDABA 2015

Recommend attended Africa's largest tradeshow of African products and services, INDABA 2015.

Vietnam FAM

Travel agents take notice—you can take a FAM to Vietnam, free of charge if you work with Ciao Travel; if not, the 7-day trip is priced at $345 dbl pp for potential agents, journalists, travel bloggers, and guests.
Travelers can explore Havana with AdventureSmith Explorations' People to People cruise itinerary to Cuba.

People-to-People Cruise to Cuba

Starting this December, AdventureSmith Explorations will be launching 8-day tours, Cuba People to People Cruise, running through April 2016.
Tia Stephanie Tours’ Day of the Dead: Michoacan.

“Trips of a Lifetime” Picks “Day of the Dead”

Some of us keep track of the annual tours that National Geographic Traveler anoints “Tours of a Lifetime,” and this year on that hit parade of exciting and enriching travel opportunities around the world is Tia Stephanie Tours’ Day of the Dead: Michoacan.

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