The name Trafalgar might be to travel what the name Disney is to family entertainment—a legendary force in the business that has had an enduring history. At Trafalgar Tours it started with the ending of WWII when, under the name of Industrial Recreational Services, it helped travelers move smoothly through Europe, getting them through checkpoints and borders without issue. It specialized in “first-timers” to Europe at a time when the modern ease of travel was just in its infancy.
In 1959, more affluent and leisurely times demanded a new name and style and the company became Trafalgar Tours for its offices located near Trafalgar Square in London.
Today, both the name and the brand remain in perfectly designed itineraries bolstered by the element of “buying power,” and enhanced by years of resourcefulness and creative thinking.
“While we are constantly looking at new destinations to add to our mix, what we have been developing most recently have been programs that are designed to enhance the ‘local’ experience in a selection of the destinations we currently visit,” says Trafalgar president Paul Wiseman. “A good example of this is our Be My Guest program: a unique, authentic local dining experience included on all of our Regional and Free & Easy tours in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal and Morocco, which allows our passengers to visit and dine with locals in their family homes. These include luxurious chateaux and palatial villas, rustic farmhouses and estates, even homes located in the medinas of Morocco. Our most popular destination, however, is Italy and probably the most successful is ourBest of Italy tour, which gives passengers a wonderful introduction to this destination.”
Trafalgar is the founding subsidiary of the Travel Corporation, a collection of quality international travel and tourism companies of which Trafalgar remains the largest brand. Some of its touring sister companies include Insight Vacations, Brendan Vacations, Contiki Holidays, AAT Kings, Destination America, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises and Red Carnation Hotels.
“For a company like ours to continue to be relevant and successful, we need to deliver on many different levels, creating new programs to enhance the passengers’ experience. Good examples of this would be the Be My Guest program mentioned above, but also a recently launched program of Religious Tours in Europe, a unique series of train tours in a variety of European destinations, as well as introducing new destinations such as escorted tours in China and South America,” Wiseman says. “Our fastest growing destination is Egypt, and several of our Egypt tours now regularly appear in our top 10 tours list. As one of the more ‘exotic’ destinations we offer in our tour series, our passengers are eager to experience this region knowing that Trafalgar’s itineraries are expertly designed, and offer a safe and secure means of exploring all that Egypt has to show. But all of our tours offer unbeatable value and are therefore perfectly positioned for clients during these trying economic times. The Travel Corporation believes in the power of the brands. And with its combined buying power it allows Trafalgar to offer its escorted touring vacations at savings of up to 40 percent off the cost of traveling independently.”