Long regarded as one of the premier tour companies in the country, Mayflower Tours boasts of a robust relationship with travel agents who, in turn, generally consider the firm that describes itself as a “worldwide operator of deluxe escorted tours,” as the source for some of the most diverse and exhilarating tour choices.
According to company president John Stachnik, who, along with his wife Mary, founded Mayflower in 1979 after 13 years of involvement in the travel business, the relationship between agents and the company is a strong and long partnership that runs both ways.
“Travel agents are aware that we strive to provide some of the most unique and rewarding travel experiences at a value-driven price for their clients,” Stachnik says. “This results in satisfied clients, repeat business and savings for their clients.”
Since its inception, Mayflower has specialized in offering “value-added” traveling at affordable prices, a quality that Stachnik says has become Mayflowers’ tour de force—and the fact that last year alone nearly 30,000 travelers and vacationers set off on Mayflower tours, points out that its success is not accidental.
The company’s strong suit is group travel and Mayflower goes the extra mile to explain the intricacies of that component of the industry to travel agents. Accordingly, while Mayflower is keenly aware that selling group packages can be very rewarding and that group tours also help to build and maintain a travel agent’s loyal traveler base, Stachnik says [group travel] still remains “an extremely untapped segment of the industry.” Consequently, he developed “The Secrets to Selling Group Travel,” a set of guidelines available to travel agents interested in expanding their horizon.
This is a compilation of “…facts and helpful hints that will guide you [the travel agent] through the promotion and the successful sale of group travel,” he explains.
Underlining that succeeding in this segment of the business takes “…some time and effort,” Stachnik’s rules also stress that the first step for a travel agent’s success in selling group tours begins with “…knowing how to start.” This is a difficult hurdle for travel agents—and where Mayflower’s group sales guide pays off.
Stachnik’s guidelines also explore subjects essential for booking group travel, including hints on how to create individual travel benefit packages, a road map for successful marketing, explanations about promotion, what tours to promote and tips on how to deal with the many problems that arise when organizing and booking groups.
According to Mary M. Novak-Beatty, v.p. of marketing, another attribute that sets Mayflower apart is its deep commitment to attend to the “needs of travelers while recognizing the memorable experiences that result from traveling.” These memorable experiences are reflected in Mayflower’s unveiling of an exciting list of options giving travelers “the opportunity to see the U.S., Canada, Europe, Egypt, Central America, Australia and New Zealand.
“As always,” Novak-Beatty says, “Mayflower creates a convenient and efficient means of planning for travel professionals. We also pride ourselves in being good stewards and encourage our staff and travelers to act responsibly while respecting the environment and the diverse cultures in countries where we visit.”
Among the most alluring packages in Mayflower’s 2010 menu is its California Wines and Trains tour ($1,798 pp, twin land price), with departures from June to September—a 7-day adventure custom-made for epicurians and wine lovers. It travels the Golden State’s coastline from Hollywood to San Francisco with a side trip to Napa Valley on board a vintage rail car. Clients interested in a different part of the West should find Mayflower’s Western Sun tour ($1,699 pp, twin land price) a splendid way to visit Palm Springs; Scottsdale, AZ; the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas. There are three departure dates scheduled this year.
The company also offers myriad tours to the U.S.’s great national parks, including the 8-day National Parks of the Southwest ($1,739 pp twin land price), with stops in three national parks—the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park. Departure dates are scheduled for June 3, and Sept. 9, 13, and 14.
For travelers interested in exploring beyond their own backyard, suggest a European itinerary. This year that includes a 10-day excursion to Germany to see the Oberammergau Passion Play ($3,499 pp, twin land price), with departures in July, August and September.