In an exciting twist to the classic “No Girls Allowed” sign posted on boys’ clubhouses of childhoods past, A Woman’s View is sending out a clear message these days: “Men Aren’t Invited.”
According to IsramWorld president & CEO, A. Ady Gelber, long before the product was even imagined, Isram was receiving women groups from agents. “In the past we had quite a number of women groups, promoted by one agent or another…so we decided to come out with a product for women only.” Requests and gratitude has increased since A Woman’s View was launched; even before the brochure was out, agents were calling in to thank them for creating the product, says Eileen Long Hart, A Woman’s View managing director and Isram’s senior v.p., marketing and product development.
A Woman’s View has fine-tuned the expanding niche of women’s travel with smart itineraries filled with unique experiences and special cultural touches, as well as visits and chats with local female figures. Clients visit tried-and-true destinations at an ideal pace with comfortable and deluxe accommodations, a great eye on planning and a woman’s hand in the day-to-day flow of their chosen itineraries, of course. This eye for what women want, coupled with increasing demand, is made even better by the fact that A Woman’s View is offering 15 percent commission.
“What makes this product unique is the fact that Isram has, in each area that we’re promoting—Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Central Europe, Latin America—we have experts in each field,” explains Hart, adding that the product is “by women, for women, escorted by women.”
A 7-night jaunt to Argentina, for instance, includes a full array of “must” touring plus tango lessons from an expert at the Dandi Royal Academy in Buenos Aires’ famous neighborhood of San Telmo, not far from where the traditional dance and music originated before spreading like wildfire to the rest of the world. The tour also features a visit to Mendoza, one of the world’s “great capitals of wine” that’s fast become one of the most popular wine tourism destinations in South America, and dinner in Francis Mallman 1884, which pays homage to Andean cuisine in Mendoza’s Bodega Escorihuela winery. Travelers won’t leave without a “shop ‘til you drop” experience in the Argentinean capital, a visit to the Evita Peron Crypt and Museum, a tango show and lessons in preparing Argentinean steak and empanadas. Clients spend five nights at the InterContinental Hotel Buenos Aires and two nights at the Hotel Park Hyatt Mendoza. Land-only rates start at $3,205 pp dbl departing on May 21 or Sept. 17 and $3,560 for a Nov. 5 departure, with more dates for 2012.
Then there’s the 12-day visit to Israel, which Isram has done so well for decades. The itinerary includes all the requisite tours and stops, of course: a walking tour of Old Jerusalem, a sobering stop at Yad Vashem, a journey to Masada, a float in the Dead Sea, exploring the beauty of Galilee. But clients will also get to visit the Druze village of Ussifiya and visit a childcare center and a Druze home as a local woman shares her perspective; they will stop at Rimon Winery—which uses pomegranates to prepare wines—and enjoy dinner and face time with women at a kibbutz. Another singular experience to this trip: visiting the historical home of Sara Aaronsohn in Zichron Yaakov to learn about the life of the tragic figure who became a spy after witnessing the Armenian genocide.
Other perks: visiting Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda market as shoppers prepare for Sabbath, a chat about women in the Israeli army and time at the Ilana Goor Museum in Old Jaffa to learn about the artist and her innovative take on furniture. The Israel trip starts at $3,695 pp dbl with May, July and November departures; a December departure is $100 less.
“The destinations that we’ve chosen for 2011 are very popular ones,” says Gelber. These also include Morocco, Peru, Turkey, China, South Africa and a Prague-Vienna-Budapest combo. New destinations for 2012 include Spain, Italy, India and Brazil. With A Woman’s View expanding the options for this particular market, explains the CEO, agents will hopefully find yet another source of business.
Keep an eye on special promos and FAM trips popping up soon.