Eighty-two percent of the USTOA Active members who were surveyed in the USTOA 2016 Economic Impact Study said they anticipated a growth in sales for the year ending 2017, with more than 10 percent forecasting a boom year. With that optimistic mindset, no surprise then that tour operators are adding to their itinerary lineup, with enhanced tours, new destinations and deeply enriching experiences.
Let’s put our focus on Trafalgar, which has introduced five new destinations and added 23 itineraries for the new year. In Asia, for example, Trafalgar is now offering an 11-day Wonders of Sri Lanka tour during which travelers learn how Ceylon tea is made, take dance lessons in the village of Habarana, take part in rehabilitating orphaned elephants and enjoy lunch with a local family in Katugastota. Rates start at $2,385 pp and departure dates run Jan. 20 to Dec. 22.
In North America, Trafalgar will now explore Texas with engaging experiences such as a BBQ feast with a third generation pit master, and dance lessons on an authentic Texan ranch. Departures for the 10-day Adventures of the Lone Star State run from April 20 to Oct. 11, and rates start at $2,588 pp.
In the great continent of Africa, your clients can now explore South Africa with the whole family on Trafalgar’s 13-day South African Adventure, and if they are heading north to Iceland, the company is now offering the 6-day Northern Lights of Iceland, including The Blue Lagoon, where clients will get a chance to bathe with cocktail in hand. And while in Italy, travelers can explore the Vatican like a VIP, not only discovering the masterpieces this smallest country in the world is home to, but even dining within its walls. This latter experience is included in several 2017 Italy departures, including Rome Explorer, Contrasts of Italy, Rome and Tuscan Highlights, Grand Italian Experience, Best of Italy, and Grand European.
The tour operator is also offering filmscape itineraries centered around unique locations and dramatic scenery captured on the big and small screens. Take the 11-day Celtic Fimscapes Tour, which spans two countries and 13 cities, focusing on everything from “Game of Thrones,” “Outlander,” James Bond movies and “Cloud Atlas” to “Chariots of Fire,” “Michael Collins,” and “My Left Foot.” Travelers will visit the town of Falkland, made famous in the “Outlander” TV series, as well as the historic town of St. Andrews, where the running scene along the beach from “Chariots of Fire” was filmed. They’ll also traverse through the Valley of the Weeping at Glencoe, where many scenes from James Bond’s “Skyfall” were filmed, and they’ll stop at the actual film site of Winterfell in Castle Ward where they participate in a unique “Game of Thrones” experience.
For more information, visit trafalgar.com.