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.
“We wanted to launch with only six countries because we want our travel consultants back in Portland [the destination experts from Avanti that the travel agents call] to gain the knowledge of these destinations, so we’ve been able to get them to experience these countries,” says Mark Grundy, managing director of Asia for Avanti Destinations. “China is the big draw and Japan is not too far behind,” he adds.
Since these are FIT packages, they are flexible and allow clients to decide when they travel, what day their vacation starts and ends, and when they’d like to take a break or modify the itinerary. Clients can also choose from a range of first class and deluxe hotels including the Conrad, Marriott, Peninsula, Rosewood, Shangri-La, Sofitel, and many more. The recommended packages range from 3- to 17-night stays and offer experiences not possible with a larger group, such as visiting local families, bicycling near China’s scenic Li River, taking a sushi-making lesson in a typical Tokyo home, taking a private calligraphy lesson, or a painting and lantern-making class in Vietnam.
On the 9-day China Essentials itinerary, which visits Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, for example, guests visit with a local family in Beijing, and spend time sightseeing at the Temple of Heaven, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, an area of the Great Wall that’s less frequented by tourists, and the Summer Palace. They’ll also have lunch at a restaurant serving hand-rolled noodles, take a pedicab tour of the traditional hutongs (alleyways), and travel by high-speed train to Xian, where they’ll see the Terra Cotta Warriors, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, the Muslim quarter, the ancient City Wall and more. Next, guests fly to Shanghai, where a few highlights are the Old Town with Yu Garden and Bazaar, a multi-media acrobatic performance, and the water town of Zhujiajiao. Rates start at $3,535 pp dbl.
Avanti is also now offering agents a $100 bonus for each Asia booking made now through Feb. 29, 2016. To qualify, bookings must be made for a minimum of seven hotel nights. For more information, visit avantidestinations.com.