|Whether they’re traveling across the country or just the next town over, clients turn to travel agents for support. But who’s supporting travel agents? In 2011, it was GOGO Worldwide Vacations, according to your|
votes. The travel wholesaler earned its first Readers’ Choice Award for Best Travel Agent Support, USA Destination. It’s an award that is usually bestowed on an actual destination, but this year travel agents were obviously more inclined to give the award to GOGO due to, as president Michele Kish points out, the tour operator’s “very extensive product range in the U.S.”
Its top-selling U.S. destinations are those that you’d expect: Hawaii, Las Vegas and Florida. “We also sell a lot of city stays in New York, New Orleans and the California cities,” Kish says. “Disneyland in Anaheim is also very popular.” Many packages to these destinations include bonuses like credits or discounts towards spa, dining and golf, as well as tickets to theme parks, shows or other attractions—each one a new selling point for agents to mention as they sell.
In fact, Kish stresses, another reason the company came out on top is due to the company’s dedication to its one and only customer: the travel agent.
“We don’t sell to the consumer directly,” Kish explains. “You can only purchase a GOGO vacation through a travel agent. With that in mind, everything we do, every decision we make is to support the travel agents, and our portfolio of offerings reflects this.” For example, she points to GOGO’s practice of paying commissions to travel agents at the time of full payment. “Travel agents work hard for their money,” she says, “and they should get paid as soon as they have collected the full payment from the customers.”
This year, GOGO also launched a team of sales and service personnel who are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. No matter when you or your clients need assistance, Kish says, “you can talk to a GOGO consultant for whatever you need. Travel agents are selling all hours of the day, and we are here to support them when they need us.”
In the coming year, GOGO will focus on expanding less traditional itineraries, she continues. “In 2012, you will start to see more fly-drive and multi-city stays.” In the certain destinations, clients savor the freedom and excitement of exploring in a variety of locales. The California coast, for example, is ripe with possibilities; GOGO offers a 5-night itinerary with stays in San Francisco, Monterey and Napa Valley, with rental car included to maximize area attractions. But it’s more than just the hotel and transport; in San Francisco, clients enjoy an included hop-on, hop-off trolley tour and dinner cruise, as well as tours of the California Academy of Science and Chinatown and the Land Sea Air Prison Adventure. In Monterey, they tour Muir Woods and Sausalito before heading to Napa for a Vista Dome dinner on the Napa Valley Wine Train and winery tours.