When it comes to a value-driven vacation, says Brenda Washington-O’Neale, travel advisor at With This Ring Destination Wedding And Honeymoon Travel Agency, clients “are not necessarily looking for inexpensive, they are looking for the perks and added value. Some resorts offer unlimited golf, which is a great added value. Romantic dinner, catamaran cruises, wine and fine dining also add value. Some rooms offer 24-hour room service, etc. These are all things that make for a value travel experience.”
Elizabeth Moriarty, v.p. of product development for Delta Vacations, says that “for the Delta Vacations customer, value travel means that they are looking to enhance their experience while they are on vacation. Our travelers don’t want to just select a hotel, flight and a place to eat while they are on vacation. They want to fully experience a destination, starting from when they arrive to when they depart. They are looking to enhance their vacation with tours, activities and rental cars to help them create a memorable vacation experience that may be off the beaten path.”
Collette’s executive v.p. of product and tour management Jaclyn Leibl-Cote says that her “clients aren’t necessarily concerned about the price of the tour, but rather what is included for the cost.” She adds that luxury clients are also seeking out value vacations, but what they’re seeking is a more tailor-made experience. She notes that, “We know that luxury clients want to experience a more personalized tour. They want farm-to-table dinner experiences, and chefs to prepare locally sourced food right in front of them. They are willing to pay the price for these experiences if the value is considered worthy.”
Where is the Value?
Where should you be recommending clients travel to in North America? Washington-O’Neale says, “there are many amusement parks that offer packages for families and large rental homes in locations such as Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Virginia Beach, Virginia; and Ocean City, Maryland. Check out city guides or newspapers for events and festivals as well. Many cities have opened smaller hotels that are not chains that offer many unique packages. Allegiant Airlines also offers packages to Myrtle Beach, New Orleans, and several Florida cities.”
Washington-O’Neale also points to Kalahari Resorts, Great Wolf Lodge and all the major amusement locations as good starting points when seeking out a value vacation.
Value can also be found with GOGO Vacations’ My Time packages, which offer guests premier amenities, special experiences, and service at no additional cost. When you book your clients on a My Time getaway, they’ll receive added amenities and services at almost every point of their trip—from the transfer, to the hotel, to the tours. For example, guests who book a 5-night stay at Ka’anapali Beach Hotel in Lahaina, Hawaii, receive My Time perks such as expedited check-in/check-out; guaranteed access to guestroom by 3:30 p.m. (if the resort is unable to grant access by this time, guests receive a $50 resort credit); one category room upgrade; 10 percent off alcoholic beverages at the Tiki Bar; 25 percent off dinner and 20 percent off breakfast buffet at the Tiki Terrace Restaurant; 10 percent off food purchase from the Tiki Grill; and an array of other perks.
Moriarty says that for the Delta Vacations customers, “Hawaii is a great fit for a value travel-focused getaway. It’s close to the mainland U.S. and there’s direct flight service through Delta Air Lines. There’s a wide variety of accommodations tailored for all types of travel, whether that’s multi-generational family, luxury or romance. And Delta Vacations offers a plethora of experiential offerings to enhance a vacation package such as surfing lessons, whale watching excursions and volcano tours.”
Collette, too, offers an array of value- and experience-infused tours in North America, including The Colorado Rockies, Featuring National Parks and Historic Trains itinerary, which starts at $2,549 pp. Highlights include an Old West adventure complete with cowboy food; a ride aboard an 1881 steam train for a journey through the San Juan Mountains; and a visit to one of the largest cliff dwellings built by ancestors
of the Pueblos.
Allegiant Airlines: allegiantair.com
Delta Vacations: worldagentdirect.com
GOGO Vacations: gogowwv.com
Great Wolf Lodge: greatwolf.com
Kalahari Resorts: kalahariresorts.com