|Travel Impressions made it to the top of the Best Tour Operator, Caribbean list in this year’s Recommend’s Reader’s Choice Awards and president & CEO Steve Gorga is “absolutely thrilled.|
“We believe that our constant attention to detail and service plus our strong relationships with our suppliers have won the respect of the travel agent community.”
Travel Impressions does not take direct consumer bookings, making travel agents their true customers, adds Gorga. “Travel agents cannot lose their customers to us. I think our travel agent partners really appreciate this because they know our goal is to have their customers come back to them, time and time again.”
The tour operator also won for the second year in a row as Best Supplier/Destination Website. Gorga was understandably “pleased” with this honor as well. “We have always strived to be at the forefront in online booking technology, information and training for our travel agent users, and as we develop new strategies to reach and assist agents, we also work to share the latest online and digital strategies and techniques with them so they can better meet the needs of their customers,” he says.
The Caribbean, including a wide range of destinations, has long been a strong part of Travel Impressions’ product mix.
“The Caribbean has always led sales for the company and we continually work to enhance and strengthen our relationships with our hotel and resort partners, ground operators, onsite tour suppliers and, of course, the local tourist boards,” says Gorga. “Those ongoing efforts, combined with our maniacal focus on service excellence, have placed us in a very favorable position with our travel agent partners.”
Travel Impressions tries hard to stand out by offering exclusive promotions and buy one, get one free onsite tours in some of its most popular destinations. “We are constantly looking to offer value and the very best vacation experience,” says Gorga.
New products in the Caribbean this year included adding numerous luxury properties to its offerings, including the Viceroy Anguilla in Anguilla, the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort and the W Retreat & Spa, Vieques Island, both in Puerto Rico, and the Gansevoort and the private island of Parrot Cay and its COMO Shambhala Retreat, all located in the Turks & Caicos Islands. The company has also increased the number of luxury villa rentals in the Caribbean. In terms of increased emphasis on certain markets, Travel Impressions “greatly expanded [its] group travel department to meet the needs of an ever-increasing demand for destination weddings and other group celebratory travel,” says Gorga. He adds that this market continues to be strong despite the economy.
A change to Travel Impressions website that may have helped it receive the award is the addition of The Dimension Series, a new interactive marketing technology that delivers product knowledge and training. They’ve also continued their successful series of virtual trade shows where travel agents can attend online and interact with key suppliers and Travel Impressions experts. Additionally, they highlight many of their supplier partners through the “Supplier of the Month” and “Featured Partners” tabs on the website, which makes it easy for travel agents to find information on these suppliers.