Advances in Travel Impressions’ technology, agent education, and customer care (see Part 1 of this series for more on that) were not the only topics at the company’s recent Best of the Best meeting. Another change has been the expansion of destinations and experiences, such as single- and multi-day tours, available to agents. As with Part 1, what follows is the tip of the iceberg. On which subject, yes!—Travel Impressions now books Iceland.
- “You wanted more global influence, not just sun and sand…so we’re expanding [to] more diverse vacation styles,” said Scott Wiseman, president of Travel Impressions. Even the word “expanding” understates this growth; Travel Impressions now offers packages to six continents, about 70 countries, and more than 200 destinations.
- Rachel McGee explained that this overseas growth has included, for example, 34 new hotels in Switzerland alone, a relaunch of the Greek product, new experiences in Italy, and more escorted tour options and (that word again!) experiences. McGee, director of US, EMEA, South Pacific, Asia & International Product Development at Apple Leisure Group, announced that there will be a relaunch of Asia in January with an increased focus on India, new destinations (Malaysia, Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore), and additional escorted tour options in Asia with SITA World Tours as the silent white-label partner.
- The new Iceland program includes 16 hotels and seven independent tours (e.g. a 4-day Arctic Powers and Northern Lights package and a 5-day Game of Thrones partially escorted tour). Other newbies include Malta, Cartegena (with five add-on tour options), an expansion to several other African countries besides South Africa, and, partnering with Backroads, more adventure experiences in the United Kingdom, France, and elsewhere.
- Cuba deserves its own category here, if only because of the confusion in the wake of new White House travel restrictions. When asked if he felt that Travel Impressions’ Cuba tours, which will relaunch in March, would be in compliance with the regulations, Wiseman replied, “I know we’re in compliance.”
Be sure to check out Part 3 of this 3-part report: a peek at some new and expanded partnerships.