TTC Prepares for the Return of Travel, Introducing New Vacation Experiences and Enhanced Wellbeing Protocols for Their Guided Vacations
Responding to the impact of Covid-19 on its guided vacation brands including Trafalgar, Luxury Gold, Insight Vacations, Costsaver and Brendan Vacations, The Travel Corporation (TTC) announces a strategic new approach toward fostering the return of the guided travel experience.
According to TTC's Chief Executive Brett Tollman, the plan focuses on three factors: a recognition of the impact of closed borders for now on international travel for American travelers, the subsequent rise in demand for authentic, immersive domestic travel opportunities and most importantly, the implementation of carefully planned, enhanced wellbeing and hygiene protocols.
“There is significant pent up demand for travel. People will want to return to the world beyond their homes and we want to help our treasured agency partners make it easy for them to do that, recognizing that it's not business as usual,” said Brett Tollman. “We are rapidly adapting to new traveler expectations and we will be helping customers carefully and responsibly become comfortable with traveling again. We will be beginning here, and in other select markets, to encourage people who are ready to start traveling again, to discover their own backyard first, from September. We are introducing comprehensive, enhanced protocols so that they can be reassured about their decision to take a domestic trip this fall. Peace of mind and immersive, authentic, quality experiences - these will define the TTC domestic guided vacation.”
New Domestic Itineraries
“With anticipated staggered EU border openings in the coming months and probably only for Europeans at first, perhaps more expensive and less frequent international air service and fellow Americans hopefully prepared to step out again, towards the end of the summer, we are cautiously confident domestic travel will help relaunch our U.S. travel industry,” said Brett Tollman. To help travel advisors encourage new domestic trip bookings, TTC guided vacation brands have developed select domestic itineraries:
- Trafalgar, the world's leading and most awarded travel brand, is introducing the Near Not Far, Limited Series with two new domestic itineraries with a maximum capacity of 26 guests: America's Amazing Canyon Country – an eight-day exploration of some of the Southwest's most grand landscapes including Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Arches National Park, Monument Valley and the UNESCO-listed Grand Canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world; and the six-day San Diego, Palm Springs and Orange County Beaches, a cultural introduction to the icons of Southern California from In-and-Out Burger University to Joshua Tree National Park. These two new itineraries are in addition to 27 immersive Trafalgar domestic itineraries and eight Costsaver trips also available in market.
Both itineraries will feature signature Trafalgar special moments including Be My Guest experiences, with the opportunity to break bread with locals in exclusive settings like the family-owned Olive Oil Ranch in Temecula, CA, where Trafalgar guests have the chance to join family members to learn the process of making olive oil firsthand and enjoy a private lunch among the olive groves, while physical distancing. Guests also have access to Trafalgar local specialists such as renowned National Parks photographer Tom Till, for a presentation on how to take great nature photography.
“The world is filled with wonder and too often we discount the marvels right in our own backyard. But not this year. We've been given an opportunity to authentically connect Americans with some of their neighbors and U.S. treasures. It's an incredible way to step back into travel,” said Trafalgar USA President Melissa DaSilva.
- Premium guided vacations brand Insight Vacations, will introduce three new seven-day domestic itineraries creating a new travel style called Escapes, including Cajun Country Escape, Spectacular Southwest Escape and Tropical Hawaiian Paradise Escape featuring Oahu and Maui, in addition to 14 existing U.S. Insight Vacations itineraries and four Luxury Gold itineraries as well.
These are small group departures with a maximum of 22 guests, meticulously planned and incorporating superb premium features. These include Insight Experiences, such as meeting a local accordion maker where guests will learn about the history and craftsmanship behind the instrument and its influence in Cajun and zydeco music; and Insight Choice, an opportunity to select from two included experiences that speak to personal passions like an off-road Jeep Ride through Sedona's backcountry with amazing views of the red rock surroundings or a Trolley Tour of the city's iconic locales including Chapel of the Holy Cross. The itineraries also include Authentic Dining, culinary experiences that embrace fresh local ingredients, seasonal menus and excellent local wines like a farm-and-sea-to-table lunch served on the beach at Pacific'o in Maui or a traditional Cajun boil in Lafayette; and Top Rated Highlights, must-see sights and activities in that define a destination like the private tour and tasting at the TABASCO® Sauce Factory on Louisiana's Avery Island.
“We hope you will join us on one of our new domestic Escapes,” said Jon Grutzner, President of Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold. “Our travel advisors are telling us they are seeing a growing demand for their clients to explore America this year, and these carefully curated, personal, and authentic experiences fill this expected demand with activities and cultural treasures our guests could not have traveling on their own. Our guests are always our top priority and we want them to have peace of mind when traveling, which now includes enhanced hygiene protocols. We are getting back out there to explore America and we look forward to you and your travelers reigniting their passion for traveling in style,” he said.
In addition to these new trip series, TTC is also crafting new itineraries for advisors promoting and selling 2021 and 2022 groups. These new domestic departures are turnkey, offering lower TCs and bonus commissions.
New Peace of Mind Protocols
According to Brett Tollman, TTC has reviewed all touch points across their guided vacation brands in implementing their comprehensive plans for ensuring the comfort and well being of their guests. “We are committed to the wellbeing of our guests and dedicated to offering them peace of mind,” he said. “Enhanced hygiene and physical distancing measures are a part of that, as are an agile, proactive global team prepared to adapt quickly to best industry practices, which we are helping drive working closely with WTTC and CLIA, who are working with WHO and UNWTO – they are working to expedite the review and approval of these protocols with 145 governments..” he said.
These new measures include:
- Ongoing training of Travel Directors across all brands in enhanced hygiene and physical distancing procedures and guidance on social etiquette monitoring, to ensure proper standards are consistently met. Travel Directors are supported and updated regularly by TTC's operations teams, to address latest changes and to keep guests informed throughout their trip.
- In accordance with guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO), enhanced measures have been introduced to elevate hygiene practices on all luxury coaches. Drivers have been trained in latest protocols and will now disinfect all surfaces including handrails, door handles, tray tables and overhead bins daily, as well as change air-conditioning filters. In addition, all coaches will carry hand sanitizer for guest use and supplies of gloves, disinfectant spray, antiviral wipes and face masks will be available.
- Group sizes will be adapted based on government distancing requirements, ensuring that guests will travel with the comfort of their own personal space.
- All TTC partner suppliers including lodging establishments, attractions, ground handlers and restaurants and other venues will be vetted and encouraged to comply with TTC's enhanced protocols.
New $99.00 reduced deposit offer
The new $99 per person deposit is valid for new bookings made between June 15, 2020 – September 15, 2020, and deposit is due at time of booking. This offer is a temporary reduction from the standard deposit of $200. Applicable for travel September 1, 2020 – October 31, 2021. Combinable with Early Payment Discount, Early Booking Discount, Last Minute Deals, year-round savings and exclusive partner offers. The deposit qualifies for 30-day refund guarantee – cancel for any reason within 30 days of deposit and receive a full refund.