In 2014 Brendan Vacations will drop two product lines – Boutique Journeys and Independent Vacations – and concentrate on its core product of escorted tours to Ireland, along with Ireland FITs. As part of the move, Brendan president Nico Zenner will leave the Los Angeles-based tour firm. The sales team for Brendan will be reduced from five to three reps and merged with that of its sister company Trafalgar Tours; both firms are owned by the Travel Corporation. Relationships with travel agents will be unaffected, according to Zenner. Phone numbers and reservations functions will stay the same. Agents who worked exclusively with Brendan will either retain their Brendan sales rep or be served by a Trafalgar sales manager.
Brendan’s Independent Vacations to destinations other than Ireland were “very commoditized, labor intensive programs,” said Zenner, who joined the company four years ago. “We’re sticking with what we do exceptionally well.” (That includes its escorted small group Castles and Manors Boutique Journey, which will be expanded in 2014.) Brendan will continue to offer trips to destinations in Europe, Central and South America and the South Pacific through its existing code-share arrangement with Trafalgar, which operates those programs, Zenner said.
Zenner plans to stay on until Brendan’s transition is completed. “My role will be to integrate and synergize and once that’s done, I see myself looking for different opportunities,” said Zenner, who previously held posts with Travel Bound and GTA North America Wholesaler, the Rail Europe Group, the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Sabena, the former Belgian airline.
– Robin Amster