Insight Adds New Deluxe U.S. and Canada Options
Citing double-digit growth over 2011 passenger numbers and growing interest in luxury travel, Insight Vacations released a 2013 USA & Canada program that includes seven new luxury Gold itineraries and one new tour within the Premium range.
"The past 12 months have been highly successful,” said Marc Kazlauskas, president of Insight Vacations. “We basically had a sell-out season. While selling for this year's itineraries continues, our numbers are 26% up on 2011, and we expect another sell-out season in 2013, so we are encouraging agents to book early."
New itineraries in the Gold program include a 14-day Rhythms and Flavors of America, 9-day Southern Tastes & Dixie Tunes and 8-day Icons of the American Heartland. Some feature new destinations, such as Chicago, Nashville and Cape Cod, as well as a paddlewheel steamboat cruise down the Mississippi River. New for Insight's Premium collection in 2013 is a 10-day Classic Mid-Atlantic, which includes New York City, Washington D.C. and Niagara Falls, plus Gettysburg and Pennsylvania's Amish Country.
Tauck Sees Growth in Small Ship Demand
Tauck reports robust growth in preseason bookings for its 2013 small ship ocean cruises. Sales for the coming year’s cruise departures are running 50% ahead of last year, and a whopping 120% ahead of two years ago, according to Tauck CEO Dan Mahar. The strong preseason bookings follow a strong 2012 in small ship cruises, he added.
In response, Tauck is increasing cruise departures by 16% for the coming year. For 2013 the company will again offer 10 itineraries to destinations that include Italy, Greece, the Dalmatian Coast, Turkey, Iceland, Scandinavia, Antarctica, Central America and the Galapagos Islands. The 2013 portfolio of small ship cruises is highlighted in a new full-color, 68-page brochure.
Carnival Gives Agents More Opportunities to Earn Rewards
Carnival expanded opportunities for agents to earn points in its Travel Agent Rewards Program by adding 22 new point-earning activities. They include: viewing a new Cruise Rookie Training Video on GoCCL.com (400 points); registering on GoCCL.com: both new and existing registrants (500 points); making bookings for Carnival Cruise Rookies (750 points per client); finding hidden codes within various Carnival travel agent emails, webinars and on GoCCL.com (50-100 points), and booking select sailings (300-600 points).
The Travel Agent Rewards Program, which launched in January, allows participants to earn and redeem points for themselves or their clients toward a variety of Carnival-branded logo items, gift cards, a flat-screen television or an Apple iPad. For additional information, visit GoCCL.com or Carnivalagentrewards.com. Questions should be directed to Carnival’s business development managers or trade engagement team at CCLSales@carnival.com.
Religious Travel Study Shows Faithful Market
Some 35% of all outbound travelers are interested in taking a religious vacation, with 17% hoping to do so within the next five years, according to a religious travel study conducted by TravelStyles and commissioned by the Globus family of brands. According to the study, the potential market for religious travel includes 16.3 million travelers, a figure that has grown by 5% since 2007.
The study also concluded that nearly half (49%) of religious travelers view a faith-based vacation as something they need to do in order to enhance their faith. And half feel more comfortable spending money on a faith-based trip than on a regular vacation. Moreover, 25% of travelers surveyed said they are using a faith-based vacation as a motivator to travel internationally for the first time.
While a majority of potential religious travelers are seeking an opportunity to deepen their faith, nearly half primarily want to have fun on their journey, the study found. About 42% are looking for a 50-50 blend of religious and non-religious activities on a trip.
Focusing on Faith-Based Travel
“Religious tours are huge. I work with one gentleman who writes a travel blog for Catholics. Imagine the possibilities of travel to the Vatican alone. When you focus on a niche, selling becomes easier and more lucrative.” – Bill Todd, author and motivational speaker
Peru Conservation Marks Tourism Cares Global Outreach
Inspired by Tourism Cares, the U.S. industry group that has worked assiduously to conserve popular tourism sites domestically, Peru’s tourism sector has formed Turismo Cuida, that country’s first-ever travel industry nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and restoring natural, cultural and historic sites in Peru.
The formation of Turismo Cuida was an outgrowth of a meeting in Peru of U.S. and Peruvian industry members, as part of Tourism Cares’ first global outreach. The result is a two-year collaboration to conserve the South American country’s renowned Inca sites, including Machu Picchu. Turismo Cuida is being created by eight private Peruvian entities that have committed $80,000 for the next two years, to be matched by the Tourism Cares’ Leadership Expedition participants.
Nick Verrastro contributed to this report.