Central Holidays Rolls Out Small Group Tours

by David Cogswell
Central Holidays Rolls Out Small Group Tours

The new, more intimate tours are being introduced in the company’s original home destination of Italy. Photo: Shuttetstock


Central Holidays introduced a new series of small group escorted tours that cater to the marketplace trend of travelers wanting more intimate and culturally immersive experiences at the destinations they visit. The first programs of the new series are based in Italy.

The new tours, which carry a maximum of 16 people, were developed in response to requests from customers for increasingly in-depth and personalized tours.

Tewfik Ghattas, a board member of Sakkara Group International, Central Holidays’ parent company, said the tours are “all about experiences that truly take you to live the magic of Italy, like a local, with the added perk of sharing these moments of a lifetime in the intimacy of a small group.”

Advantages of small groups
“Small groups have been the trend for some time,” Maria José Merino, vice president operations at Central Holidays, told Travel Market Report. Our large groups have reduced in numbers. People like to mingle with other travelers and a small group allows them to do that better than being on a bus with 40 or 50 people.”

Small groups also make possible activities that are not possible with large numbers, such as wine tastings and dinners in small local restaurants that are rich in history and culture. Boutique hotels are also more accessible to smaller groups.

“Small group tours provide a better taste of the culture,” said Merino. “You can talk to the barista. It’s a different type of experience, more in depth. Because of the smaller number of people, you have better access to the local people.”

Based in Italy
The new product line is based in Italy, the company’s original home base. The tours will be operated from Central Holidays’ Rome office, which was established more than 40 years ago.

“The product development comes out of our Rome office,” said Merino. “They know the wineries and restaurants, as they have changed over the years. We have tastings run by families and they bring a lot of pride and love to their presentations. It makes a huge difference when you have a balsamic vinegar tasting and a family member walks you through, tells you about the different processes. They do it with such pride, it is heartwarming.”

Central Holidays continues to offer its traditional escorted tours in the destinations it operates in, carrying 30-40 passengers. Established as an Italian operator in 1972, Central Holidays now offers independent travel arrangements and escorted tours in Italy, Europe, the Mediterranean, Africa, Latin America and Cuba.

The company was founded by Joe and Fred Berardo, who were American immigrants from Italy. They were successful insurance salesmen for Metropolitan Life, and they discovered that their expertise in helping people plan trips to their mother country was worth more than their ability to sell insurance. The Berardos sold the company in 2012 to Cairo, Egypt-based Sakkara Group International.

Here are the new tours in the small group series: “Magnificent Italy & the Amalfi Coast,” “Splendors of Sicily,” “Italy’s Northern Highlights,” “Italy’s Southern Splendors,” “Italy’s Sunbelt, Rome & the Amalfi Coast,” “Best of Italy,” and “Grand Tour of Italy & Sicily.”

  0
  0
Tip of the Day

Something could happen to any of us, the loved ones we travel with, or in this case, to the magnificent marvels put up by those who came before us. So we must travel as far and as often as time and money allow.


Stefanie Katz, The Travel Superhero

Daily Top List

Five Good Reasons to Tell Your Clients About Loyalty Programs

1. Saves money for your clients.

2. Saves time for your corporate clients.

3. Gets all sorts of perks for your clients.

4. Offers enhanced reporting to corporate clients.

5. Provides better service and better client relationships.

Source: TMR.

TMR THIS WEEK
http://services.travelsavers.com/AMGService.svc/REST/GetImage?ImageID=b75eceda-865f-e911-b4aa-782bcb66a2f2

5 Good Reasons to Tell Your Clients About Travel Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs, also known as frequent buyer programs, have been around for a long time. But you might be surprised to know that many travelers don’t know about them. Here are five good reasons for travel advisors to spread the word to their customers, both leisure and corporate travelers.

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
New Apple Vacations President John Tarkowski is Setting His Course
New Apple Vacations President John Tarkowski is Setting His Course

The wholesaler’s challenges, says Tarkowski, are the same as those that face the retail travel advisor.

Avanti Launches Educational E-Brochure for Travel Advisors Selling the Galapagos
Avanti Launches Educational E-Brochure for Travel Advisors Selling the Galapagos

Cruises are the most popular method to get around the Galapagos islands, which the tour operator says is one of its top three destinations in South America.

Intrepid Sails to Significant Growth on Wave of Sustainable Tourism
Intrepid Sails to Significant Growth on Wave of Sustainable Tourism

The adventure travel provider is seeing bottom line gains resulting from its dedication to practices of responsible tourism.

Abercrombie & Kent Adds New Luxury Expedition Cruise in the Baltics
Abercrombie & Kent Adds New Luxury Expedition Cruise in the Baltics

The tour operator’s Luxury Tailor Made trips begin with prepared itineraries that are designed to be a starting point from which customers build the trip of their dreams.

Eurail Pass Hits 60 Years
Eurail Pass Hits 60 Years

The European rail system is offering price reductions this year and travels to more countries than ever.

How Tour Operators are Combating Overtourism
How Tour Operators are Combating Overtourism

Off-peak season discounts and itineraries to lesser-known destinations in popular countries are helping to spread out tourist crowds over the course of the year.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards & Outlooks
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Tropics and Exotics 2020 -2021 Collection