The increasing appetite of consumers for more adventurous holidays is driving more agents to start selling the escorted tour market.
Collette Worldwide Holidays marketing manager UK Nicky Manning said 50% of the operator’s sales now come from agents after it launched to the trade four years ago.
She believes this growth has largely been driven by customers wanting to visit more unusual destinations such as China and Japan, where they often appreciate the assistance of guided tours.
Manning said: “People are now well travelled, when you speak to customers they have been to a lot of traditional places in Europe, as well as America and Canada too.
“Everybody’s looking for something a bit different and somewhere a bit more off the beaten track.”
She said the growth in agent interest has led to the introduction of a number of online innovations for agents: the operator’s Escorted Tours Worldwide 2010/11 brochure will be placed online for the first time on October 5.
The online brochure allows agents to print pages off, as well as search for product according to destinations.
Launched next week on the agent-only website colletteglobetrotters.com, the brochure will be followed this month by the release of promotional posters and flyers that agents can print off and use for their own purposes.
To further drive trade sales, agents making their first booking with the operator will receive a £50 Marks and Spencer voucher.
While the online brochure will also be placed on the operator’s consumer website, Manning added agents can still expect a fair deal.
She said: “We have a one-price promise, if a client walks in to a travel agency having seen a price in the brochure or online, we will honour that price.”
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