Agents praise Not in the Guidebooks’ first long-haul fam trip

Agents who took part in Not in the Guidebooks’ first long-haul fam trip have hailed the value of experiencing what customers encounter.

Seven agents went on the 10-day trip to Costa Rica which took in the canals of Tortuguero National Park, as well as visits to other national parks including Arenal Volcano and Corcovado.

Not in the Guidebooks chief executive Carol Savage and sales director Debbie Sowden joined agents from Travel Counsellors, Travel Den, Trademark Travel, Oyster Travel, Aspire Travel and Once in a Lifetime Holidays.

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Travel Den owner Gilli Knight said: “There is no substitute for personal experience when advertising, advising or selling in travel and this trip could not have delivered any more.”

Savage said fam trips were the “best way” for agents to understand the company’s itineraries.

“When [agents] connect with our local hosts and get under the skin of the destination, that’s when they truly understand what we are about as a brand and what sustainability really means when travelling,” she said.

“We are beginning to see a real shift with what people are looking for from their travels. Holidaymakers are looking for more experiences when travelling, be that through culture, the local cuisine, meeting local people, or simply experiencing a place like it should be – like a local.

“This particular trip to Costa Rica was quite simply an amazing experience for our agent partners. With its abundant wildlife, diverse culture and incredible food, it really is an amazing place to visit and a destination that’s growing in popularity all the time.”

The fam trip included a visit to Monteverde’s cloud forest and a ride on Latin America’s longest and highest zip line.

“The amount of ground we covered, the experiences we had, the insights into this beautiful country have equipped me to the highest level to confidently talk about this destination to customers,” said Knight.

Oyster Travel managing director Vicky Samwell-Buckenham described the fam trip as “like no other”.

She added: “To get to fully experience a destination, be completely immersed in its culture, wildlife and enjoy some incredible experiences throughout our time in Costa Rica has been beyond amazing and so incredibly valuable for being able to now confidently recommend and put together bespoke itineraries for our customers.

“I absolutely love what Not in the Guidebooks stands for. Their ethos and passion for creating genuine authentic itineraries is everything. I will be forever grateful for this opportunity.”

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