Ahead of a milestone year for Insight Vacations — April marks the brand’s 40th anniversary — Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold’s new global CEO Ulla Hefel Böhler was in Toronto yesterday (Jan. 30) for a welcome luncheon.
“To be precise, 13th of April 1978 was when Insight Vacations was founded in the UK and in the last few weeks we’ve had a lot of fun looking back at those 40 years and at some of those amazing memories and innovations that have really paved the way for our present brand,” she said. “I can’t give too much away, but we will be launching a very nice anniversary campaign and we’ll really be talking about some of the innovations that have shaped Insight to what it is today. And now it’s obviously my opportunity and my pleasure of really taking Insight into the future.”
Looking ahead, she says the guest experience will remain a key focus across all of The Travel Corporation’s companies, as well as sustainability, personalization and the human connection.
“Yes, they’re travelling in a group, at the end of the day what matters is that you as an individual get the personal experience, and your personal dreams and inspirations are met and exceeded,” she says. “That is something our travel directors are absolutely focused on.”
In terms of trending destinations, she notes bookings for Europe are strong again, particularly for Eastern Europe.
“If anyone wants to go to Croatia they better have booked it yesterday because it’s going so quickly,” she says. “Also, the UK is very topical at the moment, think Royal baby, Royal Wedding.”
Hefel Böhler said she’s also delighted to see France come back as a trending destination.
“France had tough times for obvious reasons, but France is absolutely coming back, which is delightful to see,” she said. “Another destination which has been troubled for a few years, but is absolutely on the rise again is Egypt and Egypt has always been a very, very important part of our portfolio… There’s no place like Egypt, think the Pyramids, think the Egyptian museum, it’s so unique and special. I’m really excited to see Egypt coming back and taking many travellers there both on Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold.”
As for the trade, Hefel Böhler said she’s 100% convinced travel agents will continue to play a very important role.
“Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold have always been very trade centric. I have absolutely no intention of ever changing that,” she told PressToday. “I do believe the world we live in nowadays, the trusted travel advisor will continue to play an even more important role. We live in volatile times and you want a trusted partner that can give you advice, that can give you recommendations, that knows you, that can really recommend the perfect holiday for you. We’re all time poor nowadays and if you have the travel agent who knows what ticks your boxes, what makes you happy, and gives you a perfect recommendation, I mean what a gift, right?”
Pictured at the event at Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie are (l-r) Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold’s Brad Ford, Ulla Hefel Böhler and Carla Brake.