Living ‘The good life’ with Trafalgar
(Photo above: Brett Tollman (l), CEO and president of The Travel Corporation, and Wolf Paunic, president, Trafalgar Canada)
Trafalgar Canada reaffirmed its commitment to the travel agent community last week with company president Wolf Paunic telling Travel Courier that it has always been “agents first” at Trafalgar and sister company CostSaver.
Paunic was taking part in the operator’s 2019 Europe and Britain launch at the historic Guild Inn Estate in Scarborough.
“We really mean it when we say agents first,” said Paunic, adding the company is committed to helping agents learn new sales techniques and expanding their knowledge in the market. They have done this by investing in their sales teams, offering better agent tools and enhancing their websites.
“We view your business as our business,” said Paunic. “We hear your needs and we’re here for you.”
As part of its initiative to innovate and bring clients real travel experiences, Trafalgar also released some thought-provoking research to uncover what guests are truly seeking from their holidays and what “The Good Life” really means to them – with some of the results a little surprising and somewhat disconcerting.
A staggering 89% of respondents said travel is enjoyable, but stressful and difficult to plan (that’s where travel agents come in), and 49% surveyed claimed that “real” travel experiences didn’t actually feel that real – that travel is becoming a common tourist trail (that’s where top operators like Trafalgar come in).
Thirty-seven per cent surveyed felt they didn’t see any “real culture” on their last trip and almost half of participants said if they did, these experiences were not unique (that’s where experiences like Trafalgar’s Be My Guest program comes in).
Another alarming statistic unveiled 61% of guests are feeling the negative effects of over-tourism, with over-crowding (experienced by 66%) putting a dampener on their holidays. The burden of social media is also getting to guests, with 53% saying that the pressures of posting on holiday were enough to put them off.
The study showed “good” travel is an opportunity to step away from daily life and pressures, be surprised and challenged, learn, appreciate and experience something new. Spending time with loved ones in a relaxed state of mind is key and remembering one’s own values, personally and philosophically on life is what’s important when travelling. Trafalgar’s findings showed that 83% of participants said happiness is more important than success and 79% valued being well more than being wealthy.
These findings of “wonder-lost” – combined with the research of what people are seeking when they travel – was a driving factor behind Trafalgar’s innovation across the 116 handcrafted itineraries to 220 cities in the new Europe & Britain 2019 program.
The program offers carefully crafted unique holidays designed to “reveal the rich diversity and leave guests speechless all while living ‘The Good Life.’”
New journeys for 2019 include the 10-day Shamrocks and Leprechauns; the 14-day Treasures of Spain and Portugal; the 11-day Best of Croatia and Slovenia; the 11-day Best of Poland (it’s the first time Poland has been offered as a single program); and new five- and six-day Mykonos and Santorini Island Extensions.
Paunic also noted that Egypt, Turkey and Israel programs are selling well, as is its new Africa program.