On the road with Globus’ Stephanie Bishop
Canadian Travel Press catches up with Globus family of brands’ managing director, Stephanie Bishop, only to learn that she’s been back on the road for the first time since the pandemic locked the industry down back in March.
Good news is hard to come by for the travel industry these days, but I understand that you have some to share. You’ve travelled recently on Globus family of brands’ first North America tour since the lock down – and first tour operated globally for Globus family of brands globally. What was it like? How was it different? What kind of protocols were in place to keep passengers safe and healthy? What kind of response did the tour receive?
In one word, it was incredible to travel again with the Globus family of brands. The destinations, the sights, immersive excursions and the insider storytelling from an expert Tour Director – experiences travellers expect from Globus – were all the same. And the new protocols in place – to keep them healthy and safe – were wonderful and extremely comforting.
Our On-Trip Assurance program – created by a global Health & Safety team – includes regular health checks, luggage sanitation, touch-free check-ins at hotels and during sightseeing, hand-sanitization before boarding motorcoaches, motorcoach cleaning overnight and at stops, social distancing and mask-wearing when social distancing isn’t possible.
This tour was special in that it was the very first itinerary we have operated, worldwide, since March. It was created for Canadian travellers who wanted an escape to see, experience and explore our own, beautiful backyard.
The trip delivered, offering us – all of us – the perfect escape.
So, that said, will there be more tours like this one? Can you share any details with CTP’s readers?
Yes! We’re working to enhance our domestic program, operating off-season Escapes and other, popular Canadian itineraries specifically for Canadian travellers. We hope to unveil Escapes for 2021 – much like the Canadian Rockies Escape I experienced last week – before years-end. And, some of our most popular vacations, worldwide, feature Canadian landscapes. They’re available for booking right now. They include:
- Globus Great Resorts of the Canadian Rockies (7 days)
- Globus Wonders of the Maritimes & Scenic Cape Breton (9 days)
- Globus Québec In Depth with the Gaspé Peninsula (11 days)
- Globus Newfoundland & Labrador (12 days)
- Globus Great Canadian Rail Journey (14 days)
- Cosmos Ontario & French Canada (8 days)
- Cosmos Heart of the Canadian Rockies (10 days)
What about the company’s other brands – Cosmos, Monograms, Avalon Waterways – can you update agents on what’s going on with them?
Cosmos is much like Globus. We are looking for opportunities to operate tours – including domestic vacations for Canadians – sooner than later.
Monograms and Avalon Waterways are ready to go – with new health and safety protocols in place, as soon as we get the “green light” to go. We’re hopeful borders will open for Canadians in early 2021 encouraging travellers to enjoy customized vacations with Monograms and “suite,” safe and sound sailings with Avalon Waterways.
Can you talk about some of the initiatives that Globus family of brands has put in place during the global pandemic to help agents and their customers?
We have used this “time out” to enhance advisor training and we have created a Peace of Mind Plan for clients to make bookings risk-free.
With our new Peace of Mind plan, travellers are free to change their vacation plans any time before their final payment, without penalty.
This means they can take advantage of great deals knowing they have the flexibility to move their vacation to any brand, any itinerary in 2022 or beyond. We also continue to work with advisors and travellers to help them redeem the Letters of Credit they received for unused vacations in 2020.
On the product and operations side of things, we have not only unveiled enhanced health and safety protocols with our On-Trip Assurances, we have also announced Small-Group Discovery vacations in more destinations across the globe.
We have also expanded our popular “Undiscovered” series of tours to North America, featuring off-the-beaten-path destinations closer to home.
I’m wondering how you would characterize the situation today. Is the industry ready to get back to work and are their customers ready to travel again?
For months, travellers have been dreaming of an escape. They’re ready to travel when the world is ready for them. And we’re excited to show them the way. The road back to travel may be slow, but we feel it will also be steady.
Right now, our domestic vacation offerings with Globus and Cosmos can help travellers begin the journey in their own backyard. It isn’t necessary to fly across oceans to have a life-changing, memory-filled vacation.
Is it my imagination or are escorted tours getting more attention from both agents and consumers in the current environment? Why is that?
Great observation – you’re correct.
There is great merit in having someone else worry about back-end logistics. Travellers have great trust in touring and the experience it affords them. Globus has always invited travellers to say “hello” to the world’s most fascinating places with unmatched intrigue, curiosity and wonder.
To offer travellers over-the moon-experiences without overthinking. That idea – and promise – could not be more prevalent, more welcomed and more needed today for those driven by wanderlust on their journey back to travel.
When travellers choose a Globus tour, they can say ‘goodbye’ to worry. With the help and expertise of Tour Directors, local drivers and on-the-ground travel experts in destinations across the globe, we provide our peace-of-mind to travellers. We are also dedicated to providing travellers a stress-free getaway with many safety protocols in place, thanks to our Global Health & Safety Team, leaving them free to have fun, engaging in the world around them.
Partnership is a word that the travel industry uses a lot – both agent and supplier. Can you talk about the importance of partnerships in the present environment? What’s your definition of a good agent-supplier partnership? Has the global pandemic changed your definition of that partnership?
Partnership means going beyond a simple business transaction and it supports an environment of mutual shared values such as transparency, accountability, integrity and collaboration.
I think of a trifecta: the travel agency business owner, the travel advisor, the supplier partner working together towards a common goal – the traveller.
Is there something that I haven’t asked you that you think I should have asked? What is it? And, what’s the answer?
During the cocktail reception, we asked our guests why they chose this trip. The answers were consistent: they needed to travel, be safe and they’ve always wanted to explore their own backyard.
The Rockies are high up on most Canadian travellers bucket list. When they did their research, they found we presented them with the perfect solution. That’s what I would call delivering a great combination of needs and wants. Mission accomplished.
Last question: You’ve got centre stage, so what’s your message to the industry?
The world has changed, but dreaming doesn’t stop. Travellers want to hear from their advisors. They want to plan and plot vacation plans. They need something to look forward to. And the Globus family of brands’ is ready to deliver with unparalleled vacation offerings – from Small-Group Discoveries and private touring options to small ship cruising – plus unprecedented health and safety protocols as well as worry-free, hassle-free and strings-free bookings with our new Peace of Mind Plan.
Let’s always keep in mind that … Canadians believe travel is a given right and, you simply cannot Zoom a vacation. #GlobusEscape #OCanada #DreamingDoesntStop.