A visit to one of the world’s most exotic holiday destinations may be in the cards for a hard-working travel agent who has solid knowledge of the South Pacific.
The agent who has the most sales of Tahiti vacation trips by Anderson Vacations will be awarded a spot on an upcoming Tahiti fam trip. The winner will be selected right after Oct. 31, which is the deadline for making bookings. The fam will include airfares from Los Angeles to Tahiti as well as accommodations, activities and most meals in the destination.
Anderson wants agents to know that they offer some very attractive and affordable Tahiti programs, many with cultural components that may not be sold by other more mainstream tour operators. (andersonvacations.ca)
The tour company raises the profile of Tahiti’s culture with tour opportunities like guided 4×4 excursions on the mountainous trails of Moorea and Bora Bora, authentic Moana lagoon tours, snorkeling adventures on the reefs and more.
Tour programs like this have helped Anderson build on its status as a niche tour operator. “We want to be known as a specialist tour operator,” said Darcie Guarderas, director of business development for Anderson Vacations. “We offer access to less expensive pensions (guest houses) as well as some other off-the-beaten-path attractions that other tour operators may not offer,” she says.
The Anderson approach to a Tahiti vacation can also help clients avoid overspending. “The most compelling thing that agents need to know about Tahiti is that it doesn’t have to be the most expensive destination in the world,” says Guarderas.
Agents can impart this knowledge to their clients by adjusting expectations a bit, and by not booking them into an overwater bungalow for the entire duration of their stay in Tahiti. She noted that some visitors assume that the popular overwater bungalows of Tahiti (especially Bora Bora) must be booked for the entirety of their vacation, but this isn’t the case.
“I feel that clients would have an amazing trip if they stayed in a lush garden or tropical view room, or a pension (guest house) for a portion of their stay, and ended their vacation with the last three nights in an overwater bungalow,” she said. Resort garden accommodations and pensions can be enjoyed on islands like Moorea, Raiatea and Taha’a.
To ensure entry to the Anderson Vacations contest, all tracking of package sales is automatically done by Anderson, so the agents do not need to track anything. But agents do need to have completed the Tahiti Tiare Program.
This is a Tahiti tourism educational course for professional travel retailers, created and offered by Tahiti Tourisme. It not only greatly increases the destination knowledge of the islands for agents, but also confers other benefits that will help them sell Tahiti programs, and confirms their status as a Tahiti specialist.
These benefits include sales and marketing tools for agents to use, allowing the creation of personalized agency flyers from Tahiti Tourisme templates; access to consumer brochures, diving/wedding guides, vacation planners, postcards, posters and a photo library; and a complimentary listing on the Tahiti Tourisme consumer website (www.tahititourisme.com), where consumers have the ability to search out travel retailers based on their location.
Completion of the Tahiti educational course will be verified by Anderson Vacations at the end of the contest. But any questions that agents have about Tahiti can be quickly resolved with a phone call to Anderson, said Guarderos. “Please call us if there are questions… our job is to make the travel agents look like rock stars!”
The famously scenic Mount Otemanu, defining Bora Bora in Tahiti, rises behind some of the overwater bungalows that are offered for booking there. (Ted Davis)