“We’re still in growth mode,” says Tauck’s managing director of North American sales Jackie Coulson of the 90-year-old Connecticut-based tour operator that offers premium luxury land and river boat cruises. “We’re growing each and every year. Despite the [declining Canadian] currency, we’re still moving forward.”
Coulson, a Canadian, who took over full North American duties in January, 2014, after several years establishing Tauck’s Canadian office, says the luxury market will be affected by the economic downturn, but not as badly as mainstream and budget markets, reports editor Michael Baginski in this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier.
“People are still going to go… maybe not just as often,” she says.
Moreover, with many Canadian snowbirds cutting short their stays in the southern US because of the dollar, Canadian agents have an opportunity to book the extra trips those clients often use American agents near their US homes for. “You can be the agent that books all their stuff,” she points out.
While Tauck lists its prices in US dollars, Coulson says Canadians can take advantage of different enhancement specials to help offset their decreased buying power. Free extra nights, reduced river cruise prices (thanks to improved buying power due to the rise of the US dollar), and more tour inclusions (such as special events on river cruises), all help add value, she says, adding, “On an all-inclusive basis, we’re not the most expensive that’s out there.”
Tauck is also careful to ensure that it has plenty of new product and amenities to entice clients, many of whom are repeaters.
For the full story, check out this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier by clicking here.