Recommend January 2016 - (Page 9)

To u rTa l k Travel Impressions New Branding, New Loyalty Program & New Product from Europe to Cuba paloma villaverde de rico Cuba's pristine Varadero Beach. Travel Impressions' new tagline, "Your success is our destination"-part of the tour operator's new branding that launched last November during its Best of the Best event in Cancun-speaks volumes about how intricately tied Travel Impressions' success is to its travel agent partners. In fact, during Travel Impressions' Best of the Best event, president Jeff Clarke noted that, "Our success is tied to each other," referring to Travel Impressions and the travel agent community. "We are part of a family that's been successful for 40 years and now we're thinking about how we will continue to evolve over many, many years." He also made it a point to stress that for all of the new product, "We are a 100 percent B2B tour operator, and we will continue to focus on you being more successful and ultimately more profitable." That profitability, he said, comes first and foremost from the breadth of product Travel Impressions offers, and for 2016 not only is Travel Impressions expanding on that product, including new tours to Cuba, but it's offering you more efficient ways to conduct business. Top of the list is the LoyalTI First program, which launched this month. Once enrolled, travel agents earn at least 500 points for every booking, and points will not expire so long as travel agents remain active with at least one booking every 12 months. You'll also be able to combine points with other with two departures per month from February Apple Leisure Group brands. to October, is the 11-day Rhythms of Cuba, In terms of product, for 2016 Travel with six nights in Havana and three in Cayo Impressions is expanding in Europe, with Santa Maria-"these keys," said Kuehnel, 15 additional Melia Hotels International "are absolutely stunning." There are also visits properties in England, France, Germany, to Cienfuegos, Santa Clara, and Remedios. Italy and Spain, as well as the new Hotel (Cuba tours, incidentally, need to be booked a RIU Plaza Berlin. Also big for your Europe minimum of 62 days in advance of departure sales-there's new commissionable rail date to allow ample time for the processing of product with point-to-point in Italy. required documentation). One of the biggest news to come The tours, noted Kuehnel, are not out of the event, however, is that Travel inexpensive, but they are practically allImpressions is now offering two people-toinclusive and allow for a 6-passenger people programs to Cuba-one direct from minimum. Included are meals as indicated in JFK, the other from Miami. During the Best the itinerary; accommodations, including the of the Best event, Jacqueline Kuehnel, v.p., overnight in Miami; 24-hour tour director; visa; product development, Apple Leisure Group, tips; air and more. "The pricing piece of [creating these tours]," noted that, "The world wants to go to Cuba said Kuehnel, "is sometimes a bit complicated before it gets [too popular]." The 8-day Expressions of Cuba offers two because we contract through Cuba Travel Services, and they contract through Havana direct departures from JFK per month from Tours, so by the time the pricing gets to the February through October, and includes market, there's a real mark-up level. We tell four nights in Havana and a 3-night hotel the agents it's not about gouging, it happens stay in Varadero. Clients will also have the opportunity to hop into an antique car to La to be that the economics of packaging Cuba is different from other places." Casa Restaurante for dinner; have lunch at Adding that, "We will be the only one of the an organic farm, El Paraiso, overlooking the major operators that offer product for Valle del Silencio; take a boat ride through the winter season, and we have a really Cueva del Indio's underground river; enjoy great product." poolside salsa lessons; and take part in rum and cigar tasting, as well as visit the countryside and Matanzas. c ontac t i nf or mati on The Miami direct tour, meanwhile, also Travel Impressions: january 2016 9

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend January 2016

Editor’s Notes
Hotel Desk: On Your 2016 Radar
Tour Talk: Travel Impressions
River Cruising: What’s Hot Now
2016 Delta Air Lines Caribbean, Mexico & Latin America Guide
5 Places to Hang in Tokyo
The National Parks: Centennial Celebration
Universal Orlando
Value Travel
Egypt is Hot!

Recommend January 2016