IT’S HARD TO DENY THE APPEAL OF SOUTH AND CENTRAL AMERICA; the Amazon Jungle and the Galapagos Islands are just a sampling of the natural beauty in the region, not to mention other bucket list sights such as Machu Picchu. But because of its diversity, this corner of the globe can be.
But because of its diversity, this corner of the globe can be a very complex one for travel advisors to sell, especially considering its mass appeal to various audiences. Catering to this broad range of travellers, Collette continues to expand, refine and differentiate its product offering. To guide travel advisors to better sales success within the region, CT Magazine spoke with Ryan Mikucki, the tour operator’s director of sales – Canada, for his expert insight, as follows:
What sets Collette’s South and Central America program apart from others in the market?
What sets our South and Central America product apart is the diversity and
uniqueness of the product and how many inclusions there are on our tours. We also provide Choice on Tour, which features different paths a traveller can take and on select days of the tour, they can choose from the included possibilities that best suits their interests. Another thing to note is that quite a few of our tours fall into our “Explorations” line, which is small group touring of about 12 to 24 passengers. Tours such as the Galapagos and Machu Picchu, Antarctica & Chile’s Patagonia and Costa Rica: A World of Nature are all small groups.
In 2016, we are the only operator with a “small group” tour to Costa Rica when compared to our major competitors. In fact, Costa Rica is one of our best-selling destinations and it is a great option for travel agents to promote to clients looking for an all-inclusive sun holiday but doing it fully-guided instead – in my opinion, this destination has a lot to offer.
What are your top tips for travel advisors to leverage when it comes to selling Collette’s South & Central America product?
1. Collette’s pricing is locked in at $1.20 CAD until the end of April 2017 departures.
2. All of our accommodations are four- to five-star.
3. We provide travellers with ‘Choice on Tour’ and the opportunity for pre- and post-tour extensions to help personalize their trip.
4. There are great culinary inclusions on our tours, with included meals and
experiences in local restaurants.
5. There is a cruise experience combined with the land tour in the Galapagos and Antarctica products.
Describe the client for Collette’s South and Central America product. What questions should travel advisors ask to qualify their client for these itineraries?
South and Central America is a big region with many cities and countries to explore. There is adventure, wine (Argentina and Chile), nature (Amazon, Galapagos), history, and some of the wonders of the world (Christ the Redeemer, Machu Picchu and Iguazu Falls), so it has wide appeal for various types of travellers. To qualify clients, advisors should definitely ask what they are looking to get out of their trip. For example, an outdoor focus? Do you want cultural immersion, history and nature? Is there an attraction or bucket list experience you are looking to see or do (i.e. Machu Picchu or the Galapagos)? What type of culinary experiences do you want (local, home-hosted, cooking demonstrations and/or wineries)?
What misconceptions might exist among the travel trade about Collette’s touring programs, and what is the reality?
Not many people understand that we cover the entire world. We travel to all seven continents and have a variety of product lines to choose from: Collette Classic tours, Explorations (small group), Spotlights (city stays), river cruises and faith-based travel. Historically, many people thought we only did North America and/or Australia & New Zealand, but the reality is we have been around a very long time (since 1918) and provide memorable travel experiences across the globe.
How can travel advisors a) upsell Collette product and b) earn more money by selling Collette product?
Travel advisors earn more by providing more flexibility to their clients such as air upgrades, optional tours, pre- and post-nights and optional on-tour excursions. We also provide more peace of mind with our no-worry travel protection plan, which allows clients to cancel for any reason right up to the day prior to departure (and advisors won’t lose their commission). Finally, when advisors book their clients with air, we provide our private door-to-door Sedan service (if they reside within 100 kilometers of the airport) that takes them to and from the airport, for added value and customer care.
Photo courtesy Visit Peru
Take advantage of these Collette offerings to grow your business:
BOOK YOUR OWN BONUS AGENT INCENTIVE: Earn bonus commission on bookings made. Visit gocollette.com/agentincentive for more information.
COLLETTE E-LEARNING SPECIALIST PROGRAM: Receive travel credits and discounts by participating.
AGENT FAM OPPORTUNITIES (priority seating on FAMs is given to those who complete the e-learning specialist program).
WEBINARS AND AGENT TRAININGS conducted by BDM’s, found by signing-in at gateway.gocollette.com.
NEW THIS YEAR IS A 20-day Antarctica & Chile’s Patagonia tour, which is part of Collette’s Explorations (small group) product line. The tour features Santiago, Patagonia, Torres del Paine National Park, Chilean Fjords and includes a 13-night cruise aboard MS Midnatsol.