AGENCY: DHTour, London & U.K. Specialists, Burlington, Ont.
AFFILIATIONS: IATA, TICO, ACTA
YEARS IN BUSINESS? 19
WHAT’S YOUR SPECIALTY? London, the UK and Europe, including Battlefields, Back Roads Touring, FIT and other tours.
Tell us about Connection Custom Travel for whom you are host agency…
Connection Custom Travel is a tour operator that acts as a direct resource for group travel right here in Canada. By partnering with tourist boards and the local communities of Great Britain, Europe, South East Asia, Costa Rica, and now North America, travellers and their agents are afforded with meaningful special interest opportunities. Out of the products offered, The Battlefield Tours has been in operation with the same staff for over 28 years and thereby gets the most attention. But there are other opportunities for agents while working with Connection, including a wide range of custom products from Music & Performance Tours to Connect Solo Vacations. With the added advantage of working with tourist boards and communities directly, Canadian agents also benefit by receiving additional support and resource. Connection strives to offer the Canadian travel industry with annual FAM trips, in-house destination clinics, as well as custom-made map kits and destination information. To learn more, visit www.connectiontours.ca .
How do you support Connection Custom Travel?
We promote their Battlefield Tours by brochure and web and also help with their private groups.
What makes their programs so special?
Knowledge! The company management – Ian and Samantha Cowan – and the guides they work with have first-class knowledge of the history of the First World War, WWII and other areas of conflict. Not only knowledge of the history, but also of the routing, hotels, etc. necessary for smooth running tours.
Who is the ideal Connection Custom Travel client?
Most are 55-plus, but we are seeing more and more family groups, parents and children.
Can you offer any tips for selling Connection Custom Travel/closing a sale?
Show genuine interest in the client’s reasons for taking a battlefield tour – some have specific reasons because of family members who participated. And point out to clients that Brexit – the UK voting to leave the European union – has resulted in a drop in the value of the British pound, meaning that virtually all prices to the UK are lower than last year!
What kind of customer feedback do you typically get?
95% very good, with comments on how emotional some visits were and how informative the guides were. First-time visitors are sometimes surprised at the small hotel rooms!
How do your own tours and products compliment Connection’s offerings?
We offer Back Roads Tours and FIT packages all over Europe, which can be added to the featured Battlefield tour as needed. And agents can purchase extras for their clients such as unlimited London travel cards and Oyster transit cards…
How do you go the extra mile for clients?
Superb information packages, maps, directions etc. both from Connection Custom Travel and from DHTour. We also make meaningful connections within the destinations we work with so that we can be both a wealth of knowledge and a wealth of resource too. We take the initiative to learn more about the destinations we work with, taking advantage of destination clinics, attending conferences, and travelling on FAM Trips, all the while taking a deep interest in how our tours work on the ground. Our active, and hands-on approach is a strong advantage...
DHTour was chosen by Connection Custom Travel to be profiled in CT Magazine. Why?
DHTour (www.dhgrouptours.com) has been offering professional and unique travel opportunities from Burlington, Ont., for over 18 years – sharing their own wealth of knowledge and resources for the destinations we work with. They do so much more than host our public travel programs and have ended up being a helpful support system for all of the special interest tours we have on offer. We feel like we’re working with trusted colleagues who are constantly going the extra mile for our travellers. With the combined passion, knowledge, resource, and connections DHTour brings, our team has the support we need to continue offering incredible opportunities for our travellers.
SAMANTHA COWAN, Sales & Outbound Operations,
Connection Custom Travel | The Battlefield Tours
See the full INSPIRE issue here:
Karen Burwood, DHTour