Destinations rise and fall. Trends come and go. But one thing doesn’t change with the Globus family of brands, and that’s their dedication to travel agents and the travel trade.
Globus officials met with the trade media in Toronto Wednesday morning, outlining their latest offerings and chatting about the state of the industry.
New programs and itineraries come along quite a bit, but none of it would happen without the help of dedicated travel agents, said Stephanie Bishop, managing director for the Globus family of brands.
“We live and breathe with our relationships with our retail travel partners,” Bishop said. “They’re the backbone of our business. This is a relationship business, and we have nine BDM’s across the country and a big sales team.”
Unlike some companies, the Globus family definitely wants agents to call and chat with their workers.
“We do want to help agents. Our website, www.agentlingo.ca, has a wealth of information, resources and tools for agents. We’re committed to making it as easy as possible. For Avalon Waterways, for example, we only have three categories of rooms, because that makes it easier for agents.”
Last month, the Globus family of brands launched its Facebook group for agents to facilitate training and discussion on its four brands. Members are encouraged to ask questions – to both the Globus team as well as other travel advisors – and share photos. To join the invitation-only group, agents are requested to contact their BDM or visit www.agentlingo.ca.
Bishop said some travel industry folks at one point suggested agents were declining in importance, but she said that’s clearly not the case.
“They’re an integral part of what we do, and they perform an important role. The vast majority of our sales are through agents.”
Bishop said Globus, a family owned company celebrating its 91st year of doing business, has a wide variety of programs, tours and offerings around the world.
“It’s all about choice and flexibility today,” she said. “It’s about providing today’s traveller with the options they need.”
Globus offers first-class, fully-escorted vacations, with 182 vacation packages across 68 countries. Cosmos provides fully-escorted value holidays, with 126 vacations across 64 countries. Monograms offers independent travel packages with local hosts and is available in 42 countries with 123 vacations. Avalon Waterways gives its customers a whopping 80 small-ship river cruises in 20 countries.
Globus companies offer a variety of flexible holiday options that allow guests to visit destinations at their own pace. They also have programs such as Escapes and Undiscovered. Escapes, now in its third season, offers great tours in off-peak times, meaning visitors don’t have to wrestle with so many selfie-taking Instagrammers on a trip to the Vatican or to the Louvre in Paris. They also can save money. Their Undiscovered, also in its third season, offers 11 programs in Europe, with two new offerings in Italy and two new ones in Britain.
Chris Jones, the new marketing director for the Globus family of brands (he’s been in the job for three months and two days), said customers want to explore new places but still want to see St. Mark’s in Venice. Given the issues with over-tourism in some parts of Europe, Globus is working at getting more folks to visit in off-peak times, he said.
Still, Bishop said agents need to realize that panoramic coach tours remain hugely popular for folks exploring Europe for the first time.
Bishop and Jones said multi-generational tours are extremely popular.
“We can set up private tours for families with the same itineraries that are in our brochures, and they can even have a private driver,” Bishop said.
She also said a lot of folks are seeking to explore India and other, lesser-known regions of Asia through offerings such as the Cosmos Exotic program.
Globus tours in Europe with Cosmos Lite can be had for as little as $133 CAD per day, making amazing travel quite affordable.