Australian Pacific Touring recently launched their new 40-page brochure for 2013/2014, with tours around Australia and New Zealand from the company’s wholesale partners including Qantas Vacations, Travel 2, All About, Goway, Celtic Tours and Koala Tours and more.
Travel Agent spoke with Nicole DeWilde, APT’s North American Vice President of Sales and Marketing about the new tours and perks and what agents need to know about the company.
“What sets APT apart is that we offer Freedom of Choice,” DeWilde said, referring to one of the company’s Premier Tours perks. “When people think about escorted tours, they think you’re herded everywhere and you’re all doing same things.” Freedom of Choice lets guests choose their own itinerary on the group tour, even making last-minute changes or requests—and at no extra cost. “For example, in Auckland, one person might want to have a look at the city sights or go to the maritime museum, but someone else might want to go to the hotel spa for a reflexology treatment. All options are included in price of tour, so you can choose. It’s a n neat concept. Most mainstream tour operators don’t do this.”
Beyond sightseeing, Freedom of Choice extends to dining as well. “Dinner’s not included every night, but with most motorcoach tours, you eat in hotel. With us, you have a choice of options. In Queenstown, there is a choice of four restaurants you can go to. One of the most popular is a steamer cruise to Walter Peak Farm, where you can have dinner right at farm. If you want to go to a seafood restaurant, you can do that. It gives you more choice than you would normally expect. That’s key.”
And perhaps best of all, travelers can pick their options while on the tour so that the excursion is exactly what they’re in the mood for. “You might decide you’ve had enough of sightseeing and you want to go to the spa,” DeWilde said. The tour directors make all reservations, and will usually know the likelihood of a restaurant or excursion already being sold out (and can advise on booking in advance). “I’ve never heard complaints of people not getting the choice of what they want to do,” DeWilde added.
“Many coach tours have optionals that you pay extra for. With this, the all-inclusive aspect is good for both the client and the agent. Instead of the client paying for something extra while they’re on the tour, they pay for everything upfront. And the agent gets the full commission.”
Right now, APT is offering Early Bird and Early Payment discounts, as well as a Double Early Bird discount of 10 percent for bookings (with deposit) made before April 30, 2013.
The Premier Tours, which offer the Freedom of Choice options, stay in top-tier hotels and can run for as many as 23 days. Value-Plus tours, which do not offer the all-inclusive Freedom of Choice options, generally stay in three-star hotels, and can range from nine to 15 days.
The new brochure for APT Australian and New Zealand Tours is now available for download here. For more information about APT call 1-800-290-8687.