As part of our coverage of Pleasant Holidays' Elite Experience in Maui, Travel Agent spoke with Jack E. Richards, CEO of Pleasant Holidays, and learned of the operator's plans to expand to Japan by December 11 and Scotland by next summer.
“If you look at U.S. visiting data, there is year-over-year, double digit growth to Japan," says Richards, noting that 1.4 million tourists visit Japan annually. "That is a huge number. Those numbers get our attention. We follow the data closely and Asia is growing and continuing to grow.”
Richards also says the company will follow its Japan debut with additional Asian destinations, including Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Richards told Travel Agent that the other Asian destination will be launched within the next two years.
“When [Richards] made the announcement, I just thought it was awesome that Pleasant is selling Asia again,” said Dan Arriaga of Newhall-Valencia Travel Inc., one of Pleasant’s top five performing travel agents.
"We do a lot of combined Scotland and Ireland trips," says Arriaga. "We send people to Scotland and tell them to jump on a 55-minute flight to Dublin. We usually get clients doing three days in Scotland and three in Ireland, so this is great news for us."