|The Great Wall of China is one of the seven Wonders of the World.|
In the past few months Travel Agent has spoken with South Pacific tour operators and hosted a discussion on Asia travel trends among tourist office representatives, suppliers and travel sellers. In both cases the tone was upbeat for the future, indicating that now is a good time to send your clients to the region. A number of tour operators have recently published their 2013 brochures, both in print and online, from which we present the following sampling of some of the top offerings.
For 2013, Globus highlights new vacations to Japan, Tibet, China, Thailand, India, Vietnam and Cambodia in its Asia brochure. Of particular interest is the Small Group Discovery series—Asia programs that are limited to no more than 20 clients per tour, giving them a smaller group ratio and the chance for more personalized service and unique experiences. There’s also a separate Australia & New Zealand brochure.
For independent travelers, Globus’ sister brand, Monograms, is providing several new opportunities to explore Asia and the South Pacific in 2013.
With 50 itineraries, the 2013 Australia and New Zealand brochure from Trafalgar is the company’s biggest South Pacific brochure to date, including 14 regional itineraries and six multi-region discoveries, many of which include stopovers in Fiji. In Asia, guided vacations explore China, Vietnam and Japan. Locally hosted Be My Guest dinners are among the “Insider Experiences” detailed in both brochures. Independent travelers will be interested to know that the At Leisure With Trafalgar program now include New Zealand, along with Australia, China and Vietnam (as well as Europe and the Americas).
The new 2013/2014 Australia and New Zealand e-brochure Brendan Vacations includes two new itineraries (one in New Zealand and one in Tasmania), 10 new three- to five-day mini-breaks, local specialties and Hidden Delights, plus Brendan’s You’re Personally Invited program—special outings with a local host featuring a culture-infused introduction of arts, cuisine and scenery. Brendan also now offers five distinct vacation styles to suite a variety of client types, with vacations tagged as Regional, Boutique Guided, Leisurely, Low-Cost and Discovery.
Travcoa’s 2013 World Traveler’s Dream Book devotes more than 40 of its 200 pages to Asia, India and the South Pacific. Included are several Independent Journeys and two programs in Travcoa’s new Over the Top (OTT) collection, Mystifying Bhutan and Ultimate Australia & New Zealand. The OTT series promises unique experiences with greater insider access, truly rare cultural encounters, and exclusive excursions and events.
Abercrombie & Kent has added three new Asia itineraries in its Luxury Small Group Journeys 2013 brochure: Images of Indochina and Angkor Wat, Myanmar’s Burmese Heritage, and Bhutan & Nepal: Heart of the Himalayas. China and Australia are featured in the company’s Family Journeys series. A&K has also produced a new Connections brochure, with pricing on average 30 percent less than the Luxury Small Group Journeys. China, India, Australia and Southeast Asia programs are included.
With the launch of its 2013-2014 China Experience brochure, Pacific Delight Tours is offering clients a complimentary Executive Deck upgrade aboard Yangtze sailings with Victoria Cruises on all applicable Silver Experience itineraries booked by November 30.
New brochures are pending from Pacific Holidays, but the company’s current China & Asia, Tahiti, and Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific brochures include programs that run through March 2013. Likewise Travel Impressions had not yet published its 2013 South Pacific e-brochure at presstime. However, the operator has announced that it is expanding its portfolio into Asia with five fully escorted 10- to 21-day tours to China.