Trafalgar launched their 2012 Australia & New Zealand brochure this week, with some unique brand-only perks (like their Be My Guest home visits) to sweeten the deals. In Alice Springs, guests will head to the Falzon family’s Earth Sanctuary to try a genuine outback barbecue under the stars. Those on trips heading to Bond Springs Station in the rugged MacDonnell Ranges can take tea with the Heaslip family, listening to stories of life on the 580-square mile cattle property.
"We did quite a bit of research last year on how we could make the touring product more appealing to a broader audience," Trafalgar president Paul Wiseman told Travel Agent. "Many people don’t consider guided vacations…The main reason is the perception is that they’re too restrictive, and that there is not enough leisure experience." To address that, the brand's At Leisure program offers a more relaxed alternative to guided touring, with plenty of time in each destination.
The 2012 Australia & New Zealand brochure features two new trips with similar options for a relaxed-pace holiday. On the 15-day Australia & New Zealand Panorama trip, guests can go snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef or explore the Glow Worm Grotto. Clients also have free days to explore Queenstown, Melbourne and Sydney at their own pace. The 12-day Discover Australia tour will take travelers from Sydney to the Outback for a must-see sunrise over Uluru (Ayers Rock). Passengers will have complimentary hop-on/hop-off sightseeing in major cities. A La Carte mini-stays and stopovers in Fiji and Hawaii can be added to the fully guided itineraries.
Travelers will also get to participate in the Be My Guest program, which takes visitors into private homes for local experiences.
"People want genuine local experiences when traveling," Wiseman says. "It’s a trend that is developing in vacation programs." The program has three criteria: It must be a local family experience, it must be food and wine that are unique to that area or culture and it must be something that cannot be purchased individually or by any other group. "No restaurant meals—this has to be something that no one else can pay for. That is a huge challenge."
Early Booking Bonus: Passengers who book their Australia and New Zealand trips by September 30 can save $600 per couple on air-inclusive vacations or $300 per couple on land-only vacations.
For more information and reservations, visit www.trafalgar.com.