Travel agents are not new to the fight against misconceptions. For years the industry has had to battle the country's misguided perspective that agents are a dying breed. Also part of this fight are guided tour operators, and at the 2011 Ensemble Travel Group International Conference, Scott Nisbet, president and CEO of Globus Family of Brands took his turn battling the bull.
"My campaign is about fighting misconceptions," Nisbet told the crowd of almost 1,000 agents and suppliers at the general session on Wednesday, October 19 at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas. "There are a lot out there, particularly about touring."
Nisbet's presentation was in the format of misconception vs. reality, which is how we have it laid out below.
Misconception: Tours are not for the Boomer generation.
Reality: Eighty percent of tourers are Boomers or younger. The average passenger on a European Globus Panorama tour is a Generation X-er.
Misconception: Tours don't give travelers time on their own.
Reality: Sixty percent of your touring day is on your own with Globus.
Misconception: Tours leave travelers stuck on a bus.
Reality: The average time on a coach bus is less than 20 percent of your touring day.
Misconception: Ocean cruising has the highest satisfaction rate in the industry
Reality: Cruising has a 95 percent satisfaction rate, and Globus has a 97 percent satisfacation rate. Sevety-seven percent of ocean cruisers repeat in three years, and Globus has an 89 percent repeat rate.
Misconception: Touring is a niche and on the decline.
Reality: There are 17 milliontravelers interested in taking tours for the first time. Thirty percent of travelers with Globus in 2010 were new to touring.
Misconception: International travel is too expensive.
Reality: Touring with Globus costs 40 percent less than touring on your own.
Misconception: Commissions are shrinking.
Reality: Globus commissions are healtheier than ever, averagine $1,000 per booking. New in 2012, Globus will pay commission on optionals. That will be true of Monograms and Avalon.
"We have 49 new itineraries in 2012," says Nisbet. "Ensemble stand out in a number of areas with Globus. Ensemble has the number one Avalon growth rate, the number one group materialization rate, is the number one Globus consortium in Canada, is showing the number one growth trend in 2012, and is the number one penetration rate, that is the percentage of agencies selling Globus."