The Mark Travel Corporation Launches Gay Tour Operator

The Mark Travel Corporation (TMTC) reports it has added a new brand to its diverse roster of owned and managed vacation companies. Its latest venture – Brand g Vacations – offers specialized group experiences to the evolving LGBT travel segment.

With the tagline "The next generation in gay travel," Brand g was created with the help of 25-year industry veteran Charlie Rounds, who has deep roots in gay group travel, TMTC said. Although Brand g’s customer base will be mostly gay and lesbian, Rounds hopes to attract a larger share of the segment by welcoming friends and family of the LGBT community, also known as allies.

“Gay travel looks a lot different than it did 25 years ago,” said Rounds, former president of RSVP Vacations. “More gays and lesbians are out, getting married, and are interested in vacationing with friends and family. This is a great opportunity for travel agents to break into the LGBT travel market, because even if they don’t have gay customers, they probably have customers with gay family members or friends.”

Brand g will primarily offer escorted group tours to international destinations. Its inaugural trip in August 2012 is a full-ship charter of AMA Waterways’ newest 164-passenger riverboat, the AmaCerto, featuring two nights in Prague followed by a custom tailored, seven-day itinerary down the Danube River.

As a former travel agent, Rounds said he is a strong believer in the importance of the travel agent community in selling specialized products such as those offered by Brand g. “This is a more complicated and sophisticated product, and a great way for travel agents to show their value to customers.”

The Brand g website encourages consumers to contact their local travel agent to book its vacations. Rounds will also be hosting a webinar on VAX VacationAccess’s new Gay Travel Showcase, which was launched in July as a resource for travel agents interested in selling to the LGBT segment.

TMTC said the future goals for Brand g are to design innovative vacations that celebrate destinations that have led the way in improving the lives of gays and lesbians, and to incorporate a give-back element, where passengers can experience the beauty of destinations first-hand while also contributing to the improvement of the local communities.

In addition to the riverboat cruise, the new brand will offer small group land programs in 2012 to Ireland and Mexico City, with plans to add a Wellness vacation in 2012.

Visit www.brandgvacations.com. Travel agents can visit the Gay Travel Showcase on VAX VacationAccess at www.vaxvacationaccess.com/GayTravelShowcase

The Mark Travel Corporation, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin since 1974,  owns and manages multiple respected vacation brands such as Funjet Vacations, its flagship serving more than 350 destinations, Blue Sky Tours, Southwest Airlines Vacations, MGM Resorts Vacations, Mark International and Funway Holidays UK, a London based tour operator. The Mark Travel Corporation is a member of USTOA, ASTA and IGLTA.

 

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