Custom & Affinity Tours Exchange (CAFFTEX), a new Orlando, FL based online group travel exchange service, has been launched.
The service gives special interest group tour organizers with undersold programs an opportunity to acquire the additional participants they need to avoid cancelling the departures by registering the group on www.cafftex.com, where other travel agents can book their own clients on the available tours, the company says.
According to Zlatko Stoparic, the company’s president and COO, group tour organizers who participate in the CAFFTEX program make their under-booked tour departures available for sale by travel agents nationwide. The additional bookings generated through the program not only facilitate the tours’ departure, but can also potentially reduce the per-person cost for those travelers who have already booked, the company says.
“Travelers who booked tours that might otherwise be cancelled will not have to make alternative arrangements at the last minute or have to reschedule their vacation. Travel agents with clients requesting a tour that can’t be found ‘off-the-shelf,’ or whose cost would be prohibitive on an FIT basis, will have ready access to a wide selection of group programs that could virtually match their clients’ interests and budgets at reduced cost,” Stoparic said.
In introducing CAFFTEX, Stoparic noted that it was a solution to a problem that has confronted custom and affinity group tour organizers for decades; namely, having to cancel tours due to the lack of a sufficient number of participants. Now, they can upload information and prices for any undersold tours to the site, and make them available to travel agents across the country who have clients looking for similar special interest tours, the company said.
“We are not a tour operator, nor a travel agency or DMC,” Stoparic said. “Our mission is simply to help travel agents and other special interest group tour organizers, who have not been able to secure the necessary number of bookings to meet departure requirements, to find potential participants from around the country at nominal cost. It’s also a great opportunity for independent at-home agents, for example, to significantly expand the range and quality of tours they can provide their clients – all from one easy-to-access source.”
"Travel agents booking into our departures will earn their commission and enhance their reputation by providing their clients with hard-to-find tours at reasonable rates," CAFFTEX says on its website.
Stoparic said that when cancellations are avoided, the tour operators and DMCs who provide arrangements for group organizers are paid for their services, and at the same time they increase their production and enhance their reputation with hotels and other suppliers.
Through August 31, CAFFTEX says it is offering participating tour organizers one free listing for one paid listing (total of 2); and three free listings for two paid (total of 5); five free listings for three paid (total of 8). CAFFTEX also offers "Design Your Tour" service that assists travel agents in developing optimal itineraries for their special interest groups that will be promoted nationally on www.cafftex.com.
The group tours listed on the CAFFTEX website can only be booked through the travel agents and other group travel organizers participating in the program, CAFFTEX says. Consumers who browse the cafftex.com website will be advised to contact their travel consultants.