Jaclyn Leibl-Cote, president
What are your newest destinations or products in the marketplace?
We recently launched an Explorations product line. After a great deal of market research and consumer focus groups, we realized that we wanted to make some changes to the product line in an effort to meet the demands of our travelers. The new Explorations product line is different from anything we have ever offered. These tours include meaningful experiences that are hard to replicate. For example, guests can hunt for truffles with a chef and his trained dogs on “Journey Through Southern France” or snorkel with sea turtles on “Machu Picchu & The Galapagos Islands.” Explorations does more than show you a new place. It connects you to new culture and shows you a fresh perspective of the world.
What is your most exotic, unusual new offering?
We’re really excited about offering Morocco right now. It’s trending as a hot destination and we’re thrilled to bring a program that we’re confident our guests will love.
What’s your “tried-and-true” main-stay offering that clients continue to love? Why do they love it?
Our “Shades of Ireland” tour continues to be a top seller year after year. On the domestic side, National Parks tours always do really well and I think it’s for a few reasons. Some of our travelers want to stay in the United States.
Have you seen the age of your customers change recently? How about their mindset?
The age of our customers hasn’t dramatically changed, but we have noticed a big difference in how active the more mature traveler has become. There are many myths about guided travel that include older folks becoming passive in their travel. We think this is so far from the truth. We’re hearing more and more from our guests that want to get out and explore at any age and live like a local. It’s keeping them young.
What is your key strategy these days and why? How does it vary from years past?
We are really working to listen to our customers in every decision that we make; from the planning and execution of a tour to the choices that the guest has on tour. We know that our travelers have the opportunity to travel with anyone and we want to make an impact when we’re developing tour itineraries and new destinations.
Are there any key challenges for your business in the foreseeable future? Are world economics or dynamics having any affect?
We’re always mindful of world dynamics being something that’s difficult to predict. We know that many Americans are traveling right now and we’ll continue to offer tours to many destinations that peak their interest both domestically and around the world.
What is your focus on the U.S. travel agent for 2018/19?
We want to ensure that our agents are getting the resources and training that they need to be successful. Our agent resource guide is an opportunity for agents to have a tool right at their fingertips when clients are in their office; it’s a brochure that actually helps them to sell. We’ll continue offering incentives and learning opportunities to increase agent commission and earning potential.