|(c) 2011 Explorations Travel|
Jean Pickard, a 33-year veteran of the travel industry, has become the first travel professional from Atlanta to receive a Virtuoso award.
The Explorations Travel Agency, Ltd. partner won the award for “Most Innovative Travel Advisor” for demonstrating innovative, imaginative and “out-of-the-box” thinking in selling travel.
Pickard, who is recognized for arranging creative adventure and luxury travel for clients, specializes in Japan, Bhutan and other out-of-the-way places of the world.
Some of her more innovative itineraries include:
- A trip for a client whose mother had just finished cancer treatments began with gorilla trekking in Uganda and tiger fish fishing and rafting on the lower Zambezi River. They finished with a safari in Botswana, but the most remarkable part of this trip for this son/mother duo was solo mobile camping in the northern Serengeti when they visited a Masai tribe that had never before seen “outsiders.”
- A trip for a client who is a Vietnam War veteran. Instead of a simple return trip to Vietnam, Pickard arranged for him and his wife to travel to Phu Quoc where he served in the war. They were met by a Vietnamese guide, also a veteran of the war, and together they traveled to An Thoi, another area where he served. They celebrated Chinese New Year in Hong Kong.
- A trip for a well-traveled couple from Amsterdam that were looking for something “different.” Pickard sent them to Socrotra, an island off the coast of Yemen, widely considered the "Galapagos of the Middle East." The couple explored indigenous flora and fauna with well-planned experiences and surprises at every turn.
Virtuoso revealed the seventh annual award winners at the 23rd annual Travel Mart conference in Las Vegas last month.