27 DEC 2016: One luxury escorted tour operator promises to satisfy bucket list trips, culinary cravings, and authentic experiences in one dream trip.  Judging by the high repeat visitor numbers it appears to be working.

Insight Vacations CEO John Boulding and Cris David president in Canada for the premium travel brand hosted an intimate media lunch to share the company’s good news: strong sales and returning business in 2017.

After completing a series of consumer evenings across Canada, company executives are confident about next year’s bookings, citing the current hottest trip sellers from Canada are Scotland and Ireland, and including other European destinations such as Spain, Portugal and Scandinavia also reporting strong sales.  In addition, the company attributes good air lift, a strong ancestral European connection among many Canadians, and the weakness of the pound after Brexit.

“There may be some aspect of people being attracted to the periphery of Europe as a whole in the wake of 2016,” suggests David on some of reasons driving the demand.

Insight Vacations a worldwide luxury travel company offering year-round premium travel products for over 35 years features the popular premium Insight brand and the new Luxury Gold by Insight Vacations. The latter’s itineraries, in which the average trip length is 14 days, boasts special perks in its programmes from exclusive VIP tours and a travelling concierge to charming local dining venues and luxurious accommodations in the best locations.

“We are growing and expanding our business because it is the right product at the right time. That’s the fact. People want this product and that’s the exciting thing for me,” says Boulding on the company’s rich travel portfolio.

Comfort and Personalized Service

While the pricing might be higher than other escorted tour operators, Boulding qualifies the price as “the right price” for the quality product clients receive. They can expect spacious business class seating in Wi-Fi enabled motor coaches, authentic experiences, and private guest access to bucket list locations often unheard of due to the company’s array of local experts and the knowledgeable travelling concierges.  

“It’s about value. It’s about experiences, about quality, and about services,” he offers.

The pair spoke to Travel Industry Today on some other factors attributing to the company’s success.

Repeat Clients

“Guest loyalty is an enormous factor in our business. We have just been doing consumer evenings across Canada. At each one of those events you meet people who have travelled with us 10, 13, and 7, and 8 times - very often we hear these numbers,” says David who adds once a client embarks on an Insight Vacations tour they stay.

Easy Sell

For agents the repeat guest factor means continuity in future sales. “Travel agents can’t go wrong in selling Insight or Luxury Gold.  It’s a plus-plus situation,” says Boulding, and adds it comes down to simply asking clients whether they like a single or twin bed and when they want to go.

The Changing Customer

Boulding uses the travel interests of his parent’s generation as a comparison on today’s travellers’ interests. “When my parents travelled they were looking for different things and were happy to be shown around, led around, sightseeing not sight doing.”

Today, he notes the business of tour operators is to satisfy individual travel interests. “It’s not about group anymore.” Tour directors at Insight Vacations reach out in advance to learn about the guests interests before they arrive. “We engage with our guests before they travel.”

The Three Travel Pillars

In an Insight Vacations luxury trip, the holy trinity in the travel company’s diverse programmes focus on food which is the number one request, bucket list destinations, and learning.

For agents wondering how to combine these three factors into one ultimate dream trip, take the example of a Luxury Gold trip to explore Nashville, Memphis, and New Orleans in the 9-day Southern Grace itinerary.

Imagine your Elvis-fan client’s dream is to visit Graceland and immerse themselves in the private world of the late King of Rock’n’Roll.  They are led around by Elvis’ best man and childhood friend who tells personal stories and anecdotes. Then there’s an invitation for dinner on the Graceland grounds. Not any dinner. In this dining by candle light white linen table affair, there’s Elvis’ Cadillac right there and next to the Cadillac sits Elvis’ best man.

“It’s that kind of private access,” says John who just returned from touring Elvis Presley’s Graceland describing the level of service and detail Insight Vacations creates for its guests. “It’s to give you this private invitation only and access to things you never would believe you would do.”

Now that’s plenty of insight.

Above Image: Insight Vacations team (l-r) Michelle Lee Hoy, The Travel Corporation; Angela Hantzis, Insight Vacations Canada; Jeff Element, The Travel Corporation; Carla Brake, Insight Vacations Canada;  Cris David, Insight Vacations Canada; Shona Finnie Insight Vacations); John Boulding, Insight Vacations



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Ilona Kauremszky

A regular contributor to Travel Industry Today, Ilona is a prize winning journalist whose writing pursuits have taken her around the globe.

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