27 MAR 2019: With decades of experience selling tours in Great Britain, the Globus Family of Brands is certainly an expert on one of Canadians’ favourite holiday destinations. In fact, Globus FOB offers more than 40 itinerary options across its Globus, Cosmos and Monograms brands, including several new choices for 2019. Travel Industry Today recently sat down with the company’s managing director for Canada, Stéphanie Bishop, to see just what makes Britain so great for Globus.

Travel Industry Today: How big is Great Britain for Globus FOB?

Stéphanie Bishop: This is a very important destination for us, one of the top three in Europe.

What are prospects for 2019?

Our trends a very strong – double digit growth. There is so much happening in this part of the world from Royal celebrations to entertainment with movies and music plus an incredible array of unique travel experiences.

Is Brexit a cause for concern, either as a company or for consumers?

Canadians and travel consultants alike are very aware of the challenges Brexit could represent, however thus far, we have not seen any sign of slowdown in sales. Sales are robust.

Has the decline in the pound proved to be an unexpected benefit?

The last time the pound was low, Canadians benefited tremendously from this unfortunate situation. So, although I appreciate the challenges with currency fluctuation from Great Britain’s perspective, from our side of the pond, this could be an opportunity to increase sales.

Do you see an evolution to exploring Britain in a more focussed way, or are “sampler” tours that cover England, Wales and Scotland still the most popular?

Yes, absolutely. We recently launched new series of tours focused on beyond the beaten path called ‘take the cobblestone less travelled.’ For a few years we’ve noticed that many travellers have been to the iconic places and that perhaps they felt they knew all about this part of the world. There is a selection of nine Undiscovered itineraries in addition of our extensive portfolio of itineraries under three brands Globus/Monograms/Cosmos and now many more travel styles such as Cosmos Lite and Monograms Your Way. If the trends are telling, we’ll have an outstanding year in sales.

London is still considered the crown jewel, but is it easy to convince clients to go beyond and discover everything Britain has to offer?

Canadians are seasoned travellers hungry for discovery and adventure. There is no doubt that the allure of London is unparalleled, however what we’ve discovered is that our guests have an insatiable appetite for going beyond as they seek experiences with the locals, authenticity and meaningful connections.

In your opinion, what are clients/Canadians looking for when they visit Britain?

Some look for discovery, others seek a connection with urban fantasies and many like the allure of authentic and meaningful connections with locals. From culinary experiences to dramatic natural beauty and unexplainable rock formations, Great Britain has something for everyone. Let’s face it, travel is a personal journey so the days of one vacation fits all are gone.

Is the traditional VFR market still an important market sector for Britain?

Without a doubt, many Canadians have family ties and strong bonds with Great Britain however our trends reflect an evolving profile of travellers. It’s compact yet features a high “cool factor” as a destination.

What about timing? Is Britain proving to be a year-round market? What are the benefits of visiting in the off season/shoulder seasons?

To our great surprise, many Canadians are thrilled to travel off-season. In addition to a price difference up to 30 percent less, they get to discover it with less crowds and benefit from a thicker wallet to get fully immersed in the destination.

What are the brands’ best-selling tours?

This is a loaded question because most of our tours are selling very well. But to be specific, our Scottish Highlands & Islands and Essential Britain perform exceptionally well year over year.

Any special offers or promotions we should know about?

There are a wide array of specials in the market and for travel consultants.

What are some of your own favourite experiences in Great Britain?

Yikes, there are so many of them. I’ll never forget my first trip in my twenties – the unique vibes and London created lifelong memories. Overall, the tradition, the diversity, the energy and magic of small villages.

So, in a nutshell, why should a client go with Globus to Britain?

With over 91 years of experience in making dreams come true in a wide variety of ways, we have the expertise of back end logistics, the destination intimacy and relationships and the Master Story Tellers who bring the experiences to a very personal level. From a traveller’s perspective, this make the journey filled with memories and from a travel consultant’s perspective, we are easy to do business with by providing the tools, the resources and the partnership that make all the difference in the world.

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Globus Family of Brands Peter Ouzounov, BDM for BC, and Stéphanie Bishop, managing director, Canada, recently partnered with Visit Britain to host key agents at afternoon teas in Toronto and Vancouver

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Michael Baginski

Editor at Large, Mike Baginski is well known and well respected within the industry across Canada, the US, in the Caribbean, Mexico and numerous other destinations outside North America.

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