Last month, Insight Vacations introduced its new 2020 Europe and Britain collection.
The new collection features more than 100 journeys and five brand new trips, which include Country Roads of Wales, Devon & Cornwall, Treasures of Turkey, Land of the Prophets, Classical India with Nepal, and Classical Sri Lanka.
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On the majority of this year’s European guided journeys, Insight’s travel directors will offer clients the choice of two included experiences. Guests can choose experiences reflecting their varied interests from art, fashion, food, local traditions and nature excursions. In addition, they will enjoy new Insight Experiences as well as Insight Choice, where guests can choose their own adventures.
Due to popular demand, the Ancient Civilizations collection is back, featuring 18 trips to nine countries. where guests can take a step back in time and explore some of the world’s oldest civilizations.
"We had a fantastic year in Canada for 2019, and a very good year globally, overall," Ulla Hefel Böhler, CEO of Insight Vacations told PAX. "We always have been, and always will be a very trade-centric business, and more than 90 per cent of our business comes from the trade. We consider travel advisors part of our extended family, and they are such an important part of what we do."
Speaking with PAX at a media luncheon yesterday afternoon in Toronto, Ulla Hefel Böhler and her Canadian team at Insight Vacations, Brad Ford, president, Insight Vacations Canada, and Carla Brake, vice president of sales, opened up about what travel advisors can expect from the new 2020 Europe and Britain collection.
Get a taste for travel
How do you learn the most about a new culture?
The food, of course!
As part of the 2020 Europe and Britain collection, Insight Vacations has several unique concepts in place that allow guests to not only taste the local flavours, but also learn more about a destination by dining locally, with those who live there. Two such concepts are Dine Around, and Dine at Home.
"Dine Around is a feature that we introduced a few years ago, where there is an included dinner and you can choose between three different restaurants and menus," explained Hefel Böhler. "Because the group is then broken into even smaller groups, we can contract menus that couldn't be used by someone trying to do a larger group; they're very local and very authentic restaurants, and it's a wonderful part of our dining collection."
The Dine at Home feature allows travellers to actually enter a local's home and share a meal as a group.
"On a good number of our itineraries, you actually dine at a family home, which takes personalization to a whole other level and allows guests to have a personal experience," Hefel Böhler said. "It's a very simple family home and a home-cooked meal, but the stories that our guests come back with and the memories and photos that are truly unbelievable."
Two years ago, Insight Vacations also introduced its farm to table dining concept, a trend which continues to be popular amongst foodie travellers, and those simply looking for an epicurean experience.
"Farm to table and sea to table is so topical around the world right now," explained Hefel Böhler. "Our Country Roads itineraries are extremely popular in Canada, and all of them include a farm to table dining experience."
About the Country Roads collection
As more and more people continue to trek across the planet, seasoned travellers are looking to escape places plagued by overtourism.
The Country Roads collection by Insight Vacations aims to transport travellers to places that, although teeming with tourist attractions, also have a plethora of hidden gems that lie in wait, just off the beaten path.
Have your clients already marvelled at the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland? Maybe they haven't traversed through the peat bogs of the Black Mountains just yet, or visited the finest Japanese gardens in Europe—both experiences can be found in the Best of Ireland & Scotland (Summer 2020) Country Roads journey.
This year, after consistent feedback on the popularity of the collection from travel advisors, Insight Vacations has introduced a brand new Country Roads journey through one of the U.K's best-kept secrets: Wales!
Country Roads of Wales, Devon & Cornwall runs for a total of 13 days. Your clients will experience an Insight Choice at Brecon Beacons, a mountain range in South Wales to explore the stunning fauna and flora on a hike with a ranger or join a lecture with a naturalist.
Like all Country Roads itineraries, the new Wales trip includes a farm-to-table dining experience as well as an Insight Experience, where they'll have Devonshire tea and scones at the stately home, Sandhouse in Dorchester with the Lady of the Manor, Caroline Huyshe. Clients will spend two nights relaxing at the five-star Red Carnation boutique hotel, Summer Lodge Country House in timeless style, nestled in the enchanting village of Evershot.
Getting personal for 2020
Personalization plays a crucial role in how Insight Vacations develops its itineraries, especially around the dining experience.
"We're actually using technology to help us with that," Hefel Böhler explained. "We've launched our MyInsight travel portal where prior to travelling, our guests can register and let us know if they've got any dietary restrictions or requirements."
The MyInsight portal also allows guests to get specific with their requests, including if they'd like a single or a double bed, and allows them to reveal any distinctive interests or preferences regarding their cultural interests.
"By completing that information [via the MyInsight portal] our travel advisors get access to all of that information, so before that trip even starts, they know that Mrs. Jones is vegan, and Mr. Smith is gluten-intolerant," Hefel Böhler said. "This allows them to work with our suppliers and ensure that their clients are cared for. We're making a big point of using tools to allow the traveller to communicate with us in an easy way, so our team is ahead of the game."
"Travel advisors love this concept, because it just takes a lot of stress out of the equation, because they're concerned about the experience for someone who does have sensitivities," added Brad Ford, president, Insight Vacations Canada. "This allows us to be proactive and even preemptive in the way that we handle special needs."
For more information about the 2020 Europe and Britain collection, travel advisors can click here!
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