Posts Tagged ‘tour operators’

Iceland, Colombia, Vietnam Top List of Emerging Destinations for 2018, US Tour Operators Say

February 12, 2018
I

Iceland was named top emerging or “off-the-beaten-path” destination for 2018 by US tour operators © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NEW YORK – In a survey of US tour operators, Iceland was named top emerging or “off-the-beaten-path” destination for 2018, moving to the top spot from second in last year’s member survey.  Colombia followed in second, with Vietnam named as third.

When asked for the five most popular or “hot” international destinations for travelers in 2018, members of the US Tour Operators Association (USTOA) named Australia, Spain, Iceland and Italy (tied for third), France, and Japan.  On the domestic front, USTOA members forecast California, Florida and Hawaii (tied for second), New York, Alaska and Nevada (tied for fourth) and Washington DC as the most popular U.S. destinations for clients in 2018.

Members were also asked to name the destinations/sites most “at risk” from disappearing (from over-tourism, climate change or other factors) that travelers should see now. The top three chosen were Antarctica, Cuba and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Arts and culture, adventure, family, and culinary were cited as the most popular travel categories for passengers by survey participants.

In the annual survey of travel forecasts and trends, the tour operators report a strikingly positive outlook for the industry in the year ahead.  Nearly all (95%) USTOA tour operator members anticipate growth in sales for the year ending in 2018. Two thirds (64%) of members are “optimistic” and forecasting a “boom year” with growth anywhere from seven to 10% or higher.

After strong sales increases in 2017, “Member confidence levels for continued growth in 2018 are high,” said Terry Dale, president and CEO for USTOA.  “The reported growth and positive projections the year ahead are particularly encouraging. It speaks soundly to the remarkable resilience of both our industry as well as today’s traveler, who continues to explore, despite the challenges of an ever-changing world.”

While USTOA tour operator members view the forthcoming year with strong optimism, they also addressed the global risks that could impact potential growth in 2018. Terrorism is cited as the biggest threat to consumer confidence, followed by political instability, and global financial instability named third.

In addition, when asked which global events could have the greatest impact for the travel industry in 2018, more than one third (38%) named the sharing economy; a little more than a quarter (28%) cited the Chinese market.

Representing nearly $15 billion in revenue, the member companies of U.S. Tour Operators Association provide tours, packages and custom arrangements that allow 8.6 million travelers annually unparalleled access, insider knowledge, peace-of-mind, value and freedom to enjoy destinations and experiences across the entire globe.   Each member company has met the travel industry’s highest standards, including participation in the USTOA’s Travelers Assistance Program, which protects consumer payments up to $1 million if the company goes out of business. As a voice for the tour operator industry for more than 40 years, USTOA also provides education and assistance for consumers and travel agents. For more information on USTOA, visit www.ustoa.com.

 

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/krubin0830/

instagram.com/famtravltr/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Advertisements

Pacific Delight Launches First South America Tours Starting with Peru

March 6, 2015
Eric Oborski, president of Pacific Delight Tours, was first brought on as an executive consultant in 2013 to lead the luxury operator's expansion efforts. He hinted that further expansion into South America is in the pipeline with more itineraries to appear throughout 2015.

Eric Oborski, president of Pacific Delight Tours, was first brought on as an executive consultant in 2013 to lead the luxury operator’s expansion efforts. He hinted that further expansion into South America is in the pipeline with more itineraries to appear throughout 2015.

NEW YORK, NY – Pacific Delight Tours is expanding into South America, beginning with the launch of a seven day itinerary to Peru where travelers will have the opportunity to view some of the most famed sights in the Western Hemisphere, including Machu Picchu.  Tours to Peru start at $2,559 per person, based on double occupancy.

“Peru is a fabulous landscape where exotic culture and ancient ruins combine with well-preserved colonial architecture to create a multi-faceted window into the past, present and future with ultra-modern cities like Lima, ancient Incan cities like Cusco and the incredibly mysterious Machu Picchu, all within one vast landscape,” said Eric Oborski, president of Pacific Delight Tours, who was first brought on as an executive consultant in 2013 to lead the luxury operator’s expansion efforts.

“We are very excited to have Peru as our first South America destination, as I’ve been involved in promoting tourism to and from South America since 1972 and am extremely familiar with Peru, having lived there,” noted Oborski, hinting that further expansion into South America is in the pipeline with more itineraries to appear throughout 2015.

Pacific Delight’s 7-Day Peru Program takes travelers to Lima, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cusco along with a full-day tour of different Incan communities and antique salt mines.

Machu Picchu, known as the “Lost City of the Incas” is not only one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, but also the biggest cultural treasure of Peru’s past and the empire of the Incas.  Undiscovered by Spaniards and forgotten for centuries, it was not until 1911 that the American scientist Hiram Bingham came upon this phenomenon accidentally.  The ruins still leave scientists with numerous questions and riddles as to how it was built and for what purpose.  Travelers will reach Machu Picchu by shuttle bus and enjoy lunch at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge.

Travelers will get to visit Cusco, home to many important Inca sites, where explorers will not only find Incan walls and temples, but also colonial mansions and Catholic churches.  In addition to Cusco, other stops include the Salt Mines of Mara, an excursion to the small Andean community Moray, known for its embedded amphitheater, and a trip to Chinchero where travelers will explore the town’s Sunday market, originally dedicated to the people of the valley to barter their products with a variety of handicrafts and textiles made in true pre-Columbian style.  Explorers will also get to visit Awankancha where they will learn about the traditional weaving techniques typical for the area.

Peru also offers travelers the unique opportunity to experience nearly 98% of the world’s climates, from Rainforests in the North, to coastal cities like Lima in the West and sprawling mountain ranges in the East.  This varied climate, along with a merging of cultures, has given Peruvians the ability to create some of the most unique culinary experiences including Chifa, a fusion of Peruvian and Chinese food, and Ceviche, Peru’s take on sushi.

Pacific Delight Tours is offering the 7-Day Peru Program in Silver and Gold packages.  The Silver package starts at $2,559 with a $600 single supplement and provides travelers with first-class accommodations.  The Gold program starts at $2,999 with a $926 single supplement and features Pacific Delight’s signature FiveStarPlus® luxury accommodations.  All rates quoted are per person, based on double occupancy and do not include international airfare or initial arrival and departure transfers, which are only included when airfare is purchased from Pacific Delight Tours.

Meals are included as per the itineraries along with English-speaking guides and the USTOA $1 Million Travelers Assistance Program. International airfare is not included, but can be purchased from Pacific Delight Tours at competitive rates from all major U.S. gateways.

Pacific Delight Tours’ expansion into South America will include itineraries in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru in 2015, with more destinations to be announced.

For more information or to book, consult your local travel agent or contact Pacific Delight Tours at 800-221-7179.  Browse Pacific Delight’s China and Asia offerings at www.PacificDelightTours.com.

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

New: Moral Compass: Great Places to Go Where the Going Does Good

moralcompasstravel.info

Pacific Delight Celebrates ‘Wave Award’ with Air-Inclusive Departures to China from LAX, SFO for $2499

July 16, 2014
Eric Oborski, president of Pacific Delight Tours

Eric Oborski, president of Pacific Delight Tours

Pacific Delight Tours is celebrating winning the 2014 TravelAge West WAVE Award Editors’ Pick for Best Tour Operator in Asia by offering an air-inclusive option for its eight-night China Impressions Silver Experience program from $2,499 per person, double occupancy, based on departures from Los Angeles or San Francisco. Departures are guaranteed with a minimum of two passengers.

Travelers begin their journey in Beijing, China’s capital and cultural center, where the requisite stops at the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City will be supplemented by additional sightseeing at the elegant Summer Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site, boasting the world’s largest imperial garden.

In Xi’an, guests will be treated to an awe-inspiring view of the Terra Cotta Warriors, an impressive army of more than 8,000 life-sized statues buried for over 2,200 years guarding the city-sized mausoleum of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang.

The program culminates in Shanghai, where highlights include Yu Garden and Old Town, the city’s colonial European past at The Bund, and a renowned silk carpet factory.

Pacific Delight’s China Impressions itinerary features deluxe accommodations from the Grand New World Hotel in Xi’an to conveniently located Marriott properties in Beijing and Shanghai.

The air-inclusive China Impressions Silver Experience program starts at $2,499 per person, based on double occupancy, and includes transpacific air from Los Angeles or San Francisco via Air China or China Eastern Airlines; intra-China flights; fuel surcharges; taxes and fees; meals; and the USTOA $1 Million Travelers Assistance Program.

Contact Pacific Delight Tours at 800-221-7179 or visit www.pacificdelighttours.com for more information or to book.

Award Winning Tour Company

The TravelAge West WAVE Award Editors’ Pick for Best Tour Operator in Asia honor is given each year to America’s leading luxury tour operators servicing China and Asia.  Pacific Delight Tours, which has been a leading tour operator to China and Asia for 43 years, has won the award for the last seven consecutive years.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized with this prestigious award for the past seven years.  It is our customer service and product development teams who deserve the credit for all of their hard work behind the scenes to ensure a memorable vacation experience that keeps clients returning for more,” said Eric Oborski, president of Pacific Delight Tours.

In addition to winning the TravelAge West WAVE Award from 2008-2014, Pacific Delight Tours has received the 2009 Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Award, and the 2008, 2009 and 2012 travAlliancemedia Leisure Travel Leadersreaders’ choice awards for Best Tour Operator in Asia.  The company is also a proud member of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA).

Reservations, brochures and information can be obtained from travel agents and Pacific Delight Tours, telephone: (800) 221-7179 or (212) 818-1781; website: www.PacificDelightTours.com.

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Insight Vacations Launches New Exotics Collection

December 29, 2013

Insight Vacations has just released its new Exotics Collection, featuring a range of premium escorted journeys, a majestic new destination, and a variety of authentic Signature Hotels, Dining and Experiences. For the first time, the brochure includes an augmented feature that enables you to enjoy India’s flavor using your smartphone to get a preliminary taste of what this incredible region has to offer.

The Exotics Collection offers luxury tours to India, Bhutan, Nepal, Greece, Jordan, Israel, Turkey, Egypt and Morocco.

“We are thrilled with the success of our India program since launching in 2012, and we are delighted we can continue to introduce new product to this extraordinary region,” says Marc Kazlauskas, President of Insight Vacations. “Each itinerary featured in the Exotics Collection has been chosen to showcase these culturally and historically rich destinations, and when combined with Insight’s Signature inclusions, we guarantee our guests a truly unforgettable experience.”

The Exotic Collection’s Signature Experiences include game safaris in search of the Royal Bengal Tiger, Bhutanese cooking classes, and a guided tour of Bhutan’s only commercial cheese factory. Guests stay at hand-selected Signature Hotels with highlights such as the Taj Lake Palace Hotel, Bangalore’s opulent Leela Palace, and the Divani Caravel hotel in Athens. Guests enjoy delectable Signature Dining experiences at every magnificent turn, including a cooking demonstration with a renowned chef in Olympia and a highlight luncheon at India’s Laxmi Vilas Palace.

“When traveling to these wonderful countries with Insight, you can be assured that your safety, comfort and security are our absolute priority – our ground teams are the very best in the business,” says John Boulding, President and CEO of Insight Vacations. “They will take care of you every step of the way.”

Two new itineraries have been added in India, including a sojourn from Delhi to Udaipur on the Colors of Rajasthan and a venture through Mystical South India where guests visit some of India’s oldest temples from Kochi to Chennai. Bhutan – Dragon Kingdom highlights the newest destination to feature its own itinerary, due to the rising increase in Bhutan’s popularity. Additional new 2014 features include four-day stopovers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, extensive hotel upgrades, additional transfers and flight inclusions on some itineraries and extensive Wi-Fi availability on coaches and in hotels.

Insight Vacations is a part of a joint initiative with The TreadRight Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation established by The Travel Corporation to encourage sustainable tourism within our own family of brands and in the places we visit. To date, TreadRight has donated more than US $2 million to sustainable tourism projects around the world. To find out more about our work with TreadRight visit: www.TreadRight.org.

For more information, visit www.insightvacations.com. For reservations, contact your travel agent or call Insight Vacations at 888-680-1241.

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

 

Go-Today Tour Packager Offering Australia, New Zealand Vacations from $1799

September 11, 2012

go-today, a provider of vacation packages world-wide, has introduced new vacation packages to Australia and New Zealand, priced from $1799 that allow for affordably priced relaxation Down Under.

“Summer coming to an end in the Northern Hemisphere means that spring is about to begin in the Southern Hemisphere,” commented Paula McKay, President of go-today. “Our new Australia and New Zealand vacation packages offer excellent value for exploring the sights of Sydney Harbor and sipping wine in Auckland.”

Australia vacation packages include roundtrip-airfare, hotel accommodations, airport transfers, transportation between cities where applicable, and all taxes. New Zealand vacation packages include roundtrip airfare, private airport transfers, accommodations, escorted sightseeing as specified in the itinerary, domestic flights, and all taxes.

Australia and New Zealand Packages include:
Sydney at Its Best – 6 nights from $1799
Melbourne at Its Best – 6 nights from $1949
Sydney, Melbourne & Cairns – 6 nights from $2599
Best of New Zealand Escorted Tour – 8-nights from $3399
New Zealand Adventure Escorted Tour – 13-nights from $4899

For more information about go-today’s Australia and New Zealand vacation packages, or to make a reservation, visit www.go-today.com or call a travel expert at 800-227-3235 (6:00am to 6pm PT Monday – Friday and 7:30am to 4pm PT Saturday and Sunday).

go-today, a division of Europe Express, was established in 1997 with an aim of offering affordable independent travel to Europe.

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

http://www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

USTOA Tour Company Members Offer Culinary Adventures in Five Asian Countries

July 2, 2011

USTOA member companies offer culinary adventures to China and other Asian destinations highlighted with cooking classes and feasts © 2011 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Tour companies are serving up a menu of Asian food adventures, from cooking classes to culinary feasts. Travelers can dine at the home of a noted chef in India, learn to cook five traditional dishes in Vietnam, or savor authentic Beijing duck in China.

Here are four representative tours from USTOA companies to suit varying tastes and palates.

India

“A Portrait of India”: 18 days/17 nights: Foodies can enjoy a cooking demonstration and dinner at the home of a noted Indian chef on Tauck’s 18 day, 17 night “A Portrait of India”. Visit New Delhi, Varanasi, Khajuraho, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Cochin, Kumarakom, and Mumbai. Priced from $7,890 per person, land only, the tour must be booked by December 1, 2011 for travel available until December 21, 2011. According to Tauck, this virtually all-inclusive price reflects a savings of up to 40% over making the same arrangements on your own. For reservations and more information, phone 1-800-468-2825 or visit www.tauck.com.

Southeast Asia

Treasures of Angkor Wat and Vietnam: 16 days/15 nights:Experience a half day Vietnamese cooking class in Hoi An, including a visit to the market and preparation of five traditional dishes, with Explorations’ “Treasures of Angkor Wat and Vietnam” from Collette Vacations. This 16 day/15 night tour to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam offers a small group of twenty-eight passengers. Price begins from $2,999 per person, saving travelers up to 25% over independent booking, according to Collette. Book by March 1, 2012 for travel valid until April 12, 2012. International airfare is additional. For reservations and more information, phone 1-877-451-8687 or visit www.explorationstouring.

Laos and Vietnam: Sacred Jewels of Southeast Asia: 16 days/15 nights: On International Expeditions’ “Laos and Vietnam: Sacred Jewels of Southeast Asia.” travelers sample the famous roast chicken at Anh Tuyet’s restaurant in Hanoi, Vietnam, featured on Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations.” In Laos, culinary offerings include lunch at Makphet Restaurant in Vientiane. and Italian cuisine at Xe Pian ecolodge. Also offered is an elephant fish lunch in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. Activities include sightseeing by cyclo-rickshaw, tuk-tuk, long boat, sampan boat and elephant back. An overnight cruise on Halong Bay in Vietnam aboard a Chinese junk, plus visits to Luang Prabang in Laos and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam are also included, as are excursions to local markets, villages, and sustainability projects, a private baci welcome ceremony, and a sacred tak bat ceremony. Hotel accommodations are for thirteen nights, with three nights in secluded Xe Pian National Protected Area. The tour, which can be booked at any time, is priced from $4,298 per person, land only, and is available until December 1, 2011. For reservations and more information, phone 1-800-633-4734 or visit www.IEtravel.com/explore-laos.

China

China Impressions: 10 days/9 nights: Savor a Beijing duck dinner and local culinary lunches on Pacific Delight Tours’ 10 day, 9 night “China Impressions” tour. Cost starts from $2,199 per person, representing up to a 40% savings over booking independently, according to Pacific Delight Tours. The itinerary visits Beijing, Xi’an, Suzhou, and Shanghai, and includes international airfare from Los Angeles (add $200 for New York), deluxe hotels, meals, sightseeing, and transfers. This tour is available through March 2012. For reservations and more information, phone 1-800-221-7179 or visit www.pacificdelighttours.com.

“Today’s traveler to Asia wants a total experience, including tasting local cuisine and learning about a culture through its food,” says Terry Dale, president of the U.S. Tour Operators Association. “These tours, by introducing travelers to local cuisine, provide an immersion and greater understanding into Asian cultures.”

 

All tour prices are based on double occupancy. Restrictions and additional security fees, departure and local taxes and fees may apply. Prices may vary based on departure date.

For more information on Asia vacations with culinary interest visit: www.USTOA.com, or www.USTOA.travel.

USTOA member companies have met the travel industry’s highest standards, including participation in the association’s Travelers Assistance Program, which among other things protects consumer payments up to $1 million in case the company goes out of business. USTOA is the premier association of companies providing vacation packages, tours, and custom travel itineraries for more than 11 million people yearly.

For more travel features, visit

www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin