Insight Vacations is approaching 2019 with laser-like focus on enhancing what it does best: providing unique experiences around the world. And with today being International Women’s Day, it’s also celebrating all that it has done to advance female empowerment in the workplace.
In this edition of Take Five, we sit down with Carla Brake, Vice-President of Sales for Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold, to discuss 2019 initiatives and the importance of supporting women in business and beyond.
1. What is the company’s main focus in 2019?
We are focused on giving clients a more personalized immersive holiday that includes unique experiences that connect them with the local people culture. We also provide a flavour of the destination through our many culinary experiences such as Dine-at-Home and farm-to-table meals in local eateries.
Most importantly, with Friday being International Women’s Day, we will continue to focus on further supporting women within our organization and around the world as we aim to break tradition and pave the way for female empowerment. We aim to ensure equality with many women in leadership roles, management positions, Travel Directors and Travelling Concierges leading our journeys (who are equally represented with 50% male and 50% female) and the women we empower globally in local communities through sustainability projects. At the moment, 70% of our team members are women around the world and 64% of hold leadership positions. In Canada specifically, 80% fill leadership positions and we’re very proud of this.
To help provide economic empowerment to women in local communities, we offer our guests the opportunity to travel with purpose through our TreadRight Foundation, enabling transformative travel and supporting female artisans which is further explained below:
Insight Cares and Luxury Gold Cares work to enrich travel experiences by protecting and conserving the stunningly beautiful environments, fascinating cultures and awe-inspiring communities of our world. Powered by our not-for-profit, The TreadRight Foundation, our mission is to safeguard people, wildlife and the planet for generations to come. Our guests can help us make travel matter through 50 sustainable projects we support worldwide and empower women in local communities, including Insight’s newest project, the Iraq Al-Amir Women’s Cooperative in Jordan. Managed and run by local women, the Foundation aims to make the women in the area financially independent and to raise their standard of living by increasing their income and preserving local heritage. Guests on our Insight journeys travelling to Jordan have the chance to visit the Cooperative and to experience firsthand the preservation of local heritage. In Italy, Insight supports the Laboratorio Giuditta Brozzetti, where guests are taken to this Cooperative to discover the art of traditional hand weaving and help preserve the technique through e-commerce opportunities and education. Giuditta Brozzetti was a pioneering female entrepreneur and now, her Laboratorio is one of the few remaining traditional frame hand weaving workshops in Italy.
2. How are bookings so far in 2019? And which destinations do you anticipate to be this year’s top sellers?
Our advance sales are doing quite well. Clients know what they are looking for so they are keen to book their journey and secure their spot. Ireland and Scotland are the top destinations for 2019. Destinations like Croatia and Morocco are selling very well and space is quite limited. We are also seeing interest in Egypt more people are travelling to this bucket list destination in 2019.
3. How specifically will you work with travel agents this year? And what’s your key messaging to the retail trade?
Travel advisors are instrumental to our success and we continue to work very closely. This year, we focused on providing them with more tools so they are confident in selling our premium and luxury escorted journeys. We have our online portal that includes online training modules, special offers, editable flyers, videos and so much more. We also just released our new travel advisor guide that conveys what is unique about our brand. Furthermore, to offer consistent support and contact with travel advisors and to communicate news and offers in real-time, Insight has launched a new Facebook page solely dedicated for Canadian travel advisors and encourages them to join by following this link.
4. What specifically is new at Insight in 2019?
In 2019, our journeys focus on immersive and authentic/engaging experiences that give our guests meaningful interaction with local people and culture. We include over 70 experiences that are unique to each destination and things the travellers cannot organize on their own, as independent travellers.
5. Finish this sentence: “2019 is the year to book Insight because…”
Premium escorted journeys offer better value with more inclusions and unique experiences that independent travellers wouldn’t be able to access on their own.