When you offer a destination for more than 80 years, you know that destination very, very well. CIE Tours’ President and CEO Brian Stack talks about CIE’s top tours in the Canadian market, and why when it comes to agent incentives, commission talks.
1. CIE Tours is an expert in Ireland & Britain travel product. What makes this part of the world so special?
Stack: When CIE Tours commenced business in 1932, our only destination was Ireland. At that time we owned hotels, buses, etc. We continue to focus on Ireland and Britain because there is a huge interest in these destinations. Over 40 million Americans claim Irish connections and a similar number would have British connection. These are the closest European destinations to the U.S. and Canada, they are English speaking, the ‘natives’ love Canadians and Americans. And an added bonus, they are scenically beautiful places.
2. What’s one of your most interesting new trips for 2015?
Stack: Our new 24-day Grand Tour of Ireland and Britain. In addition, our newest addition to the CIE Tours collection is the Wild Atlantic Way Tour which coincides with the Tourism Ireland Marketing Campaign for 2015. The Wild Atlantic Way features overnight stays in Kinsale and Dingle Harbor as well as an exploration of Ireland’s scenic west coast. You can find out more at cietours.com/us/escorted_tour/2015/wild_atlantic_way_13d/
3. What are some of your best-selling trips from the Canadian market?
Stack: Our Scotland-Ireland combo tours and our Irish Spirit tour
4. Guided vacations have really evolved over the past few years. How is CIE Tours keeping the experience modern and current?
Stack: Our term for guided vacations is ‘escorted tours’. With the increasing number of Baby Boomers in the U.S. and Canada, there is a growing interest in this segment. Travellers are happy not to have to deal with the multiple choices necessary when travelling alone – hotels, meals, transport – CIE Tours takes care of all the details.
5. What sort of incentives do you offer to agents?
Stack: CIE Tours paid more commission to travel agents in 2014 than in any other year in our 84 years. One of the most popular incentives is increasing commission from 10 to 15% when agents book six couples with us over 12 months. This commission is back-dated to the first booking.