With six travel styles, new tours in Russia and Patagonia, and 103 years of experience, Collette really does have something for every client. Sweetening the offer is Collette’s travel agent incentive, available through March 31. For this edition of Take 5 Travelweek talks to Jaclyn Leibl-Cote, President of Collette.
1. Collette has no fewer than six different travel styles. What are they and who do they appeal to?
“Everyone is a little bit different, and at Collette we make sure that there is a travel style for every guest.
“Classic – Our flagship collection of tours takes you around the world. True to our belief in the transformative power of journeys both personal and shared, Classic touring represents a refined take on the art of guided travel. From Ireland to Italy and beyond, embrace your dreams. We seamlessly handle the details – you experience the world.
“Explorations – Explorations are small group tours designed for travelers who are looking to travel in smaller groups (14–24 guests), enjoy lots of off the beaten path adventures, authentic culinary experiences, specialty tastings and chef-led demonstrations as well as more contact with the locals.
“Spotlights – Spotlights are for travelers who enjoy single hotel stays and quick getaways. These tours offer travelers plenty of freedom to get out on their own, combined with the benefits of guided travel. During a relaxed, single hotel stay, immerse yourself in the fanfare of a grand city or unwind in the timeless countryside. Become a part of the local community—even if it’s just for a short while.
“Faith – Collette’s collection of religious tours was designed with our faith-based travelers in mind. These inspiring travel experiences capture the reflective and humble surroundings of the world-famous spiritual places they visit.
“River Cruise – Climb aboard for a slower, more intimate way to explore the world. These adventures, on small 4-star vessels, are a scenic and relaxing way to travel through the world’s beautiful waterways. Plus, many other tours now have on-ship stays, whether it’s exploring Nordic fjords or taking a privately chartered yacht to the Galápagos.”
2. What should agents know about Collette’s 2020 offering, including any new destinations?
“The lineup for 2020 is fantastic. From The Smoky Mountains to Patagonia, there is a tour for every traveller. Some of our 2020 new tour destinations include Blue Grass Country and Smoky Mountains, Patagonia, Russia, and small group offering of our Australia and New Zealand tour as well as Egypt and Jordan.”
3. Why is escorted touring so enduringly popular with the travelling public?
“We know that travellers are faced with so many options when they want to set out and see the world. When guests take a Collette tour, they get a carefully crafted trip in which they take the time to plan all the details ranging from sightseeing to enriching cultural experiences to even taking our guests to and from the airport in a private luxury sedan. With over 100 years of experience, Collette’s experts provide the best journey for the best value.”
4. Collette kicked off 2020 with a new cash incentive for agents. Are you seeing a lot of interest in the incentive from Canadian travel agents and why are agents so important to Collette?
“There has been a lot of interest in the incentive from Canadian travel agents. We believe in supporting them during their busiest time of the year and we want them to grow with us! The incentive will continue until March 31, 2020.”
5. Collette is one of the best-known brands in the travel industry. Some agents might think they already know everything about the company. What are 3 things about Collette that agents might find surprising?
“First, social responsibility is at the heart of everything that Collette does. Collette focuses on four key areas – community, people, travel, and planet.
“Second, Collette offers many ways to customize your tour with features such as on-tour options, pre- and post-night stays, back to back tours, optional excursions, and different travel styles.
“And third, Collette is the longest running tour operator in North America, with 103 years of experience.”