With over 85 years of experience, SITA World Tours is one of North America’s most reputable tour operators for exotic destinations worldwide, says Saurabh Gambhir, SITA’s Area Manager, Canada, in this edition of Take 5.
1. SITA has a long and successful track record in the Canadian travel industry. For agents who know the SITA name, but may not be aware of everything you offer, can you give us a quick overview of SITA Tours Canada circa 2019?
“With over 85 years of experience, SITA is one of North America’s most reputable tour operators for exotic destinations worldwide.
“Headquartered in Los Angeles with Canadian offices in Vancouver and Toronto, SITA is renowned for upholding the travel industry’s highest standards with unparalleled quality of service.
“Our variety of tour choices include Scheduled Departure Tours, Independent Tours and Tailor-Made Tours to Africa, Asia, South & Central America, India, Europe and New Zealand & Australia.
“SITA offers enriching, authentic travel to over 90 destinations around the world.
“SITA’s business in Canada (sitatourscanada.com) has been constantly growing over the last few years and we have maximized our reach to agents across the country. While Toronto and Vancouver remain feeder markets, we also work closely with agents in Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, London, Halifax, Montreal, etc.”
2. What destinations do agents know you best for, and what destinations do you offer that might surprise agents that you have it?
“SITA has always been known for specializing in tailor-made, customized itineraries to exotic destinations such as Africa, Asia and India. Destinations such as Kenya & Tanzania, South Africa, Japan, Italy, Greece, Vietnam & Thailand are some of our most popular destinations. SITA is also one of the most recognized tour operators to India, having won Indian Ministry of Tourism’s ‘Best Tour Operator from The Americas’ Award on seven occasions!”
3. Is SITA Tours Canada primarily selling escorted tours, or FIT, or a mix, and do you customize?
“SITA specializes in tailor-made itineraries, in fact customization is SITA’s forte! We can combine full tours or parts of tours, add stopovers in areas en route to another destination or extensions to existing tours. We offer escorted FIT and group tours to over 90 countries across five continents, however customized itineraries have the highest demand.”
4. What new products or services has SITA Tours Canada developed in the past few years that you want agents to know about?
“In the last few years, SITA has started offering tours to Europe. Eastern Europe, Baltic & Scandinavian countries are some of our top selling destinations in Europe, and most of our tours to these destinations are very popular.
“Apart from our fixed departures, we also customize itineraries to Europe which, as mentioned earlier, is one of SITA’s USPs. While France, England, Germany and Italy have traditionally been popular from Canada, demand for destinations such as Croatia, Iceland and the Nordic countries has increased in the last few years. Our clients are not only traveling in summer, but also in fall and even winter.”
5. How important have travel agents been to SITA Tours Canada’s success, and why?
“Immensely important. SITA is an active member of several consortiums. It is one of our top priorities to grow business relationships with travel agents, of whom most of our bookings come from.
“Other than offering a high commission, which our clients really appreciate, we also offer marketing services at no additional cost, such as personalized advertising materials and informational sessions.
“As a token of appreciation and in conjunction of SITA’s 86th anniversary, all SITA web-registered agents will earn an $86 American Express Thank You gift card on every booking made in 2019.”