TORONTO — The Globus family of brands has launched its Client Connect online referral tool, which directly connects potential clients with travel agents, on the heels of expanding its coach tours into South America.
When a customer visits any of the four brands’ sites (Globus, Cosmos, Monograms or Avalon Waterways) and asks to be referred to a travel agent, the tool suggests an agency within a specific geographic radius and recommends individuals who have been designated as ‘specialists’ within a particular brand.
“Over the years touring has changed,” said Stéphanie Bishop, the company’s Canadian managing director, on a bus tour of Toronto for media on last week. The tour was hosted by James Saunders, who has worked as a tour director for Globus and Cosmos over the past 28 years, and included a ‘Local Favourite’ – a stop at Soma in the historic Distillery District to experience a shot of Mayan hot chocolate.
“A lot of people think (coach touring) is an old-fashioned type of travel style, but that could not be any further from the truth,” said Bishop, adding that today’s coach tours are attracting a range of age groups – not just seniors.
“In Canada 30% of our (coach) tour business is from travellers that are new to the travel style,” she said. The company’s coach touring business is growing, she added, particularly with popular tours tailored to Canadian audiences, such as the Great Canadian War Memorial Tour.
While many people associate coach touring with Europe, the company also offers tours on five other continents. And right now, said Bishop, coach tours in South America and Asia are hot.
“South America is really becoming an important destination to Canadians,” said Saunders. Air Canada has recognized this trend, he said, by increasing flights to Lima, Peru and offering direct flights to Rio de Janeiro.
“We’ve been taking Canadians there for ages,” said Saunders. But tastes change, and people want more time to themselves or not as many included meals, “so we introduced Cosmos into South America, which is a big deal for us.”
Agents can find out more about Client Connect and the company’s coach tour offerings at agentlingo.ca.