Monday, 8 July 2013

Land tours, Europe strong sellers for Montrose Travel

Land tours, Europe strong sellers for Montrose Travel

By Laura Del Rosso
InsightSales are up for Montrose Travel, one of the country's oldest and largest host agencies. “It's up in double digits so far this year, and that's across the board for us: leisure, corporate and groups,” said Andi Mysza, president of the Southern California-based company.

One segment in particular seeing a boost is land packages and tours to Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe, she said.

“Both cruises and land are up, but we're seeing larger increases in land travel, presumably because of the negative press that Carnival has gotten,” Mysza said. “People are asking for more land packages, and we've increased our marketing efforts there.”

As for Europe, Mysza said that the high airfares to the Continent are becoming standard, and travelers are growing accustomed to paying more than $1,000 for flights.

“Last year, I think Europe suffered because of the high fares, but this year it looks like people are getting used to the 'new normal,' if you will, and they are going to Europe even with the fares as they are.”, the hosting division of Montrose Travel, scheduled its annual educational conference for Oct. 3 to 7 in Los Angeles, with specialized training at Montrose's headquarters, followed by a three-night Princess cruise to Ensenada, Mexico.

The host agency, which has about 500 affiliated home-based travel agents, typically draws around 125 attendees to the annual conference, which enables them to meet face to face with preferred suppliers and other independent agents and attend training seminars, she said.

“This is the fifth year of doing the annual conference and the first time we've done it featuring our headquarters. The theme is ‘Homecoming,’ and we want to get our agents to our home to meet all the Montrose Travel staff that they normally do not get the chance to meet at a conference.”

In the last year, Montrose (No. 47 on the Travel Weekly Power List) rolled out a customer relationship management program for its agents.

“We've done extensive training throughout the year on the new platform, which is integrated from a marketing standpoint,” Mysza said. “It's helping everyone's business with the ability to push out marketing to our customers, if they choose to receive it. We'll review it at our conference.”