Authentic Experiences with Insight Vacations
Engaging travellers in authentic experiences has taken on a new importance for Insight Vacations with the launch of a new Signature collection of hotels and experiences.
Debuting in its 2014 Europe and Britain program, Signature’s launch comes on the back of research which found that 97% of those surveyed were looking for “much more than just a destination” when selecting a holiday, according to global chief executive John Boulding.
“2014 is all about retaining the stuff that we’ve always had but it’s also about introducing a whole raft of new, engaging and authentic experiences that are very much about seeing Europe through the eyes of locals,” he told Travel Today.
An average group size of 32 means Insight is able to “do these things that big groups can’t do”, he added.
The 60 Signature hotels include the Palais Hansen in Vienna and Ireland’s Ashford Castle while experiences include clog making in Holland, a visit to a tartan mill in Scotland and pasta making in Umbria. Signature Dining builds on Insight’s Dine Around concept, introducing a la carte dining choices.
Signature will be rolled out across its other programs in 2014.
It marks the latest “innovation” from the firm following its introduction of business class legroom and onboard WiFi.
“We haven’t changed our message, we’ve added to it,” Boulding said. “We’ve always been reinventing ourselves, we’re always changing.”
Meanwhile, the addition of three new countries – San Marino, Andorra and Moldova - takes its European spread to 45 out of 46 countries.
“If someone pulls our brochure off the shelf, they can be confident that we will have the destination that they want to go to - other tour operators can’t say that.”
However, Egypt’s coverage in the new brochure has been reduced as travel advisories regarding the safety of travel to the troubled destination remain in place.
Boulding confirmed that Insight will not resume its Egypt itineraries until the travel advisory has been lifted but stressed that the product is “there and ready to come back”.
This year, the Europe program has seen 34% growth following a tough 2012 as consumer confidence returned and the galvanising effect of the London Olympics set in. The strong increase has contributed to making 2013 a "record year" for Insight.
NB: Source Travel Weekly