This month’s featured coach operator is Collette Worldwide Holidays and we speak to Allan Trinidad, the Southern UK Sales Manager, about what makes Collette an unforgettable holiday experience.
Name: Allan Trinidad
Title: Southern UK Sales Manager
Name of company / organisation: Collette Worldwide Holidays
What area of the UK do you cover?
Southern – from Cornwall through to Kent. Collette has a team of 4 dedicated Sales Managers that cover the whole of the UK.
How long have you worked for Collette Worldwide Holidays?
5 years for Collette. 14 years total in the travel industry.
In one sentence can you describe who Collette Worldwide Holidays are?
A family-run, independent company delivering high quality worldwide escorted tours for over 92 years.
What areas of the world do Collette travel to?
We travel to over 50 countries and cover all 7 continents.
What would you say are the benefits of an escorted tour?
Ability to travel to destinations accompanied by a Collette Tour Manager and as part of a group of like-minded people of a similar age, especially good for single travellers who can build lasting friendships through travel. We make sure that your holiday is hassle free by taking care of the finer details so you can sit back and relax and let somebody else do the driving and the commentary! Where time is limited, a tour ensures that you see all the ‘must-see’s’; you see so much more of a destination than being on a cruise ship. In addition, it is great value for money and allows you to pre-budget.
What are Collette’s Key Selling Points?
We are a financially secure and debt-free company and are fully bonded by ABTA, ATOL & IATA.
We contract and operate all our own tours which allow us to include special “wow” experiences in every itinerary, ensuring that we deliver a ‘trip of a lifetime’.
We achieve 98% positive customer satisfaction rating.
What is included as part of a Collette tour?
Private Door to Door Transfers to your UK departure airport (within 100 miles, supplement for distances over).
Return flights with reputable scheduled airlines.
Quality accommodations in good locations.
‘Must see’ sights as outlined in your itinerary.
Many meals and dining experiences.
Services of a professional Collette Tour Manager & local expert guides.
Luggage handling, gratuities for bellmen and waiting staff.
What are Collette’s top 5 tours?
Canadian Rockies, New Zealand, South Africa, Russia & Peru.
What are the up-and-coming destinations?
Costa Rica, Eastern Canada, China, Colorado Rockies, Japan, India & Thailand.
What new destinations are Collette offering for 2010/2011?
Croatia, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Canada’s Atlantic Coast, Galapagos & Ecuador, Patagonia, Copper Canyon & Mexico.
We had read that Collette are very much into philanthropic projects – can you explain in more detail?
Yes, as a family-run business our CEO & President, Daniel Sullivan launched the ‘Collette Foundation’ in 2007 to “give back” and enrich the lives of children around the world. The ‘Collette Foundation’ invests in funding, supplies and manpower to establish and manage projects in destinations such as Australia, China, Costa Rica, Kenya, Mexico, Peru, South Africa and the Unites States. Each project is voluntarily managed by Collette employees and on certain tours; customers have the opportunity to visit program sites supported by the ‘Collette Foundation’. In addition, Collette endeavour to support and promote responsible tourism and work closely with the ‘Friends of Conservation’ supporting its various programmes.
What new booking trends are you noticing?
Many of our customers are extending their stay in the destination by either adding pre or post nights to their tour. Additionally, many of our passengers have family and friends in these countries and are extending their stay at the beginning/end of the tour.
At Collette we can accommodate this and can even sell a tour on a land-only basis if required. Our Door to Door service is available even on land-only bookings and extended stays. We have also noticed that people are getting more adventurous and are seeking exotic destinations as part of their “bucket list”.
What are your favourite destinations?
I have been very fortunate to have travelled to some amazing destinations either as a personal holiday or through familiarisation trips with Collette and therefore each experience has been different and memorable in their own way, so choosing a favourite is difficult. I would say that some of my highlights are; reaching Machu Picchu, climbing the Great Wall of China, a jeep ride through the Wadi Rum Desert in Jordan, behind the scenes tour of the theatre in Oberammergau, gondola ride in Queenstown, New Zealand and a home hosted-meal in Alaska to name but a few!
What are your forthcoming travel plans?
A family holiday to the Canadian Rockies in Easter, my family’s first Collette tour to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji in August (I just hope my 5 year old son can endure the long flight!?) and a Collette sales meeting to Boston & Rhode Island in December.