Places to Go expands product, targets S. Florida

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DANIA, Fla. -- Places to Go is on the move. The tour operator appointed a new management team, unveiled a logo and beefed up its product line.

The company also is aiming to get the attention of Caribbean tourist boards, airlines, resorts and hotel associations as well as U.S. retailers, particularly in South Florida.

About a year ago, Places to Go was purchased by Windfair Hospitality, a Toronto-based firm, which owns several tourism-related companies. Place to Go was dormant for a year until Windfair came up to the plate.

As part of the reorganization, Mark Steward came aboard as managing director in March. Steward, who previously held manager of product development posts at Adventure Tours USA and Club America Vacations, has set out to get Places to Go noticed.

He said the firm is focusing on its Caribbean product. It added Curacao to its line-up as well as Cancun, Mexico.

He also said Places to Go is turning its attention to the South Florida market. The operator wants to build relationships with tourist boards and the trade community in this region. One of his first initiatives was having a Places to Go representative attend local tourist board functions. Another plan is to host a series of breakfast seminars for agents in major Florida cities through Oct. 5.

Steward said that Places to Go has developed a strong relationship with Curacao. The firm is offering packages to many of the island's events, including its gospel and heritage festivals. At the end of August, the operator held an open house in conjunction with Curacao, which attracted 50 travel agents.

Places to Go also offers air-inclusive packages to Aruba, Bonaire, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica and the Bahamas, including the Out Islands.

The operator has a full-time staff of 10, and education is a priority for Seward. He said that because of the company's small size, the reservationists are becoming destination specialists

"They have been to the islands and experienced restaurants, hotels and attractions. They are destination specialists who can help agents help their clients."

The operator also plans to increase its marketing efforts by participating in co-op ads. Places to Go already started a series of radio promotions in South Florida.

The operator's commissions start at 11% and increase to 15%. "We want to cater to the travel agents' needs, make them feel comfortable, and for that special client they have, we want to be their tour operator," Steward said.

Curacao getaways on tap

DANIA, Fla. -- Places to Go is offering three-night getaways to Curacao.

Prices start at $499 per person, double, for a stay at the Princess Beach Resort & Casino. For a stay at Kadushi Cliffs Resort, the rate is $629.

The packages include roundtrip air from Miami, transfers and hotel tax and service charges. Air is available from New York for an additional $99 and from Chicago for an extra $139.

Places to Go
Phone: (800) 775-2237
Fax: (954) 924-6260

Operator schedules seminar series

DANIA, Fla. -- Places to Go is sponsoring a series of breakfast seminars to introduce its fall packages and winter brochure for the Caribbean.

The seminars will be held in major Florida cities through Oct. 5. Cities and dates follow:

  • Sept. 14 in Orlando at the Radisson Plaza Ivanhoe.
  • Sept. 15 in Melbourne/Cocoa Beach at the Hilton Cocoa Beach.
  • Sept. 16 in Coral Gables at the Hyatt Regency.
  • Sept. 28 in Tampa at the Hyatt Regency.
  • Sept. 29 in Sarasota at the Hyatt Regency.
  • Sept. 30 in Fort Myers at the Radisson Inn Fort Myers.
  • Oct. 5 in Jacksonville at the Radisson Riverwalk Hotel.
  • Places to Go
    Phone: (800) 775-2237 or (954) 924-1502

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