Queen's Jubilee: Operators give planning tips

NEW YORK -- Golden Jubilee events celebrating Queen Elizabeth II's 50 years on the throne do not lend themselves well to special-event packaging, according to tour operators.

Therefore, said Brian Stack, president, CIE Tours, his firm simply increased its range of tours to the U.K. this year in the expectation that clients will be able to participate in Jubilee events that occur during their visits.

In addition, he said, clients can use CIE fly/drives to build itineraries around the celebrations, and CIE's group department will create itineraries "for any groups who wish to immerse themselves in royal nostalgia."

Similarly, Maureen Van Metter, vice president of marketing at Trafalgar Tours, said Trafalgar programs allow time for clients to pursue these events, and she expects customers to get in on the Jubilee act. She, too, offered to arrange custom departures for agency clients.

Patrick O'Shea, Far and Wide vice president, advised agents to lock in hotels and car rentals early and to remind clients that Jubilee events will affect the accessibility of tourist sites at certain times.

If customers are interested in trying to cross paths with the queen as she travels through the U.K. this year, the general outline of her itineraries is available. Clients can book hotels now in the areas to be visited without yet knowing all the details.

As for Far and Wide customers, O'Shea said, "we will ensure that they are aware and able to take advantage of the festivities" that coincide with their trips.

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