LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. -- Italy specialist TourCrafters here is adding
apartment rentals and a line of escorted budget tours to its 2001
TourCrafters' 2001 Italy brochure now includes rental apartments
in Rome, near the Piazza di Spagna and Piazza Navona; in Florence,
near the Ponte Vecchio and the Duomo; in Venice, near the Piazza
San Marco and the Rialto Bridge, and in Siena.
Prices vary by week and by season, according to Mauro Galli,
president of TourCrafters.
The apartments feature kitchens, and families will find them an
economical alternative to staying in hotels, he said.
In addition to the city apartments, TourCrafters also is
introducing apartment and villa rentals at a variety of locations
in the Tuscany region -- mostly near Florence -- along with
farmhouse stays and cooking school programs, Galli said.
company introduced two budget escorted tours: the six-night Beauty
of Italy program priced at $659 per person, double, land only, and
the seven-night Italian Collection at $739.
The six-night tour takes in Rome, Assisi, Siena, Florence, Padua
The rate covers hotels, sightseeing, breakfasts, some dinners,
guides and entrance fees.
The seven-night version adds visits to Verona and Lake Como.
Both programs have weekly departures from April through
TourCrafters was able to reduce the cost on the escorted tours
by using hotels that "are not as centrally located," Galli
In other news, the company is offering a $50 consumer air rebate
for spring travel, released an all-Sicily brochure and plans to
begin a motorcoach operation in Naples, according to Galli.
The operator's spring promotion provides consumers with a $50
rebate on any air/land package that uses Alitalia when tickets are
issued and paid for by April 30 for travel completed by May 31.
agents will receive full commission on the rebated packages, Galli
The tour operator issued a 20-page Sicily brochure with a
selection of tours, hotels, villa rentals, cooking courses and
excursions to the Aeolian Islands.
TourCrafters' basic Sicily package is a seven-night tour that
features stays at Jolly Hotels properties, all meals and
sightseeing for a land-only cost of $799.
The company's 48-page Italy brochure includes a range of
escorted, hosted and independent packages; hotel selections; car
rentals, and fly/drive programs.
TourCrafters also plans to come out soon with a new Spain
brochure, a destination that Galli calls a "natural for us."
In addition, the operator also offers programs to Britain,
France, Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary.
Meanwhile, Galli said the company plans to open a Gray Line
motorcoach operation in Naples, Italy, as part of an effort to
revitalize the city's tourism.
In the past, "Naples had a bad name" due to incidents of petty
crime, but the city's "reality is not as bad" as the reputation,
"[Naples] has refurbished all the monuments; it has cleaned up
the downtown area," he said.
Gray Line will provide scheduled tours of the city, but the
start-up date has not been determined, he added.
TourCrafters also is planning to overhaul its Web site in April,
with new software that will enable consumers and agents to make
bookings and to check on the status of reservation requests and
other details, Galli said.
For more information, contact TourCrafters at (800) 482-5995;
e-mail [email protected], or visit the Web site at www.tourcrafters.com.