Reed Travel Features
LOS ANGELES -- Tradesco Tours here shifted gears this year with
its introduction of France and Scandinavia programs, part of a
30%-plus increase in tour product.
Tradesco's destination mainstay has been central Europe, but
Andras Bolgar, the company's president, said he did not want his
clients to turn to his competitors for other "western" European
Hence, Tradesco's new brochure features a 10-night escorted
Scandinavia tour, Scandinavian capital city packages and a variety
of hotel, sightseeing and restaurant options for independent
travelers to Paris and Nice, France.
Another new Tradesco program features travel by rail in
Independent travelers can choose from a four-night journey
through the Alps between Interlaken and Lucerne; an eight-night
Lucerne-to-Zermatt tour combining Switzerland's best-known express
trains, or a five-night Lucerne-to-Montreux trip featuring the
Crystal Panoramic Express and the Brunig SBB.
"Switzerland is putting more emphasis than ever before on its
rail products. The tourist board came to us this year and convinced
me to offer Swiss rail to our clients," Bolgar said.
Tradesco has added two hotel voucher programs to its brochure,
Guest Advantage and Minotel.
Guest Advantage includes more than 225 three-star hotels in
Germany, France, England and Scotland, and Minotel represents more
than 700 three-star properties throughout Europe.
"We are seeing greater demand for three-star products from
independent travelers," Bolgar said.
Guest Advantage's rate is $118, double or single; there are no
Minotel prices start at $121, double, with local surcharges
ranging from $10 to $40 per room. There is a $15 per booking charge
for both voucher programs.
Despite Tradesco's expansion, Bolgar estimated that the firm's
most popular itinerary will continue to be the Imperial Trail
program, a 10-night escorted tour that visits Budapest, Hungary;
Prague, the Czech Republic, and Vienna, Austria.
Bolgar has tweaked the tour this year, sending travelers to
Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic en route to Vienna from Prague,
instead of to Brno.
Cesky Krumlov, a preserved medieval city and a UNESCO World
Heritage Site, "is a far more exciting destination for our clients
than Brno," Bolgar said.
The hosted deluxe version of Imperial Trails has an increased
number of hotel options this year, including the Hilton and
Kempinski in Budapest; the ANA Grand, Bristol and Inter-Continental
in Vienna, and the Savoy, Palace and Inter-Continental in
"Travelers are becoming more sophisticated and have a greater
knowledge of hotels overseas than ever before," Bolgar said.
"This means operators have to give them a greater number of
hotel options and not just say, 'Here it is, take it or leave it.'
Also on the deluxe tour, clients travel by hydrofoil between
Budapest and Vienna and by business class air between Vienna and
"We cut out the coach, which makes it possible to offer the
deluxe program for a minimum of two people, any day of the week,"
Another top seller for Tradesco, its 21-night Budapest spa
special for the price of a two-week stay, has an increased number
of departure dates this year. Eleven are scheduled from April
The spa program, priced from $1,875 to $2,623, double, depending
on departure date, includes balineotherapy, half board, roundtrip
air from New York, tax and service charges and accommodations at
the Margaret Island, Thermal Hotel Margitsziget or the Ramada Grand
For information, call (800) 448-4321; fax (310) 649-5852.