Between the weakening dollar and the economy, this year is already proving it won’t be an easy one for wholesalers operating in Europe. But Trafalgar is determined to market the Continent’s value offerings.
The Anaheim, Calif.-based tour operator unveiled a new marketing program called Value Season, which represents the lower, more cost-effective autumn, winter and spring seasons for travel to Europe.
According to Paul Wiseman, president of Trafalgar, who discussed the new marketing strategy at a media luncheon in New York on Wednesday, travelers can save upwards of 20% on their European bookings if they travel during the low season. And while Wiseman admitted that neither the concept nor the savings are new, Trafalgar’s pushing them with such vigor is.
A few years ago, he said, travelers to Europe were upgrading their packages. In the current economic environment, however, value is more important.
“People that didn’t go [to Europe] this year, will potentially go in a different season,” said Wiseman, emphasizing the fewer crowds, arguably more comfortable weather and better pricing, including lower air fare, during off-season.
Land-only prices for Trafalgar European vacations during the Value Season will be less than $135 per person, per day, including transportation, accommodations, most meals and sightseeing.
Looking towards 2009, Wiseman said it looks like prices to Europe will be up at least another 5% on top of 2008 prices.
The Value Season lasts from November 2008 to April 2009. Trafalgar is offering a complimentary pre- or post-night for passengers booked and deposited by July 31.
To contact reporter Michelle Baran, send e-mail to [email protected].