Nina Slawek, Wolf Paunic, CWT’s Karen Salviato & Una O’Leary
There is an excellent word I learned during my Dutch travels that describes an experience of warmth and felicity and has no direct translation. That word is gezelligheid (pronounced: Keh-SELL-ick-ait. But I wouldn’t try it).
The recent Trafalgar soiree at the infamous Carmen’s Steak House (seems everyone has a story associated with their first time there) was just that – gezellig.
Traflagar’s President, Wolf Paunic, invited European and UK partners along with travel trade managers to a dinner launching the operator’s 2017 Europe program.
Wolf talked of 5 million guests having travelled with Trafalgar since 1947 covering many prominent world events -- not the least of which struck brutally last fall. Indeed, in reviewing 2016, Wolf said that at this time last year business was up 34% and it was looking like a banner year.
In terms of consumer confidence for 2017, over the 70 years that Trafalgar has been in business, research has shown the name has achieved a level of brand relevance. That will be leveraged in 2017 by focusing less on demographics and more the psychographics of travellers. The reasons people travel, what they look for and whether they have the trust to book. Trafalgar’s promise being that travel is simplified, “effortless”, experiential and safe.
The simplified approach is also reflected in a streamlined logo and uncluttered look.
Is the message getting through? Early bookings are up by 25% over last year partly due to some aggressive pricing strategies and a low $200 deposit which is valid for 5 years.
We were left with words to ponder from Brett Tollman, Chief Executive at the Travel Corporation, who spoke of all the reasons we are in the travel business, despite recent challenges. “Some of these events keep us up at night. But we stay strong together. I ask for your help in getting the message out that France, Turkey, Belgium are unequaled and it is incumbent on each of us to maintain confidence in our mutual guests.”