A trip to re­mem­ber

> Get the most from a hol­i­day by ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a new side of a des­ti­na­tion with Trafal­gar

The Sun (Malaysia) - - LIFESTYLE - BY DENISSA GOH

TRAFAL­GAR re­cently cel­e­brated its 70th an­niver­sary with a Trafal­gar Hol­i­day Sale, of­fer­ing guests even more val­ue­for-money tour pack­ages fea­tur­ing Europe and the Amer­i­cas.

Over the years, the com­pany has earned it­self a strong rep­u­ta­tion among trav­ellers, achiev­ing a 97% sat­is­fac­tion rate, ac­cord­ing to the in­de­pen­dent rat­ing com­pany Feefo.

The re­cent Trafal­gar Hol­i­day Sale launch in Kuala Lumpur was of­fi­ci­ated by Liesa Bis­sett ( right), the Euro­pean prod­uct de­vel­op­ment di­rec­tor of Trafal­gar.

Bis­sett has been in­volved in the travel in­dus­try for 22 years, serv­ing var­i­ous global travel com­pa­nies.

Now at Trafal­gar, she fi­nally gets to do what she does best with the amount of ex­pe­ri­ence gath­ered over her ex­ten­sive ca­reer – craft­ing itin­er­ar­ies for trav­ellers.

“When it comes to craft­ing itin­er­ar­ies, for me, it’s about au­then­tic­ity,” she said in an in­ter­view with theSun.

“We want to give our guests the op­por­tu­nity to tell their friends about the amaz­ing things they did with Trafal­gar – things they couldn’t have done if they were trav­el­ling by them­selves.

“We firmly be­lieve that we of­fer our guests fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­pe­ri­ence Europe like an in­sider.”

She also shared some of the rea­sons why Trafal­gar is the per­fect com­pan­ion for those want­ing a mem­o­rable travel ex­pe­ri­ence.

Count­less choices Take one look at the brochures and you’ll be spoilt for choice.

When asked to per­son­ally sug­gest op­tions for both the young and ad­ven­tur­ous, as well as for older trav­ellers who pre­fer a slower pace, Bis­sett came up with a few thought­ful picks.

“In my opin­ion, young peo­ple like to be kept busy. The Euro­pean Whirl pack­age al­lows them to see a lot of cities in a short pe­riod of time, and get a [taste] of each coun­try as they travel,” she said.

“For the older clien­tele who want to take it easy, we have an itin­er­ary called At Leisure, which means more overnight stays and an itin­er­ary that starts later dur­ing the day.

“I’d pro­pose the Great Ital­ian Cities pack­age, which spends three nights [each] in Rome, Flo­rance and Venice. It is well-paced and truly an im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Cheaper al­ter­na­tives While Trafal­gar rolled out the brand new Europe and Bri­tain 2017 brochure, it also re­leased a cost­sav­ing al­ter­na­tive, which of­fers al­most the same itin­er­ary. “The great thing about Trafal­gar is that [the] CostSaver pro­gramme ... is our value-driven propo­si­tion,” Bis­sett said. For ex­am­ple, guests who want a cheaper al­ter­na­tive to the Euro­pean Whirl pack­age can opt for the Euro­pean Ex­pe­ri­ence pack­age. It cov­ers the same cities within the same num­ber of days. The only dif­fer­ence is that the Euro­pean Whirl in­cludes more meals, up­graded ho­tels, and ex­clu­sive ex­pe­ri­ences into the lo­cal cul­ture.

By My Guest ex­pe­ri­ences Bis­sett con­sid­ers the Be My Guest ex­pe­ri­ence to be one of Trafal­gar’s unique selling points, al­low­ing trav­ellers to ex­pe­ri­ence lo­cal cul­ture as an ‘in­sider’. Trav­ellers are given the op­por­tu­nity to en­ter lo­cal homes, farms or cas­tles, and to spend over two hours in­ter­act­ing with lo­cal hosts ( pixs above). “The big­gest game changer for Trafal­gar is Be My Guest, and we have over 70 of those ex­pe­ri­ences which are com­pletely unique – they can be found on the ma­jor­ity of our itin­er­ar­ies and it is an op­por­tu­nity for our guests to in­ter­act with lo­cal peo­ple, and lit­er­ally sit around the ta­ble and break bread with them,” she said.

Bis­sett adds that Be My Guest is a win-win sit­u­a­tion, whereby Trafal­gar gives back to the com­mu­nity, while giv­ing guests a more per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence.

“It’s a com­pletely two-way propo­si­tion – our guests are get­ting an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence by be­ing in­tro­duced to some­body lo­cal, and these lo­cal peo­ple are ben­e­fit­ing from our guests’ vis­its fi­nan­cially, [be­cause] the money is given back to com­mu­ni­ties, to re­store in­cred­i­ble build­ings or to pro­vide a liveli­hood for their fam­i­lies,” she ex­plained.

Ex­clu­siv­ity Imag­ine skip­ping the long dread­ful queues out­side the fa­mous Mis­sion­ary Eth­no­log­i­cal Mu­seum in the Vat­i­can, and walk­ing along a VIP lane just for Trafal­gar guests.

On top of that, when the mu­seum closes for the day, trav­ellers un­der Trafal­gar will get to en­joy an ex­clu­sive din­ner in the midst of three cen­turies of art and his­tory.

“Once we’ve planned the itin­er­ary that we’re go­ing to de­liver, we set out to find in­sider ex­pe­ri­ences and spe­cial accessibility VIP en­trances to many sights for our guests to en­joy,” Bis­set said.

– Liesa Bis­sett

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