International Tours Offered by
Byway - Packager Partnership
Partnerships between byway organizations and tour
operators are offering travel packages to international audiences.
Seaway Trail, Inc. and TOURCO, an internationally-known
inbound receptive wholesaler, are partnering to offer fly-drive
byway tour packages to international audiences. The 2004 packages
were based on a variety of themes: lighthouses, castles, foods, scenic
wonders, and historic sites, and in some cases included attractions
off-Trail. In 2005, through TOURCO, Dublin, Ireland-based tour operator
CanAmerica offered a 14-day, 13-night New
York Naturally fly-drive package that includes
the Seaway Trail.
TOURCO began offering the Seaway Trail packages to
international audiences in 2004. Through TOURCO, CanAmerica began
offering a fly-drive package including Seaway Trail in 2005 and plans
to continue sales in 2006.
The 2004 fly-drive packages offered pre-planned itineraries,
ranging from five to 14 days, using the air gateways of New York,
Toronto and Montreal. Consumers also had the option to design a "go-as-you-please" package
of hotel accommodations, allowing the travelers to visit sites wherever
they chose between hotels. Travelers received site vouchers with
The packages were promoted through a color insert in
Seaway Trail’s annual travel guide magazine and in TOURCO’s
promotional materials for travelers and travel sellers. A 50,000
- copy overrun of the Journey magazine insert was distributed to
AAA offices in the U.S. The packages were promoted by Seaway Trail
staff on a sales mission to Europe and via advertising in European
TOURCO answers a toll-free phone number to take orders
for the packages and designed a webpage - hosted on the Seaway Trail
website. The consumer order form was electronically referred to TOURCO
offices for processing.
TOURCO offers wholesale net rates to domestic and international
tour operators. Seaway Trail, Inc. was to receive a percentage of
packages sold domestically; TOURCO did not want to offer a percentage
on international packages due to the number of middle sellers involved
in those packages.
“These packages offer a taste of ‘real
America' to seasoned FIT travelers who have already been to New York
City, Las Vegas, and Disney World,” says Seaway Trail, Inc.
Executive Director Teresa Mitchell. “Working with TOURCO provides
the opportunity to extend the Seaway Trail’s travel and vacation
resources to audiences throughout North America and around the globe.”
The funding potential of this type of byway-business
partnership varies by the number and success of packages offered
and the percentage of sales negotiated for return to the byway organization.
Success of packages may also be influenced by the extent of marketing
and visibility the packages receive in optimum marketplaces.
no sales of the 2004 Seaway Trail packages, TOURCO chose two of the
packages for promotion in 2005. The fact that many Europeans book
their travel packages in advance through travel agents may have hurt
first year sales. Domestic travel sellers’ continuing interest
in selling Disney and other traditional travel package destinations
may create a challenge for the byways to insert themselves as an
attractive niche product.
Another byway organization worked to develop tour packages
with a consultant who projected annual sales of 125 packages. The
byway representatives set a goal of selling 35 to 50 packages in
the first year, using an ad campaign to drive consumers to the byway
website. The packages link the byway with a major city gateway and
a nearby national attraction as lures. The byway organization priced
the packages with a 10-15 percent markup.
Why International Tour Packaging Partnerships:
• Generate visibility of the byway with international
• Provide an economic engine for tour packager
and byway organization