Latin Routes introduces escorted group tours

by Steve Hartridge

Latin Routes invited agents from across the country to the London launch of its first-ever escorted group tours programme (September 18).

Product and Operations Manager Valeria Garibotti, who announced an initial nine itineraries, said the project was 18 months in the making and was the result of ‘a lot of research and requests from clients’.

In total, between May 2020 and March 2021 the operator will run 29 departures, with nine different itineraries covering six countries (Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Costa Rica).There will be three-multi-country tours.

Prices range from £2,699pp for the 12-day Journey to Rio tour (with four departures) to £6,199pp for the 22-day Peru and Galapagos tour (two departures).

A 13-day Natural Costa Rica tour, with four departures, starts from £2,799pp. All prices include flights, with a £200pp saving for tours booked before October 18.

Garibotti said all the adult-only tours, which will have a maximum of 16 people, were ‘guaranteed to depart’ whatever the number of guests signed up.

In each destination local guides with specialist knowledge will be used during excursions to enhance visitors’ appreciation and knowledge of the region.

The company recorded sales of £7.78 million in 2018/19 with 46% of all sales coming through agents, said Director, Martin Johnson.

“We are absolutely committed to the trade and will support our agents, who increased their sales of our product by 101% in 2018/19, in any ways we are asked,” he said.

“We are planning more agency visits, in-store events and window displays. We will pay after-hours visits, if asked, and will attend as many travel agency and consortia conferences as we can.”

Latin Routes has increased its trade team to four, with three dedicated business development managers (BDMs) working with travel agents.

The operator’s big growth destinations are Colombia (up 55%), Brazil (up 36%) and Ecuador (up 30%). But one of its newest-featured destinations, Costa Rica, is already the company’s second-biggest seller, after Peru, said Johnson.

Sales of its polar routes product are up 20%, a reflection of the rise in popularity for expedition cruising, said Johnson.

The new group tours brochure is available now from Tradegate.

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