A new national tour operator is striving to enrich the experience of travellers through a select group of premium inbound destination land operators. The first-year company, 5 Continents, has dubbed itself as a “worldwide inbound embassy,” and has just completed a road trip mission to meet travel sellers across Canada.
Its rapid cross-country trade mission took in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver in mid-September, making its final stop in Vancouver on Sept. 19 at the Best Western Plus Chateau Granville.
In doing so, it introduced agents to some of the inbound specialists who are providing a selection of polished, export-ready tour programs. Reaching out to 5 Continents puts agents into direct contact with these elite inbounds, and the company acts as a conduit for agents, says managing partner David Boigne.
Boigne has established inbound tour contacts over his career as a travel creator with Exotik Tours, Thomas Cook and TravelBrands. After striking out on his own, “the inbounds said there was a great opportunity to open an office in Canada. So that’s what we’ve done,” he said.
“It’s the best of both worlds,” he said, referring to a middle ground market between a GSA and a more traditional tour operator business plan. Agents can make payments to 5 Continents in the currency of their choice, and those funds are then held in trust for payment to the suppliers. Agents get net rate pricing on the programs, which allows them to control the selling prices and profits. They are paid a commission rate of 13% for bookings.
Gold status inbound operator partners include Europe Incoming, Veena World, Athens Express, Pacific Destinations, United Travel, Baltic Travel Group and more. These and others offer tour/hotel/ground products that cover all of Europe, Russian, Australia, Asia, New Zealand, South Pacific and some South American countries. 5 Continents also specializes in group travel, including everything from agriculture to art, plus MICE events, weddings, student group travels and multi-generational trips, to name some.
A sample Baltic tour that runs for eight days/seven nights in 2020 has a starting price of $1,899 per person double, not including airfare.
“The time is right for a new voice in the industry, to shake up the market a bit,” said Claire Newell, founder/owner of TravelBestBets.com. She acknowledged knowing David Boigne for a long time, and confirmed his extensive knowledge and professionalism.
In the photo
Representing 5 Continents during their Vancouver visit with inbound operator partners to meet travel retailers over a dinner presentation was (l.) Michele Rauzon, the North America sales director for 5 Continents; and David Boigne, managing partner of the company.