CIE Tours to Celebrate 80th Year, Unveils 2012 Brochure
CIE Tours International, the venerable Irish tour operator, is set to celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2012. At the same time, Brian Stack, CEO of CIE Tours, said 2011 will be one of the best years in the company’s history. CIE Tours also unveiled its 2012 Ireland & Britain brochure with several new program additions.
CIE Tours made these announcements at a special lunch of Irish and U.S. travel and media executives in the wine cellar of New York’s 21 Club on Nov. 16. Stack said sales of escorted tours to Ireland were up 20 percent, sales of escorted tours to Britain were up 60 percent and sales of independent vacations to Ireland were up by 18 percent. He said those increases came despite the fact that consumer confidence in the economy is at an all-time low. Stack said the increases also were due in part to the all-inclusive nature of CIE’s programs, which offer savings of more than $500 per person compared to competitors’ tours, because CIE Tours doesn’t charge for options while on tour. He also pointed out that CIE Tours paid more in commission to travel agents in 2011 than in any year of its history.
While Stack admitted that bookings for 2012 had been sluggish, he said business had picked up in the last few weeks. CIE Tours is now up 9 percent in bookings for 2012 compared to the same time last year for 2011 bookings. Stack said that was why there was reason for optimism for next year, despite the economic turmoil in the Eurozone and a sluggish U.S. economy.
CIE Tours’ new 2012 Ireland & Britain brochure features programs to Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales. The brochure includes 23 escorted programs to Ireland ranging from the five-, six- or seven-day Taste of Ireland to the 14-day Jewels of Ireland. CIE Tours’ eight escorted Britain programs range from the five-day Taste of Scotland to the 14-day Heart of Britain & Heritage. The company also features eight Ireland & Britain escorted programs, ranging from the nine-day British & Irish Delight to the 14- or 15-day The Scots, Irish & More.
CIE also has seven different independent programs to Ireland, ranging for the Go-as-you-Please Ireland, with self drive and open B&B vouchers to the 12-day Independent Irish Odyssey, which is self-drive or chauffeur-driven. For the first time CIE is including Belfast overnights in a number of its itineraries, with visits to the new $150 million Titanic Center in that city. The Titanic Center houses an exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of the sinking of that legendary ocean liner, which was built in Belfast. For more information on CIE Tours, call 800-243-8687 or visit www.cietours.com.
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