PHOTO: Business handshake. (photo courtesy of Thinckstock)
WHY IT RATES: Travel Impressions and Wendy Wu Tours have expanded their partnership to feature more tours and new air-inclusive packages and insurance. - Eric Bowman, TravelPulse Senior Editor
As Travel Impressions celebrates the 5th-anniversary of its partnership with the Asia experts at Wendy Wu Tours, new leadership at both companies have identified untapped potential and are forging ahead with a stronger alliance. Together, the combination of TI’s sales and marketing prowess and service levels with Wendy Wu’s exotic tour offerings and highly praised on-the-ground expertise make the Far East an easy sell for U.S. travel agents with high-end travelers looking for a life-changing experience rather than just an escape.
Through the expanded partnership, Travel Impressions will add Tibet to its Wendy Wu offerings and will feature 36 Wendy Wu tours in printed and digital versions of its 2017 brochure. In these will also be the previously established, expertly crafted vacations to China, India, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and Japan.
Newly added itineraries featuring Tibet will include the 15-night air-inclusive China & Tibet Discovery and 17-night air-inclusive (16-night land only) China & Spiritual Tibet programs which combine the Buddhist architecture and cultural intrigue of Lhasa with visits to Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu and Shanghai, along with a three-night river cruise on China’s mist-shrouded Yangtze.
In Japan, the partnership will encourage greater utilization of experiential tour offerings such as a traditional sushi making class, sumo wrestling tournament and classes on Zen meditation or Kendo (a martial arts style utilizing bamboo swords) for programs including the 11-night air-inclusive Golden Route, which visits Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, Kyoto and Osaka.
Beyond printed and digital versions of the brochures, the entire Wendy Wu portfolio will be accessible to agents through a Travel Impressions portal. Additionally, agents will now be able to offer air-inclusive tour packages and insurance to clients, making it even easier to take the plunge to the Far East.
Scott Wiseman, president of Travel Impressions, and Leslie Peden, president of Wendy Wu Tours, Inc., have outlined several areas where a strengthened relationship can help agents sell exotic Asian destinations more efficiently and more profitably. These include new benefits for agents—including access to the entire Wendy Wu portfolio—as well as the ability to create fully customized tours for affluent clients.
“Leslie and I took the reins at our respective companies around the same time last year, and it occurred to us that the retail industry is leaving a lot of money on the table with regard to Asia,” remarked Wiseman. “We both acknowledged the partnership was a natural fit and threw ourselves into wholeheartedly strengthening and refining an already sound collaboration.”
Peden adds, “We are thrilled to be announcing an expanded and enhanced alliance with Travel Impressions, our longstanding partner and the leading agent-centric wholesaler in the U.S. This is an exciting time for both Travel Impressions and Wendy Wu Tours, as both organizations are under new, dynamic leadership that is deeply committed to our travel specialist partners and helping them grow their business.”
To demonstrate the benefits of a reinforced partnership and the synchronicity of their respective organizations’ focuses, Wiseman notes Wendy Wu’s legendary reputation for award-winning service and satisfaction among travel agents in the United States, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. “With more seamless integration, agents can now access professional experts at Wendy Wu Tours instantly via Travel Impressions’ trusted reservations line. All calls are recorded and monitored by TI to ensure our award-winning service levels.”
Peden supports Wiseman, saying, “Our partnership is rooted in mutual excellence that bridges hemispheres to create a gateway to the eastern world. As TI’s exclusive Asia expert, we understand their agents have come to rely upon Wendy Wu Tours for deep expertise in arranging FIT tours to China, Indochina, India, Southeast Asia, and Japan. As a result of our enhanced alliance, we are now also pleased to provide TI agents access to our entire expanded portfolio of tours, including our award-winning, English-speaking escorted group and private tours.”
In addition, agents will now benefit from being able to offer exclusive Wendy Wu value-added promotions associated with air-inclusive escorted group and private tours.
Travel Impressions’ and Wendy Wu’s Tailor-Made Itineraries will be one of the most attractive and unique features of this partnership between the two brands. With this product, the Wendy Wu Destination Specialists will work to create life-changing experiences for upscale clients via fully individualized vacations. This allows for custom groups of any size as well as conversion of existing tours into private journeys, in addition to adding transformative travel to any itinerary.
“This puts our expertise at agents’ fingertips and allows them to shine by arranging private lectures and other unique tour experiences to make their client’s vacation truly bespoke,” explained Peden. “For example, art tours with a docent after hours, exclusive dinners at renowned restaurants, or adventures not found on any standard itinerary. We also offer an exciting range of ‘Discovery Tours’ for those guests that want to be a bit more active and partake in activities such as trekking on un-refurbished sections of The Great Wall or cycle through the villages and rice terraces to immerse themselves with the locals.”
“There is no better time than 2017 to travel to Asia,” proclaims Peden. “With the strength of the U.S. dollar against most Asian currencies and increased air capacity between North America and China, Asia is an exceptional value.”
Wiseman concurs. “Our partnership makes what could be a complicated endeavor—linguistics, and logistics aside! —exceedingly simple. With our award-winning customer service and their award-winning ground operations, a once-in-a-lifetime bucket-list experience becomes as accessible and easy to book as any beach vacation.”
Clients booking a Wendy Wu Tours program through Travel Impressions will receive high-quality TI wallets, while travel agents enjoy a generous 15 percent commission on all land-only bookings.
SOURCE: A Travel Impressions press release.