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Asia is growing by leaps and bounds. Not only is its own tourism market increasing, but travelers are coming from far and wide to experience a more exotic, far-flung vacation experience.
Tour operators, such as Avanti Destinations, are responding to travelers appetites with increased offerings.
"Asia is such a fascinating continent," said Mark Grundy, chief operating officer at Avanti Destinations.
"All of our destinations offer intriguing and new experiences for American visitors. Rich in history, with sublime cuisine, incredible architecture, both ancient and modern. Stunning beaches, jungles, ultra-modern cities, historic towns and picturesque rivers: It's no wonder Asia is the fastest-growing continent for the long-haul exotic traveler from America."
Next year, Avanti Destinations will add more than 25 new activities, more than 50 new hotels and eight new itineraries for clients in the 2018-2019 season, all highlighted in an 84-page glossy brochure, "Essence of Asia." The journeys are completely customizable and include local, private guides in most destinations.
In order to get in on these exclusive journeys, booking through a travel agent is a must.
"Avanti is now entering our third year in Asia," said Grundy. "Travel agents are discovering from firsthand experience that our service standards in Asia are high, consistent with those in our European and Latin American itineraries, tours, excursions and other travel products."
Avanti spends a lot of time ensuring that agents have the tools they need to sell its products.
"We have developed specific marketing campaigns for our consortia partners that focus on the 14 destinations we now offer," Grundy added.
One of the highlights in Avanti's Asia portfolio is the country of Japan.
"Japan continues to be very successful for Avanti, as a result of both strong joint promotions with the Japanese National Tourism Offices and creative and flexible vacations that we have custom-designed for agents' clients," said Grundy.
One of the reasons Japan continues to gain popularity is its cultural identity.
"Japan is the most recognizable Asian country among American travelers. It is certainly the most Western and easiest to navigate with its excellent transportation system," Grundy noted. "All in all, it is a great destination for the first-time visitor to Asia."
Other highlights coming to Avanti are more opportunities for authentic dining, active travel and engagement with local culture.
Food tours are of particular importance to Avanti's growing product line.
"Interest in food and cooking has been growing steadily, so we are constantly adding new products that agents can suggest to their independent travel clients," said Megan Ball, lead product manager, Avanti Destinations, in regards to research the tour operator conducted on what clients liked most about the culinary experience.
But Avanti also digs deeper into each destination to get to the heart of the culture.
"Hard-to-find, authentic experiences are our specialty on all continents," said Harry Dalgaard, Avanti's president and CEO.
Travel agents can take advantage of a bonus commission $50 for each booking of $1,500 or more made before February 28, 2018, for travel taking place October 1, 2017-March 31, 2018.
Janeen Christoff caught the travel bug while living in London, England. After two years on the road, she settled in Los Angeles...
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