Cory McGillivray, Globus Family of Brands
Globus, one of the world’s most venerable tour companies, has made significant strides in relaunching tours and developing new programs designed to appeal to travelers in a post-pandemic environment.
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In this edition of Take 5, we chat with the channel marketing manager for Globus, Cory McGillivray. Asked if they have a full back-to-touring plan in place, Cory states that it’s a three-fold process addressing these questions:
- Operationally, do we feel we can operate effectively?
- Is the demand there?
- Is the experience on tour what we want it to be?
“We feel like we’re in a fantastic spot operationally,” said McGillivray. “We can begin to travel as soon as people are ready. Demand is there for 2021, and there’s even some for the third and fourth quarter of this year. The question is, can the experience be what we promised? Are places open? Will museums be allowed to let our guests in? Will we be able to share those experiences? We’re not quite there yet.”
In June, Globus introduced a new product line called Undiscovered, which touches off-the-beaten path destinations across the globe. “People always wanted to have that unique experience, away from crowds,” said McGillivray. Tours are designed for repeat travelers that have traveled to the capital cities already and seek a new experience. This naturally caters to a bit smaller group size.
Speaking of small groups, Globus announced in July that all group departures to exotic destinations—South America, Asia, South Pacific and Africa—will travel with an average of 20 passengers. They’ve done this in specific destinations in the past, and this policy shift with exotic destinations has been met with a fantastic response from travelers and travel advisors.
McGillivray also pointed out that private touring is a tremendous opportunity in Europe. “You can take any Globus itinerary and make it a private experience,” he said. They anticipate even more interest and think this presents a unique opportunity for their advisor partners to promote exclusivity without the operational hassles that normally accompany private group tours.
He expects the firm’s Avalon product line to come back stronger than ever. “Avalon Waterways is a safe way to travel. Because of the product, that we control so much of the onboard and onshore experience and the levels of accountability we hold ourselves and our vendors to,” McGillivray said. “They feel safe, it’s a contained environment.”
Globus is seeing an uptick with repeat river cruisers who understand the value and safety of river cruising, and the introduction of the Avalon Assurance program provides travelers with additional peace of mind.
While past ocean cruise clients may be a bit hesitant to board a ship next year, for those customers looking for a more controlled experience, Avalon expects to see them shift towards river cruising. The line’s portfolio of product—from four days to 24—provides ample opportunity.
During this time, there’s been a natural transition to a more digital workflow within the company. They’ve been able to digitize some of their processes, whether that’s e-brochures, the guest check-in process or how travelers receive documents.
McGillivray advises group travel planners to trust their relationships as they reboot their own travel programs. “Often advisors can feel alone. Maybe you worked in brick & mortar and now you’re working at home. Rely on your suppliers. There’s support out there.”
The company has also introduced a new Peace of Mind policy for all 2021 bookings. This plan is attached to all 2021 bookings for all brands, giving travelers the flexibility to change their vacation, destination, year, or even brand to anything else in the firm’s vast portfolio. It lets travelers book today, and not worry. Learn more at https://www.avalonwaterways.com/peace-of-mind/
For group bookings, contact 866.821.2752