A lot has changed with ALBATours since the company was established 38 years ago but perhaps never so much as it has for the 2015 season, with an expanded product portfolio rolling-out in the marketplace.
Specifically, ALBA has added to its traditional Italy-centered holiday options by introducing Greece, Turkey, Israel and Ireland, plus a Southern Hemisphere program as well.
The reimagined direction has been the focal point of a road show that is continuing into Ontario after a few stops in Western Canada throughout the last week of February.
Firdosh Bulsara, vice-president commercial, ALBA, says that the changes are not only opening up options to loyal ALBA travellers who are now looking for something new, but are also introducing the brand to a broader client-base across the country.
In the past, ALBA programs were largely Ontario-centric, Bulsara says, but the new approach caters to travellers from any region of Canada; prices are listed as air-inclusive from Toronto plus an option for Tour or Cruise & Tour only, which means flights can be booked separately for those originating from other gateways.
This added flexibility is carried on throughout the ALBA experience, as the tour operator can help arrange hotels and excursions for guests who opt to arrive in-destination early. In addition, each tour begins with a free first day so all participants can arrive at their leisure. Accommodations within the ALBA portfolio are four- or four-star plus, or otherwise best available in the more remote destinations.
The expanded Europe program is offering three escorted tours in Ireland; long-stay options in Portugal; three itineraries in Turkey; sacred and historic tours in Israel; and a Christian Europe tour that takes in holy sites and historic cities in Portugal, Spain, France and Italy.
ALBATours’ 2015-2016 Cruise Collection brochure features options in the Western and Eastern Mediterranean, the Greek Islands and Transatlantic crossings, and in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
Together with long-time partner MSC Cruises, this year’s collection of cruise itineraries will sail aboard MSC Divina, MSC Fantasia, MSC Musica, MSC Poesia and MSC Splendida, on a variety of departures that explore the Eastern and Western Mediterranean, as well as itineraries that visit various ports-of-call in other parts of Europe, a 10-day, nine-night Arabian Grand Voyage that visits Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Khor al Fakkan, Muscat and Khasab, and various Transatlantic crossings.
In the Greek Islands, ALBA has introduced sailings with Celestyal Cruises, with itineraries that pair land touring with three-, four- and seven-night cruises.
The new Southern Hemisphere program in South America and South Africa is complete with touring in the Galapagos Islands, Machu Picchu, the Amazon Rainforest, Victoria Falls and more.
Featuring air-inclusive packages as well as land-only options in South America, ALBATours’ program covers Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Peru, Argentina and Brazil.
There are also a number of great early booking offers featured throughout the brochure, with savings of up to $620 per couple.
As for South Africa, tours include Cape Town, Oudtshoorn, Knysna, Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg, among others. The 12-day, 11-night South African Gourmet Delights itineary starts in Cape Town before moving on to Cape Point where guests explore the wine region of Stellenbosch and the Cape Winelands, Overberg and Hermanus, before heading to Johannesburg and up to Kruger National Park.
For travel agents
Incentivizing travel partners to consider the new product portfolio, ALBA is offering 13 per cent commission on all touring up to the end of March, plus 20-times the Loyalty Points.
Bulsara adds that travel agents can white label tours and departures to market directly to their clients, and sales managers are available to host consumer presentations to help partners win business.
For more information, visit ALBAToursAgent.com.