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NEWS ROUND-UP Rak-Su surprise Marella guests


The X Factor winners Rak-Su performed for staff and suppliers at an exclusive ceremony to celebrate the launch of Marella Cruises’ first adult-only ship, Marella Explorer 2. Rak-Su (pictured) surprised guests in Malaga


at the weekend by playing a selection of chart-topping hits including I Want You To Freak, Dimelo and Into It, as well as their new upcoming single Yours or Mine. The celebrations continued into the


night with a set from BBC Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw. Following the christening, Marella


Explorer 2 set sail on its maiden voyage this week around the Mediterranean.


Never mind a drink – good sights make a top fam trip


Benjamin Coren


benjamin.coren@ travelweekly.co.uk


Sightseeing, education and practical information trump gourmet food, drinks and nights out on fam trips, according to new trade research.


When asked what makes for a


great fam trip, 90% of agents said seeing local sights, 87% cited the educational aspect and 85% said receiving practical information they could share with customers. The research, carried out by South African Tourism, found only 11% of respondents said lots of drinks made for a more enjoyable fam and 35% said fun nights out. Just under 60% said great meals


make for a more enjoyable trip and64% said they value being on trips with a fun group. Shopping vouchers were rated


equally as highly (80%) as fam trips in terms of agent incentives. Respondents also said incentives influence their recommendations, with 44% saying they have


SURVEY: SAT’s Steve Balderston and Kgomotso Ramothea


“It’s encouraging that these trips are seen as work and not a holiday”


“some” influence and 29% calling incentives a “big” influence. The tourism board gathered


feedback fromfour focus groups, each of six agents, in Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow and Dublin, and surveyed 178 agents. Steve Balderston, trade training specialist at South African Tourism


10 travelweekly.co.uk 4 April 2019


(SAT), said: “The results are interesting. When agents are on fam trips they want to experience the destination. “The educational side is important, but I’d thought great meals would be higher.” Kgomotso Ramothea, marketing


and promotions manager at SAT, added: “We structure the trips so guests can experience it as a consumer would. It’s encouraging that these trips are seen as work and not a holiday, and that seeing the sights and the education is what makes a great fam.”


Travel 2 touring sales soar in three weeks since joining Atas


Sales of Travel 2’s touring holidays have grown by 16% in the three weeks since it joined the Association of Touring & Adventure Suppliers (Atas). The operator said it had seen


year-on-year increases of 19% for self-drive tours, 16% for escorted and independent tours, and 13% for rail tours. It said Canada, Japan, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Australia had performed very strongly in the weeks since it joined Atas. Managing director Lisa McAuley


said: “Becoming a member of Atas was an important decision for us and we have seen a tangible boost in bookings since. “This demonstrates the faith


agents have in selling our products and the trust they have in Atas.” Travel 2 has published a touring


brochure for several years and recently launched its Little Book of Incredible Journeys mini brochure


as a selling tool for agents. › Atas: Special Report, page 16


COMMENT: “Travel gives us the opportunity to learn from different people and places rather than have an insular view of things” Giles Hawke, page 28


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