Interview By: Andy Ogg, Editor and Marketing Director – Travel Professional NEWS®
Interviewing: Barry Karp, Vice President and Co-Founder – ShoreTrips
First off, thank you very much for the time today to catch up!
It’s always a pleasure speaking with you, Andy. Everyone at ShoreTrips loves TPN. We’re avid followers. Keep it up!
With 2019 nearing in, what are you seeing as some of ShoreTrips most popular excursions for the next year?
Let’s talk ‘Paris’, Andy… first there is our newest tour in Paris – PRIVATE ST. GERMAIN WALKING TOUR WITH FRENCH LUNCH. The guide is an older gentleman who has lived a block from Les Deux Magots for many years. He is a great conversationalist with a passion for sharing his taste for life’s finest pleasures–literature, film, and, of course, French cuisine! This day has it all and begins with a stroll through the St. Germain neighborhood. Rather than a standard “see it all” walking tour, this is leisurely paced with a focus on the longtime social and cultural importance of the neighborhood.
Another really popular excursion is our BLUE LAGOON AND REYKJANE’S VOLCANI C WONDERS – PRIVATE TOUR. No trip to Iceland would be complete without a visit to the Blue Lagoon. Before heading to this famous attraction, we will first explore the unique geological qualities of the Reykjanes Peninsula. A UNESCO Global Geopark, this area is home to diverse geothermal and volcanic activities. Here you will see everything from boiling mud pools to lava fields and volcanic craters.
Everyone’s exciting about this tour – HOBBITON AND GEYSERS – THE BEST FROM TAURANGA. Clients are whisked away to Hobbiton for a picturesque tour of the private farmland that is home to the completely rebuilt set featured in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies. A 2-hour tour of the grounds will have you desperate to re-watch the movies and look for all the little details you were able to explore up close and personal.
They all sound wonderful! Can you share a bit about ShoreTrips and how Travel Professionals can utilize your services?
First and foremost, travel advisors can now book better and smaller shore excursions and day activities for their cruisers… and earn a nice commission doing so. Agents may create and send out a TripPlanner of the excursions they are recommending. Agents can also register their cruisers with us and when they do so, we marry the travelers to the agent. This marriage lasts forever. That means if the traveler ever bypasses the agent, we will inform the agent of the purchase and we will protect the agent’s commission.
Advisors are welcome to send their travelers directly to us. We’ll work with their client, advising them of appropriate excursions and even making their clients reservations for them.
We always protect the agent-client relationship. We are always ready to help in any way possible to make the client experience the best ever.
Do you have any “new release” excursions planned for the upcoming year?
Watch out, agents! We are working on the South Pacific – including Tahiti and Fiji – to compliment our already established New Zealand and Australia product. Give us another month or so to get these new tours up and running. Additionally, we are expanding our US offerings.
Overall, what has been the 3 destinations that ShoreTrips has seen an increase in over years past?
I wish I could limit this to just 3 but since travel advisors are flocking to us, I would have to say that more than 1000 of our excursions have seen increases. I should add, however that no matter how many people purchase a particular excursion on a particular day, we will always keep the group size to a fraction of what the cruise lines go out with. As an example, the cruise lines’ excursion to StingRay City in Grand Cayman is conducted on 150 passenger barges. We, instead, run our tours in cabin cruisers… each holding about 20 passengers. In the off season, we may only run one or two but during Easter vacation, we may run all 6 boats… anchoring them away from each other and far away from the ship’s vessels. Our prices are the same as the packed cruise ship excursions.
Travel Professionals reading this may have some questions on how to maximize their sales with ShoreTrips, is there any training or educational opportunities available for agents looking to learn more?
Sam Karp is our newly appointed Director of Training. Agents should contact him when they are looking for ways to reach more of their clients. Sam maintains a very large library of webinars – some as short as 3 minutes – that will deal with specific marketing tools such as ‘How to Create a TripPlanner’ and “Getting the Whole Group Booked”. Sam can be reached at 414-964-2100 and at Sam@ShoreTrips.com.
Thank you so much for your time Barry!