Living A Little With The Travcorp Team
with Suzanne Christie

(l-r): Cris David, President, Insight Vacations; Jeff Element, President, Travel Corporation Canada &

Doug Patterson, Trafalgar Tours

Brad Ford, President, Contiki Holidays

Colin Farrell

Travel Corporation Canada President Jeff Element welcomed industry colleagues to a reception last week to celebrate the results of their recent survey which revealed that Canadians do really want to “Live a Little” and that for almost half of us, that means taking a trip to Europe. The parent company to coach tour brands Insight Vacations, Trafalgar Tours and Contiki Holidays commissioned a Harris Decima poll in late May to determine if we want a European trip, and what we really want from it.

Topping the list of must see countries was Italy followed closely by France, the U.K., Greece and Spain. Personally, I would have selected the “all of the above” option.

I don’t know how surprising the results are, but they are good news for the Travcorp folks. Their product skews heavily toward Europe and their tours enjoy a 99% rating for “would recommend to a friend,” accounting for a sizeable chunk of their growth in first timers on European tours.

From the poll, Travcorp also determined that they’re on the right track with their Insight brand shift to more regionally based tours. The adult demographic is showing a decided preference for more in depth itineraries and they relish some free time to explore a bit on their own.

By contrast, the younger folks still want to cover as much territory as possible in their allowable time frame. Contiki Holidays itineraries tend to provide just that with the emphasis on a “more holiday, less hassle” approach.

Trafalgar is finding that their demographic is skewing younger – average age now being 46 – predominately because of the growing appeal of family and multi-generational touring.

It’s just good business practice to keep tabs on statistical shifts in customer preferences and adapting your product accordingly. So, we’re wondering if Insight, Trafalgar & Contiki are going to be making some changes to their tour director cohort to reflect the desires of Canadians for their “ideal” European guide to provide a little Livin’ La Vida Loca. Canadian men polled predictably selected Penelope Cruz as their ideal tour leader.

Canadian women revealed a penchant for being a little naughty… or depending on how you interpret the data, very naughty. Offered the choice of: Alexander Skarsgard, Colin Farrell, Daniel Craig, Arnold Schwarzenegger or Javier Bardem as their most desirable guide, Colin Farrell came out on top.

I would have selected “all of the above”.

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