demanding, discerning clients called to inquire about a trip to the
Galapagos with a stay at the
deluxe Royal Palm Hotel in Santa Cruz,
Ecuador, Jolie Goldring knew she needed help. Although Goldring, a
travel consultant at New York-based World Travel Specialists Group, is a
pro at dealing with high-end clients, she had little direct knowledge
about the Galapagos.
She knew enough to contact Marcelo Vazquez, managing director of Far
Hills, N.J.-based Waterstone Marketing, the firm that represented the
Royal Palm Hotel. Vazquez put Goldring in touch with Judy Martin,
president of Latin America Reservations Center (LARC) in Dundee, Fla.,
which reps ground operators and hotels throughout South America.
the Galapagos can be tricky for the uninitiated, said Martin. For
instance, she is insistent that agents send clients to Quito, Ecuador,
the jumping-off point for Galapagos trips, for two nights rather than
one. "Flights can be canceled," said Martin. "If they don't make it on
the first day, they'll make it on the second."
Goldring's clients -- a couple and their 16-year-old son -- were
enthusiastic about the Galapagos vacation, yet skittish about the
prospect of anything going wrong.
The clients ended up booking a weeklong vacation that included two
nights in Quito prior to a stay at the Royal Palm
Hotel, as well as time spent in the [Otavalo] region of
Ecuador. "I was able to offer three
different destinations because she [Martin] explained the values of each
destination and what the clients could do," said Goldring.
Because the clients were cautious, Martin had her ground contacts
monitor the itinerary's progress closely. "I got a report every day from
the hotels and the people carrying them around," she said.
The trio came back with rave reviews, Goldring said, adding that she has
booked two more sets of clients on South America trips -- with Martin's
help, of course.
"Hand in Hand" highlights successful examples of agents and suppliers
working together. Send suggestions to Agent Life editor Claudette Covey
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