May 17, 2010- Milford, Massachusetts – Karen McCrink, Vacation Travel Manager for Atlas Travel International, recently returned from a 10-day trip to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Cape Town and Johannesburg where she was a special guest of several major travel industry suppliers, including Arabian Adventures, Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, Big Five Tours & Expeditions, Lion Sands Private Game Reserve, and South Africa Tourism.
“The travel landscape is changing so rapidly and dramatically,” said Ms. McCrink. “If you’re not up on the latest developments in the marketplace, not only will your business suffer, your clients will not get the most out of their vacation and participating in these Ensemble Travel Group meetings with other travel executives around the U.S. helps.”
Ms. McCrink also participated in an “adopt-a-child” program while there. Her donations will provide a child from a low income family with schooling for a year and two meals a day. The school is sponsored by the Lion Sands Game Reserve. Travelers interested in adding a charitable aspect to their vacation should ask their agent about what options are available to them.
Ms. McCrink was joined by nine other members of Ensemble Travel Group, a professional organization of nearly 900 travel agencies in the U.S. and Canada. Many of Atlas’ special travel products and exclusive perks are due to its affiliation with this leading North American travel powerhouse.
In addition to experiencing these emerging destinations first-hand, Ms. McCrink participated in a series of strategic luxury and marketing meetings focused on social media, agent specialization, travel trends, and attracting the untapped customer base.
Among the five-star properties visited during the trip were Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, and the world’s tallest hotel, Burj Al Arab, in Dubai; Table Bay Hotel, Twelve Apostles, Grand Roche, and Taj Cape Town in and around Cape Town; and The Westcliff in Johannesburg. Also while in South Africa, a two-night stay at The River Lodge of Lion Sands in Sabi Sands Game Reserve featured four game drives highlighted by very close encounters with leopards, lions, cape buffalo, elephants, and rhinos.
“If you plan on taking a safari it’s important to keep in mind just how remote you are,” added Ms. McCrink. “While some in our tour were able to get phone and internet access, it was sporadic. Travelers need to be prepared for that. Also, it is important to remember that this safari may not be exactly like the images some travelers have in their minds of what a safari is. We were actually driving over tall grass in our Jeep and carving out new paths on this trip, which could surprise some.”
This trip is one of many that Atlas executives and agents have made over the years so they can get a better feel for the kind of travel they are selling to their customers. Atlas travel agents have an average of 29 years of travel experience and have spent time visiting many of the destinations to which they sell.
Said Ms. McCrink, “When you arrive at your destinations in both Dubai and South Africa you are greeted with open arms. So many people also speak English that getting around is not a problem. However, a traveler should tell their agent what kind of experience they are looking for as there is a big difference between a safari and spending nights in a luxury hotel in Dubai.”
For more information about Dubai, South Africa, and other vacation options, contact Atlas Travel International at (508) 478-8626 or visit the travel agency’s website at www.atlastravel.com.
Celebrating more than 20 years in business, Atlas Travel International serves more than 500 corporations nationally and throughout the world and more than 15,000 vacation travelers. Atlas is honored as a leading business in New England, in the travel industry and is a recent Ernst & Young Regional Entrepreneur of the Year award winner. Additionally, the company provides meeting and incentive services as well as luxury vacation planning. For more information about Atlas, please visit www.AtlasTravel.com or by calling 800-362-8626.