An interview with Bo Adams, Owner of City Escape Holidays
City Escape Holidays was founded in 1991 by Bo Adams and has since created and marketed City Packages and Special Event Packages to major cities and events around the United States and Canada. Mr. Adams has worked in the travel industry since 1969 and has been the Vice President of Supercities along with many other prestigious positions.
TRO: Please describe some of your more popular packages.
BA: New York City is by far our most popular destination. We package up all the exciting activities, such as sightseeing, top Broadway Shows, great restaurants, world-class museums and even tickets to a Yankees baseball game. Guests can stay for a minimum of 2 nights and stay as long as they want. Our most popular stays are for three-night long weekends, such as:
New York City Plan 3A includes three nights’ hotel stay, one top Broadway show two-day Gray Line Hop-on/off sightseeing tour, dinner at a top restaurant.
Branson is always in our top five best-sellers. It is not just another Nashville, like many people think. The town has nearly 100 wonderful theaters and offers about any kind of entertainment you would ever want, such as country, variety, tribute shows, top name stars, magic and even the Shanghai Circus. Attractions, such as the Titanic Exhibit, Silver Dollar City and Ripley’s are also available.
In addition to our 24 City Packages, we also have 22 Special Events packages. Our most popular by far is our Rose Parade package.
TRO: Are your packages customizable?
BA: Our packages are very customizable. We always have a number of 3 and 4 night packages, with different included features on each. These pre-packaged plans are published in our brochure and appear at http://www.cityescapes.com/, but if they are not exactly what the customer wants, we are happy to work with the travel agent to get a completely custom-tailored program.
TRO: Many travelers wish to engage in a ‘local’ experience when visiting a new city, how does City Escapes cater to this?
BA: City Escape Holidays works with excellent sightseeing companies in all of our 24 city-destinations and they all include “local flavor” on their half-day and day trips. Also, most of our packages allow for free time so that guests can do some personal exploration of our cities.
TRO: City Escapes sells its packages solely through travel agencies. How do you foster your relationships with the agents and/or agencies?
BA: We market our products exclusively through travel agencies and have so since our inception. We like dealing with travel pros who are well-traveled and already have a good feel for our destinations. However, we are pleased to spend as much time as necessary to educate our less-traveled agent friends as to the ins-and-outs of our destinations. We widely promote in our brochures, on-line and in our advertisements that travel agents are the best source for expert planning and trouble-free reservations for all leisure travel needs.
TRO: How can travel agents become involved with your company?
BA: Travel agents can become involved with City Escape Holidays by registering with us at our website. When this is done, we automatically send them a supply of our brochures. Our commissions start at 11% and go higher, based on production and whether the agency is a member of one of our seven consortia partners.
TRO: Do you have any educational or informational programs to teach travel agents about your products?
BA: We also offer independent Learning Trips, at a reduced rate, so agents can experience our destinations just as their customers would. We try to pack our brochures with a lot of information that tends to answer many of the questions they might have about our products.
TRO: Do you have any advice for agents who wish to market your products?
BA: It seems as though travel agents are concentrating on selling cruises, two week trips to Europe and one week getaways to Hawaii. We encourage and advise travel agents to consider City Packages and Special Events programs, to add some variety to their travel product portfolio. With over 40 products in our line-up, agents can choose from top cities like New York, Washington D.C., Branson and San Francisco to those “once-in-a-lifetime” packages events like Rose Parade, Super Bowl, Indy 500, and the Kentucky Derby.
Travel agents wishing to learn more about City Escape Holidays can visit their website at www.cityescapes.com or call 800-222-0022.