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Solar Tours – More than a Consolidator

Solar Tours began in 1984 as a wholesaler for Foreign Independent Tours (FITs) to Latin America. Due to their success and the relationships they built, expanding into airline consolidation made a lot of sense and Solar became known for their consolidation business. My how times have changed.

Today’s Solar Tours is still that great consolidator for Latin America, but they are so much more. They have taken their extensive FIT background and developed a program for agents not only in Latin America, but in Europe and the Asian-Pacific markets as well. Over the past five years, Solar Tours has invested on growing their business to include other products—one that every agent will love. How helpful would it be to be able to book a multi-destination FIT on one secure website that includes airline consolidator pricing? To Europe? To Asia? To Latin America? Look no further.

In Europe, Solar Tours is now offering a France Charming Properties package, which consists of inns, castles, chateaux and boutique hotels in the countryside of France. They also specialize in Christmas Markets packages, a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the holidays in the best cities of Europe.

For adventurous and outdoorsy clients, Solar Tours offers New Zealand packages & itineraries including Motorhomes/RV, campsites, etc. for travelers to explore New Zealand’s best cities at their own pace and with freedom, however they can have Solar Tours plan all the details as well as self-drive vacations with car rentals, hotel stays, etc.

For clients who wish to explore Latin America, they have Brazil packages for the Rio Carnival in 2012 with stays in Deluxe hotels as well as Exotic Cruises to the glaciers of the Patagonia in Argentina & Chile, cruises to the Amazon in Peru & Brazil, cruises to the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. And more Multi-City & Multi-Country combinations to see the best of Central & South America.

To work with Solar Tours, a partner agency needs to register. However, unlike many “agent only” sites, Solar approves agencies manually after filling out an application. They believe in relationships. They do not require IATAN, but will make the determination based on your individual agency.  With 110 employees located all over the world, they are prepared to handle your calls from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. Just give them a call at 800-388-7652.

One thing about Solar Tours is that they are not in a rush to expand for the sake of expansion. They are managing their growth by designing programs that work well. Once that is accomplished, they move on.  With the proven success of their multi-destination FIT packages, they are now looking to expand their offerings in Asia and to offer some smaller, more intimate properties for their other destinations. Another focus is the more affordable, smaller properties located outside the more traditional city centers.

They are great agency partners. Since the commissions vary between travel types (air, car, hotel) there is not one standard commission; however the commission is displayed to you on their agent only portal. Another huge plus (at least in my book) is that they pay the agency when they are paid. If you purchase a consolidator ticket, a check usually arrives with the confirmation in the mail. When they prepay one of their FIT vacations on behalf of your client, a check accompanies your documents.  Additionally, agencies have the ability to add service fees or an additional mark up on any of their products—but these mark ups are monitored on an individual basis to prevent any unfair pricing.

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