Success in the travel industry is based on trust, knowledge and value. It doesn’t matter if you are a consumer looking for a travel professional or a professional looking for a tour operator—these are the three critical traits that will define your success. If you are a travel professional looking for a supplier that exemplifies all three, look no further than Homeric Tours.
Homeric Tours was founded in 1969 by Nikos Tsakanikas and still remains the same family owned, financially stable tour operator today as it was nearly 40 years ago. While Homeric Tours is undisputedly the number one tour operator to Greece, the past 40 years has seen them expand into other areas and has them looking to the future with a keen eye for what the travel professional and their clients are seeking.
While Greece is the foundation of Homeric, due to client and agent demand alike, they have expanded to other destinations including Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Morocco, Spain, Portugal, Jordan, Hungary, Austria, Croatia and Russia. Looking to the future, separate Christian and Jewish Heritage tours are planned along with the addition of more cruise products run by local cruise companies but outfitted and designed for the American visitor.
Moving over 75,000 passengers a year (65,000 to Greece alone) is no small feat and Homeric leaves nothing to chance. Of their worldwide staff of nearly 200; 68% are based in the destinations they serve. These numbers do not include the tour guides (who are hand selected independent contractors) but actual employees based in the destinations to handle the needs (and problems) of your clients. While Allstate may have the trademark, your clients are in good hands with Homeric.
Homeric is a proud member of the U.S. Tour Operators Association (USTOA) and their President, Nikos Tsakanikas has served as the USTOA Chairman for four years and currently has a seat on their advisory Board.
John A. Klados is the Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Homeric Tours. When we spoke, it became evident that Homeric was a lot different than most. John summed it up pretty well, “Agents and clients are more comfortable with a tour operator that has the trust and recognition for specific destinations. We do not claim to know the world, but for the destinations we represent, we live and breathe them.” Most of Homeric’s employees have actually lived in the destinations and know the areas intimately which adds considerable value to their packages. Klados adds, “Homeric has been financially sound from day one. We have never been sold, bought, gone under and then come back to life again. We are solid if nothing else.”
But while Homeric should be your most obvious choice for these destinations, I will let you in on a little secret. Their air consolidation desk is fantastic. With contracts with over a dozen carriers, they are usually able to offer fantastic consolidated fares to all destinations worldwide and are not limited to the destinations of their expertise.
Homeric will work with all agencies on a sliding commission scale and will honor any consortia levels. Simply give them a call to set up your agency. They are working on a dedicated travel agent site and it should be rolled out by January 2009. The site will be loaded with the tools you need to effectively sell the region.
Trust, knowledge, and value. Any one of these will serve you well. With Homeric Tours, you have all three and a winning combinaton.
You can contact Homeric Tours toll free at 800-223-5570 or on the web at www.homerictours.com.