i was wondering if anyone living in the states could give me some advice on this:
i am studying at a tourism "college" in switzerland and have to do practical training starting from july next year. i'd really like to work with a tour operator in the usa offering trips to europe. i've found some addresses on the internet, but i was wondering if anyone of you knew any outbound touroperator in the states (ny or california would be great.
thank you in advance!
I'm not an expert at this stuff by any means, but here's what I sense to be the case:
Most tour packagers in the US fall into three categories--one that work with the airlines, one that specializes in packages only to specific locations, and one that is an internet travel specialist.
So the largest tour operators in the first category would be groups like American Airlines themselves, or Delta Airlines, or United--or the tour organizers they own.
The second group is people like Ecotours (travel to costa rica or places with ecologically threatened areas, like the amazon, etc.) or Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays (obviously specializing in Hawaii).
The last group are the internet sites that do tours as well as airplane or hotel bookings. The two largest of these are Expedia (located in Bellevue, Washington) and Travelocity (I believe located in San Antonio, Texas). They are massive in terms of how many trips (and vacation packages) they handle. Other sites are those handling just the hotel bookings (like hotels.com). They are smaller, but still do quite a business. And for the airline tickets only there are places like priceline.com or cheap seats.com.
Hope this helps. Enjoy.
When I was a travel agent in CA. I worked with classic custom vacations. They were a high-end tour operator. Pleasant was good one too. Congrats on your practical training session. I'm due next year!