Sightseeing and activity specialist Viator has launched a broad range of new products and destinations for the 2005 season. Among the highlights are sightseeing tours in Shanghai and Beijing, marking Viator’s first foray into the China market; over 50 new tour offerings in Southern Africa , including Namibia; and new offerings in popular destinations throughout the US and Europe, including Hawaii, Orlando, New Orleans, New York, London, Venice and Copenhagen.
The expanded product range is immediately available through any of Viator’s 1,000-plus distribution partners, including Hotwire, Priceline, Travelocity and Lastminute.com, and its own consumer site, Viator.com.
Discussing the launch, Viator CEO Rod Cuthbert said that while many of the new destinations were planned for some time, others were a result of consumer demand that initially surprised the company. “The best example of that was the Royal Wedding in Denmark, which focused attention on Copenhagen. The TV images of the city obviously got a lot of people thinking, and the upcoming Hans Christian Andersen anniversary added to the demand. We’ve put together a range of tours there that are fun and informative, and we think our distribution partners and travelers alike will welcome this expanded range,” he said.
Cuthbert said the launch of a Viator range in major Chinese destinations marks an important step for the company. “A lot of our focus this year will be on Asian destinations, particularly China, Japan and India. Finding short-duration tours and sightseeing in these destinations is a real challenge for travelers, particularly when travel agents are currently focused on selling multi-day excursions. Our customers are more comfortable with short-duration tours than with being locked into these extended itineraries. We’ve put together a good range in two major destinations, and we plan to expand that into other Chinese cities.” The company’s tour offerings in Japan and India will launch in Spring, 2005.
The company also announced that it has made a number of changes to its supplier lineup in Europe. Discussing the changes, Cuthbert said “Our customers provide us with a steady stream of feedback, and in a few cases we decided to make changes to ensure we maintained the highest level of customer service possible. We’re particularly pleased to have added Evan Evans Sightseeing in the UK; they’re a company that shares our views on quality of service and their tour range is exceptional,” he said.