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Published on Tuesday, August 25, 2020

AmericanTours International targets agents in road trip vacation expansion

Road trips are a hot segment in travel right now, as travelers search for wide open space and shun air travel.

AmericanTours International (ATI) is reaching out to the travel trade to tap a growing and potentially huge market for road trips. ATI has launched a travel agent program for its DriveAmerica self-drive tour product.

It is arming travel advisors with the information they need to ensure travelers can make informed choices about their route and destination of choice in a safe manner.

"We update information regarding Covid-19 measures at a local, state and federal level on a weekly basis on our agent portal," Nick Hentschel, COO for AmericanTours International, told TravelMole in a video interview.

Trip planning and booking road trips independently may seem like a simple task but what happens if things go wrong? ATI sees a shift towards booking this kind of vacation with travel agents where they are fully supported, and the trip planning process is fully customizable.

Hotel inventory and attractions can all be built into an itinerary as a single package and booked on one platform.

Hentschel says there is no other solution like this in the market that delivers the required technology and the product in one place.

"Competitors are sourcing through third parties such as OTAs or bedbanks.  So, this is why we are really excited to be launching this."

ATI works together with destinations to design the travel packages, and they can then be fully customized by travel professionals based on client preferences. For example DriveAmerica is now promoting a week-long itinerary to Bryce and Zion in partnership with the National Parks. This can be booked as a fixed itinerary or can be fully adapted.

The DriveAmerica program spans 120 itineraries with plans to add more, and all bookings are commissionable.

Last year American Tours International handled more than 500,000 customers, which were primarily inbound travelers from major markets like the UK, Germany, Australasia and Japan. It has been in the US domestic market for more than 15 years in partnership with AAA.

With the current situation putting a focus on domestic drive vacations, ATI wants to be 'a strong voice and advocate for the travel trade.'

"We realize we have something unique to offer domestic agents to really expose our product to domestic customers," Hentschel added

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