Refreshed logo, brand values and new tour styles – Trafalgar has undergone a bit of a renaissance over the last seven years that’s boosted the company’s business, and in turn, helped Agents sell more.

Speaking to KarryOn, the brand’s Chief Executive, Gavin Tollman, over the last few years Agent partners have seen an “explosion” in sales, which was attributable to the brand’s transformation.

Tollman said while the brand pre-2009 wasn’t “doing anything wrong”, it did need a bit of an adjustment to become “relevant in today’s ever-changing world”.

This involved talking to travellers to see what they like and want from the company, evolving their image to ensure they’re reaching travellers from all walks of life and more importantly, steering away from the concept of group travel to a more personalised offering.

“We no longer take out groups, we take out a number of individuals to the same destination and it’s that importance of dealing with that degree of personalisation or individualism that has been transformational in what we do.”

Gavin Tollman, Trafalgar Chief Executive

Another key area of change for the business revolved around utilising both their knowledge and their ‘knows’ to offer guests a whole other element on their trips, or as their referred to in the brand’s Europe & Britain 2017 brochure, ‘Insider Experiences’.

Tollmar explained that these ‘Insider Experiences’ give Trafalgar those highly desired ‘bragging rights’ through exclusive experiences such as a private tour of the Vatican or Gladiator training in Rome.

It’s the little touches that the brand believes is steering travellers away from the competition and onto Trafalgar itineraries.

“Travel is all about needing balance between doing the expected as well as creating the bragging rights,” Tollman said.

“Travellers want the expected like the Colosseum in Rome or the Eiffel Tower in Paris, but they also want the unexpected.”

Gavin Tollman, Trafalgar Chief Executive

“The idea is on every itinerary there are unique things that you’re going to do and it varies considerably by destination.

“It might be breaking bread with locals, going into a market, there’s so many different opportunities and each one of them gives you a greater insight into that destination. It makes you feel privileged to have that opportunity and be in that place.”

We flicked through the operator’s Europe and Britain 2017 Europe brochure and found these seven ‘unexpected’ experiences:


1. Train like a gladiator in Rome


Why learn about the gladiators at school when you can give the kids a gladiator training experience in Rome? There’s no better history lesson.


2. Explore the Vatican after hours


This is actually a thing and Trafalgar can make it happen. The tour company is taking its guests into one of the most visited sites around the world well after all the other tourists have departed. Oh, and they get to have dinner there too.


3. And see parts that aren’t open to the public


In addition to an almost private viewing, Trafalgar’s Great Italian Cities itinerary offers guests the chance to visit up the spiral staircase designed by architect Donato Bramante – a part of the Vatican that’s not open to the public.


4. Take a private tour of Austria’s largest museum


Keeping up with those private tours, the company also offers intimate viewings of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Austria. It’s the largest museum in the country and has an extensive ‘Royal Collection’.


5. Stay in authentic accommodation


Travellers can spend the night in one of Europe’s oldest castles like Ireland’s Ashford Castle built during the 13th century. Or there’s a timeless stay at the Mercure Shakespeare located close to everything Shakespeare. OR stay on board the largest ship to ever be built in the Netherlands, the SS Rotterdam.

Trafalgar handpicks properties that not only reflect the local destination but also offer a little heritage with a touch of charm, unique settings and ambiance.


6. Dine with actual local families


From the Klaushofer family in Austria to the Wood Family and their 15th century historical farm in Scotland, right through to a traditional Italian meal with the Landi family at their home near Siena.

Trafalgar understands that food is important to travellers, but in particular those authentic dishes


7. Travel with a Trafalgar Director


How does Trafalgar know it’s guests are having a great time? They send staff to experience the product for themselves during actual tours. They speak to passengers and get their feedback, they then return to the office and make changes where needed.

Additionally, during the ‘Best of Morocco’ tour, a Trafalgar Travel Director teams up with a Moroccan National Guide to personally take guests to experience the country’s rich history, culture and more.

Have you checked out the new Trafalgar brochure yet?