Over the past several months, we have provided several travel counselors the opportunity to experience an international education trip. Frank Pratas, our Director of International and VIP/Executive Services, says, “International travel experience is a great way to grow the knowledge and skills of our international travel counselors.” Below is a recap of our travel counselors’ recent international education trip to China.
This past July eight of our employee-owners took a trip of a lifetime to Shanghai and Beijing, learning more about travel to China. They experienced the top-notch service of some of our suppliers and partners, gaining valuable insight for their travelers looking to head to these destinations.
During the trip, these travel counselors visited Ctrip, our Radius Travel® partner in China, along with the suppliers below. The trip was sponsored by American Airlines, China Southern and China Eastern, Fairmont Hotels and Swissôtel. Below, we recap the travel counselors’ highlights with each supplier they encountered.
American Airlines and China Eastern
Thanks to American Airlines, our employee-owners were fortunate enough to fly business class. Through this experience they can better assist their travelers in determining if AA business class is right for them, with perks such as automatic shading of windows to simulate night and relax the body, a full range of snacks available during the entire flight and Bose noise cancelling headphones.
Once in China, our employee-owners used China Eastern for their regional flights, the second largest airline in China. With excellent cabin service, on-time flights and expanding domestic and international markets, this airline poses a great option for getting around China and beyond.
During their travels, the travel counselors visited the main hub of Air China, Hainan Airlines and China Southern, Beijing Airport. A huge, modern airport, full of amenities, duty-free shopping and restaurants, this clean and efficient airport is an easy to navigate international hub. A tip from our employee-owners for international travelers—security checkpoints can be slow and busy; arrive to the airport with more than enough time to get to your gate!
While in the area, our employee-owners explored the offices of Ctrip, our Radius partner, and the largest provider of travel services in China. Formed in 1999 and focused on technology and investment, our travel counselors commented what really stood out to them was the community feel of the office and happiness of those working there. Ctrip provides its corporate clients a vast inventory, big data, customized booking and reporting applications and a comprehensive mobile app. All this, and more, adds up to why we are so proud to have them as a Radius partner.
With all the traveling, our employee-owners needed a place to rest their heads—and AccorHotels answered by putting our travel counselors up at the Fairmont Shanghai, Swissotel Shanghai and Fairmont Beijing. The epitome of luxury, this brand is known for their spacious rooms and superb amenities. During their stays, our employee-owners raved about the attentive and friendly staff, excellent restaurants and the location of each property.
Real-life interactions with our vendors are crucial to the training and education of our travel counselors. All in all, our employee-owners had an outstanding time in China and gained valuable insight to best serve their international travelers. Taking a trip to China soon? Be sure to take a peek at these tips for traveling to China on business.