Trafalgar has relaunched its Costsaver program as a standalone brand, and is working hard to get the message out to the trade.
Although the Costsaver program has been around for more than 10 years as part of the Trafalgar program, its proposition has, until now, been a little problematic for agents, managing director Matthew Cameron-Smith admitted.
“It’s a brand we’ve operated for quite a while but feedback from agents was they found it quite hard to articulate the difference between Costsaver and Trafalgar,” he told Travel Weekly.
“We believe it deserves an identity in its own right. We’ve probably been guilty in the past of not talking about it enough.”
As a result, the company has given Costsaver its own brochure, website and messaging to make it clearer, although it does still bear the tagline “operated by Trafalgar”.
“While Trafalgar is still all about the experience, Costsaver is all about value – so it’s about value tours without compromise,” he said.
Everything is operated by Trafagar using its branded coaches and its travel directors, but using three and four star hotels instead of the four and five star properties offered by Trafalgar. Some of the inclusions are also different, with fewer meals included.
The price differential is about 30%, with Costsaver starting at $120 per day and Trafalgar up at $220 per day.
“We’re certainly seeing a strong desire for that value based proposition this year,” Cameron-Smith revealed. “The dollar is part of it but it’s also about making Europe more accessible and it’s about people being happy to take a trip that gives them more free time.”
In addition, the itineraries tend to move at a slower pace, generally with more than one night in each destination.
As a result, Costsaver itineraries are proving popular with a slightly younger demographic, with 20% of guests under the age of 40.
“For Trafalgar around 55 is the core whereas Costsaver is probably about seven years younger than that in terms of the core,” Cameron-Smith revealed.
Customers are also being enticed to add a Costsaver trip onto their existing itinerary by the lower price tags, he added.
A social presence has already been established for the Costsaver brand, with awareness to be grown through digital marketing, agent training, famils and campaigns with retail partners including Flight Centre and Helloworld.
“What we’re saying to our consultants is pick it up, have a look at it, see the value that’s on offer,” Cameron-Smith said.