The launch of a new around the world “ultimate famil” under the banner of Handpicked Journeys had some scratching their heads about whether it was the soft launch of a new tour operator.
But the partnership between Bench and Chimu Adventures is merely a marketing platform for the two regional tour specialists.
“There was a misunderstanding that Handpicked was a company but in fact it was a collaboration in order to promote both destinations,” Bench International managing director Martin Edwards said.
The first initiative of the partnership is offering agents a round the world famil this year, combining Africa with South America.
South Africa Airways has a direct flight from Johannesburg to Sao Paulo, so the link has been easy to make.
Edwards flagged a trade event to be held in the coming month with more information on the inaugural famil and how agents can secure their place.
Last year alone Bench ran ten trade famils, and the chance to merge two destinations came from a discussion between Edwards and Chimu Adventures’ Greg Carter over a beer before a CATO meeting.
“We’ve had a tough year so now we want to pull out all the stops to encourage people to book Africa,” Edwards said.