Latin Trails is a Destination Management Company, based in Quito, Ecuador, focused on inbound travelers to Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, and Peru. They specialize in offering custom planned trips, with a focus on delivering unique experiences, including boutique hotels and cruises.
Known for their 24/7 concierge service and crafting unique itineraries in the Andes, the Pacific Coast and the Amazon, the company also has a specialty for popular sites like Machu Picchu, Cusco, Lake Titicaca, Nazca lines, and the Amazon rainforest.
The CEO is Marcel Perkins, who took his first trip to Ecuador when his family was living in New Jersey, and he was less than a year old. Perkins’ family moved to Quito when he was seven, and after traveling the globe, he settled in Quito, starting Latin Trails in 2002.
FTA: What do you think is the greatest challenge your company has attracting U.S. originating travelers, and convincing them to book a tour with you?
Perkins: Sometimes price is an issue; we have to stay competitive in the market and it is challenging because each company´s reality is different. The other important aspect is the dates-itineraries connection. In Galapagos we have set up dates for our cruises with different itineraries, so passengers have to choose the itinerary according to departure dates. In some cases, it is hard to find the perfect combination.
FTA: How do you work with U.S.-based travel advisors to maximize sales?
Perkins: We help travel agents with tailor-made itineraries, quotes and suggest places in our destinations according to the clients’ interests and budget. As destination experts we also provide the right guide to find the perfect plan for each need, in collaboration with our partners. But it’s up to the travel advisor to first source the family’s needs and desires. Also in order to bring advisors closer to our destination, we offer webinars to help them know how to sell our destinations.
FTA: What sets your company apart from other companies that could guide American travelers to South America?
Perkins: I think it’s our passion for these destinations and developing tourism in a sustainable fashion We are always looking for the best ways to show visitors the authentic experiences and places in the region, to give families the opportunity to interact with local people, not just those of us who work in the tourist industry. Latin Trails is different because it is not limited to offer the best rates or show just iconic places from each destination, what we look after is to offer authentic experiences.
FTA: Who do you find to be the ideal client for your company?
Perkins: Our ideal clients are enthusiastic people ready for adventure who value the essence of each place, and appreciate comfort at the same time. Our clients are people who want to learn from a new culture, ready to discover and get amazed, they like to be on the move and then at the end of the day feel at home and relaxed.
FTA: Where do you see your company developing new tours or offerings to meet the future wants and needs of travelers to your country and region?
Perkins: The destinations we manage offer possibilities that could be developed in depth. Many kinds of travelers look for uniqueness, so we are constantly looking for interesting initiatives that make the difference. The best way to keep developing new ideas is to stay actively engaged with places and communities, staying curious and integrating each place’s reality to our offers.
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