The operator sent 130,000 copies of the US brochure to agents in time for the peak selling period. Product manager Rachel McAneny, who heads a team of six covering the US, said: “In the first week of peaks we were inundated with enquiries, and are delighted with a conversion rate of enquiries to bookings of almost 15%.
“We anticipated a positive response from the trade, who have been asking us to ‘go west’ for years, but the level of enquiries and bookings for our first month of operation has been way above our expectations,” she added.
The 132-page brochure features more than 140 properties as well as a range of self-drive options. It retains the operator’s ‘coffee table’ style, being slightly bigger than A4.
Among itineraries are California’s Pacific Coast Highway, Route 66 and New England in the Fall. Also included are favourites like Orlando, New York and Las Vegas as well as upmarket resorts on Florida’s coasts, lodges in national parks and ranch holidays. Bespoke options include tours through the Deep South, with stops including music destinations like Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans and Alabama.
McAneny said bookings had been “eclectic to say the least”, ranging from straightforward New York city breaks to complex 10-centre coast-to-coast itineraries, fly-drives through Virginia and Washington DC and boutique stays in Florida’s best beach resorts.