27 Jul Signature Travel Network
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
You’ve probably never heard of the Signature Travel Network, but that’s ok because you know me!
Following is an interview with Ignacio Maza, the Executive VP of Signature and why you don’t need a Platinum credit card to get the most bang for your buck!
|Standing with Ignacio Maza, Exec. VP of Signature Travel Network|
Please describe briefly what the Signature Network is:
- Signature is a member-owned travel cooperative network, launched in 1956 generating $6 billion in travel sales per year. (J.B: in other words, it’s huge!)Signature has preferred supplier relationships with hotels, cruise lines, tour operators, destination specialists and car rental companies. If your travel agent is part of Signature then you benefit. (JB: Amen)
Why is Signature important to the consumer?
- If booking through a Signature agency, not only are the rates competitive, but you will receive special hotel perks including complimentary daily breakfast, (JB: Some breakfasts are so expensive, you have to take out a loan) dining and spa credits, upgrades and early check in, just to name a few. Even cruise passengers receive value for their money: complimentary car and driver in port, onboard spending credits, special experiences, upgrades and special pricing on many sailings. Best of all, when you book with a Signature agency you are a VIP, not a number. (JB: my loyal clients, the only number you will ever be is #1!)
What amenity do you think consumers most want?
- If staying at a hotel – breakfast for 2 daily
- If taking a cruise – a car and driver.
As a traveler, what value amenity do you most appreciate?
- The VIP service I get through my Signatureconsultant, who ensures that all my needs are communicated and acted on ahead of time. I am a light sleeper, so I appreciate having a quiet room, for example. Being able to get a good night’s sleep is #1 with me.
What are your 3 most important factors in choosing a hotel that you are staying in?
- Location, service, value for money
What’s trending in travel right now and what are some of the emerging destinations travelers are interested in?
- Mexico’s Riviera Maya, South Africa, Peru, Colombia, Costa Rica and Croatia are extremely popular right now. (JB: Jose Ignacio in Uruguay is so hot, it’s on fire!)
We’ve noticed that the emerging destinations are Ecuador and Nicaragua in the Western Hemisphere. In the Pacific, Cook Islands and Fiji are on the rise and, in Africa, everyone wants to go to Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia. In Asia, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka are on everyone’s bucket list. (JB: Baku is the best kept secret.)
How often do you travel and have you been anywhere recently that is a true discovery or surprise?
- I travel, on average, twice per month.
- A true discovery this year – Ecuador. I spent 16 days in the mainland, and had a fantastic time exploring haciendas, hiking up to 17,000 ft in the Andes, visiting Quito’s beautiful colonial churches and museums, experiencing the atmosphere of Cuenca, and blown away with Mashpi Lodge in Ecuador’s cloudforest.
What destination is on your bucket list?
- Too many places to mention – but – on my ‘short’ list – Ethiopia, Myanmar, Lake Titicaca, Argentina’s Northwest, Salvador Brazil, Fiji, Canadian Rockies. (JB: getting ready to go to Uruguay…look for me on Instagram!)