Avoya HBTA Top LB Jan 2018

How to Make Booking Europe Fun and Profitable



Mitch Mason

Booking a European custom made trip for your clients can be as hard or easy as you want. The most important part is getting it right. For 21 years, the folks at Euro-Connection have been showing the North American travel agent market the way, making them a trusted, reliable source for groups, F.I.T.’s, hotels, sightseeing, car rentals and transfers.

We caught up with Mitch Mason, the owner of Euro-Connection. He leads an enthusiastic team of “Europhiles”.

Joanie: Tell us a little more about Euro-Connection Mitch?


We noticed in the early 90s that there was a demand from the North American travel agent community for a quality European Hotel booking operator/specialist. A lot of agents are confident booking Vegas and Disneyland but needed more help with Europe. At the time, we started relationships with Romantik Hotels & Restaurants International and Gast im Schloss Castles, focusing on small, charming hotels with lots of local flavor. Along the way, we added many independent properties and chain hotels. We built a network of reliable partners that provide us with the utmost in service and quality. During that time we never lost sight of our clients, the travel agent and the traveler. In the end, what we provide is the best quality, price and location combination. Our agents know what works and what won’t. Our motto is: “We take the worry out of your hurry.” Whether it’s a one night hotel, pre or post cruise, or full trip itinerary – we do it all.

Joanie: What kinds of products and services does Euro-Connection offer?


We offer any type of hotel in Europe and beyond. We are talking city hotels, castles, medieval castles, and French chateaux to Swiss chalets. We have access to so many properties that there is something for anyone. To complement the hotels, we offer sightseeing tours, car rentals and transfers. Together this makes for some amazingly cool European itineraries. We know that most people might only travel to Europe once or twice in their lifetime, and we will make sure they have a good time traveling and great memories for many years to come.

Joanie: How does your F.I.T business work?


Foreign Independent Travel/Tours is our bread and butter. Our team is dedicated to provide our clients with the easiest booking experience possible. One of our qualities is that we listen! We take into account your client’s wishes, budget and timing, and work in partnership with the travel agents. It can be as simple as a one night city hotel to a complex multi-country, multi-week itinerary. Once we finalize any trip with an agent, we provide one of the best travel packages in the industry. The fun should start the moment you book and part of that is receiving an extensive travel package that focuses on your destination. We put the same care and attention into every booking no matter how big or small.

Joanie: Who should use your services?


We service the entire North American Travel Agent market. We pride ourselves on a huge selection of hotel and services, and combined with our extensive knowledge of Europe, you have all the ingredients to create something great and unique. If you have a client wanting to go to Europe on any type of budget, that’s when you call us. There is a misunderstanding that custom trips should be expensive. Not so. We are able to book any type of good hotel for any budget. We charge in U.S. dollars and people can pay with any major credit card or check.

We pay 12% commission on any type of service we offer.

Joanie: Do you book groups?


We can book any type and size of groups. We have seen a development of multi-generation travel and small groups of friends traveling together. This is where our contacts with local operators come to play. The 5 capitals in 5 days type tours are long gone. We sometimes focus on just one country or area within a country. This is so much fun. We handle all the arrangements and know that your clients will have a wonderful time. Who doesn’t want to experience private cooking classes, special wine tastings, and museum visits while staying in city or countryside hotels. Nothing is off limits.

Joanie: Can we book online with Euro-Connection?


Our strength is our personal touch. We like to hear what our clients are thinking and what they need. We get many email requests that are handled just as easily as a phone call. We think that an online booking presence combined with a top notch customer service experience is very valuable. We are in the process of getting something online soon. Stay tuned!

Joanie: What is your latest development?


Since we really talk to our clients, we know what is important – it’s price and quality – and we have perfected that combination. Anyone can offer a hotel, but the trick is to offer the right hotel at the right price and location. Recent technology has allowed us to combine the static data of 20 European Hotel tour operators into one unique, single property database. All these forces combined give us a near 100 % coverage of the European hotel market. This by itself gives us more allotments, more room categories, and the lowest price possible. In some cases, we have availability at hotels that show sold out elsewhere. That is so handy during busy times like Oktoberfest in Munich, Paris Fashion week, or Wimbledon in London.

Joanie: What do you see happening in your part of the travel industry?


We feel that there is a renewed appreciation for the travel agent. People are happy now to have a professional handle their travel arrangements knowing that they are in good hands, and saving money and time in the process. We’ve also noticed that more of our clients are home based agents and see that as a growing segment.

Thank you for your time Mitch.

Thank you Joanie it’s a pleasure and thank you to all the agents that make us who we are today.