MLT University 2012 Session Recap: Guatemala
Susan Jones, a spunky, knowledgeable MLT Vacations Business Development Manager kept us busy for 40 minutes with an overview of Panama and Guatemala as well as going into specifics about MLT’s product line and details that will help travel agents sell the destinations. This article focuses on Guatemala. Make sure to check out the sister article on Panama.
For information on specific hotels, tours, transportation, and to book visit MLT’s agent site— World Agent Direct. Don’t forget agents that attended MLT U have access into special promo codes.
MLT Vacations Guatemala Overview
First thing Susan warns is that this is not a beach destination. It’s a better fit for your adventure clients.
Things to Know:
- English not widely spoken outside tourist areas
- Deeply steeped in Mayan Culture
- Quetzal is national currency
- Tropical climate
Getting Around Guatemala
When you book Guatemala with MLT Vacations, the transfers are included in the package. You can also look at upgrading your clients to a shared ride transfer to cut down on transfer time. Car rentals are available through MLT but Susan doesn’t recommend car rentals for most clients due to it being a country more difficult to drive in.
Here are the areas we're going to be talking about: Guatemala City, Antigua, and Tikal:
Highlighted Guatemala Tours with MLT Vacations
A list of all of MLT’s Guatemala tours can be found in World Agent Direct but here’s a recap of a few from Susan’s presentation:
- Half-day Guatemala City Tour
- Starts in the morning and includes hotel pickup
- Approx. 3 hours
- Visit hot spots in city including: Cathedral Metropolitana and craft markets
- You can negotiate a price with USD at craft markets
- Tikal Full-day Tour
- This is an early morning departure—5am—and includes domestic flights from Guatemala City to Flores, Peten.
- Even though 80% of Tikal remains unexcavated, it's a vast area. Clients should be in good shape.
- Star Wars fans will love visiting the site of the Rebel Base in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
- Antigua Tour
- A UNESCO World Heritage Site
- See Spanish colonial buildings, ruins
- Visit indigenous community of San Antonio Aguas Calientes
- You can see many of the volcanoes in Guatemala here
- Half-day Guatemala City Tour
- Great people watching in the Palacio Nacional plaza
- Ruins throughout the city, you’ll see them next to the Starbucks
Highlighted MLT Vacations’ Hotels in Guatemala
According to Susan, most of the hotels in MLT Vacations’ portfolio have a more business-type feel to them. There are two main areas where MLT hotels are located—Guatemala City and Antigua. Susan commented she would stay 1-nt on arrival in Guatemala City then remain in Antigua most of her trip. She shared the 4 hotels in MLT’s Guatemala hotel line:
- Westin Camino Real(Guatemala City)
- 4.5 stars
- 3 dining rooms
- Swimming pool
- Spa on property
- High-end shopping area on site
- Barcelo Guatemala City
- 4 stars, not all-inclusive
- Head out back door and long street of shops to get crafts and textiles
- 1.5 miles to airport—great arrival/departure hotel
- Hotel Casa Santo Domingo
- 4 stars, family owned
- Began as monastery, turned into boutique hotel with around 10 rooms
- When expanding property to approx. 110 rooms, artifacts were discovered
- Has 2 museums on site to house the artifacts
- Porta Hotel Antigua
- 3.5 stars
- Fireplaces in all the rooms
- A/C in some of the rooms
- All rooms you enter from the outside
MLT University is a fantastic learning opportunity for agents. It's bustling, it's well-organized, it's full of useful information for selling destinations/products to your clients. If you haven't checked it out yet, make sure you do next year. Newbies with clients in MLT's market, this is a must! With subsidized air and a jam-packed agenda, it's well worth your time.
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