MLT University 2012 Session Recap: Guatemala

September 29, 2012

This article is one of our session recaps from MLT University 2012. You can also view recaps on the Panama and Puerto Rico presentations.

Guatemala Travel Agent Guide

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.

Tikal

Things to Know:

  1. English not widely spoken outside tourist areas
  2. Deeply steeped in Mayan Culture
  3. Quetzal is national currency
  4. 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:

Guatemala, A Travel Agent's Guide
  1. Half-day Guatemala City Tour
  2. Starts in the morning and includes hotel pickup
  3. Approx. 3 hours
  4. Visit hot spots in city including: Cathedral Metropolitana and craft markets
  5. You can negotiate a price with USD at craft markets
  6. Tikal Full-day Tour
  7. This is an early morning departure—5am—and includes domestic flights from Guatemala City to Flores, Peten.
  8. Even though 80% of Tikal remains unexcavated, it's a vast area. Clients should be in good shape.
  9. Star Wars fans will love visiting the site of the Rebel Base in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
  10. Antigua Tour
  11. A UNESCO World Heritage Site
  12. See Spanish colonial buildings, ruins
  13. Visit indigenous community of San Antonio Aguas Calientes
  14. You can see many of the volcanoes in Guatemala here
  15. Half-day Guatemala City Tour
  16. Great people watching in the Palacio Nacional plaza
  17. 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:

  1. Westin Camino Real(Guatemala City)
  2. 4.5 stars
  3. 3 dining rooms
  4. Swimming pool
  5. Spa on property
  6. High-end shopping area on site
  7. Barcelo Guatemala City
  8. 4 stars, not all-inclusive
  9. Head out back door and long street of shops to get crafts and textiles
  10. 1.5 miles to airport—great arrival/departure hotel
  11. Hotel Casa Santo Domingo
  12. 4 stars, family owned
  13. Began as monastery, turned into boutique hotel with around 10 rooms
  14. When expanding property to approx. 110 rooms, artifacts were discovered
  15. Has 2 museums on site to house the artifacts
  16. Porta Hotel Antigua
  17. 3.5 stars
  18. Fireplaces in all the rooms
  19. A/C in some of the rooms
  20. All rooms you enter from the outside

In Closing

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.

Photo Credits: Gus MacLeod, Michael R. Swigart 

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About the Author
Steph Lee - Host Agency Reviews

Steph Lee

Steph grew up in the travel industry. She worked with thousands of agents in her role as a former host agency director before leaving in 2012 to start HAR. She's insatiably curious, loves her pups Fennec and Orion, and -- in case you haven't noticed -- is pretty quirky and free-spirited.

If you’re looking for Steph, she leaves a trace where ever she goes! You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest as 'iamstephly'. 🙂