«With AI we already offer travelers very personalized products»

With more than 40 years of experience in the travel sector, Soltour is one of the most consolidated tour operators on the national scene. But it must be renewed or die and that is why it is now immersed in an ambitious phase of innovation and growth based on diversification that is already beginning to bear fruit.

At the gates of Holy Week, how is this first major tourist event of the year presented?

In 2024 we have scheduled 50% more places than the previous year; Sales are evolving positively with 80% sold of what was scheduled.

And how do you expect summer?

The trend is upward and we are expanding operations. The outlook is very good and there are reasons to be optimistic.

Soltour has a long history and in recent months they have completed an important transformation process into a tourist hub made up of independent tour operators. Renewed or die?

We have always had this spirit of innovation. It is important to adapt to new times.

The most interesting thing is that we are diversifying the offer. Now we have a very interesting and much more varied program of long-distance trips and circuits. Last year in this segment we grew 218%, while in coastal products on the Peninsula an increase of 30% was achieved. We have created the combined travel product that is working very well, because it is something in high demand, so I think we have chosen the right path.

On this path it is necessary to go hand in hand with new technologies. Is artificial intelligence (AI) changing the way we travel?

It is already doing it because it is very present, although it still goes unnoticed. We have been using AI technology for more than a year through our own tool that we have developed, because we understand that it is the most effective way to improve customer service. It helps us offer users highly personalized products, but also inspire them on future trips. Without a doubt, AI is already part of the present.

What travel trends are shaping the year 2024?

What people are looking for most is freedom and having their own, authentic experiences. However, it is also true that the need to go to the typical place and take the “obligatory” photo remains because someone has made it fashionable on social networks. Sometimes it all comes down to that, but professionals have to be able to convey that many things can be done at the destination beyond just taking a photo. That is why the unprecedented experiences that allow the traveler to immerse themselves in the culture of the destination are what gain the most strength.

Great trips have been democratized. Does the price war mark the market?

Tour operators are demand generators and great destination prescribers. One of the most important levers for this is the price, because going seven days all-inclusive to a great hotel in the Caribbean for a few thousand euros is amazing.

How is that achieved?

Because we organize everything and then we give it a very competitive quality-price ratio that can hardly be improved if you organize it on your own.

What other added values ​​work in your favor?

To this good quality-price ratio I would add, fundamentally, the peace of mind of having everything organized. Saving yourself that stress is priceless.

Any travel advice for our readers?

The word Caribbean is very hackneyed and it is thought to be a typical guiri destination, but it offers an exciting cultural experience that must be discovered at least once in your life. And if you don't want to cross the pond, I recommend a destination like Slovenia.

A lifetime dedicated to the sector

Passionate about computing and the digital world, Tomeu Bennasar has always been one step ahead. He grew up in the Balearic Islands at the height of the tourism industry boom, which has allowed him to be well versed in the travel sector, where he has held positions of maximum responsibility in some pioneering companies in the sector. A sports lover, he enjoys his free time practicing triathlons and, of course, traveling, “because there is no better way of personal enrichment”, he confesses to us.