This fall, when the weather in Indiana grows colder and the leaves begin to fall, Greenwood Chamber members will depart for Italy to see the sights it has to offer.
Beginning October 23, the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce and its guests depart for nine days in Italy. According to Tricia Bowen, events & operations manager of the Greater Greenwood Chamber of Commerce, they received the idea from an ICEA (Indiana Chamber Executives Association) conference they attended last year and from the Columbus Chamber, who traveled to China.
“Last fall, we began requesting proposals from different travel agencies and decided to go with Chamber Discoveries, a company based in California,” said Bowen. “One of the key things we would like to make sure people know is that this trip is open to the public and is not Chamber-member restrictive.”
The trip will cost $2,700 per person. Price snared a lot of guests. For Tiffany Wilson, it was a key factor.
“I’ve traveled to 15 countries already and seen a lot of the countries in Italy already, but not the ones in the trip,” said Wilson. “I wasn’t looking at going international this year, but because the trip was so inexpensive, I decided to go.”
This is the first time a trip like this has been planned or offered. The chamber says the trip to Italy will allow members to learn new business trends.
“We liked this particular trip due to the flexibility,” said Bowen. “Travelers have the option to add on day trips or even a two-night Rome extension. And we will stay in the one hotel for full seven nights, [so there’s] no need to keep packing up and moving.”
Bowen added that the home base for the trip is Montecatini and the trip has the opportunity for guests to add their own day trips, in addition to those included.
“We also will be flying into either Florence or Pisa, which are about 30-45 minutes from our hotel versus flying into Rome, which is about three hours away,” said Bowen.
One of the expected guests, Katie Prevost, stumbled across the trip while composing a community paper in April and decided to go, taking all the day trips that are offered to get the full experience.
“I’ve been wanting to travel to Europe since I was 10 and I wondered who I could go with,” said Prevost. “It was always a fairy tale dream. I came across this and since the price is what it usually is for a round trip ticket, it’s within my budget. It sounds amazing and a great opportunity for anyone who’s able to do it.”
Bowen said that the previous Events Manager Karen McCoy and Executive Director Christian Maslowski have been key figures in planning the trip. Her role has been getting the word out, as well as being the liaison between the chamber and the travel agency. Chris Brough, business development manager at Chamber Discoveries, said that someone from Chamber Discoveries will be with the guests every step of the trip.
“We’re the tour operator and we handle the trip from beginning to end, from promotion ‘til the people get back from their trip to Italy,” Brough said.
Another expected guest, Jill Russell, is going with her husband Robert Robisch due to the value and the Italian October weather.
“The destination, the price and having never been to Italy before attracted us to a package deal,” said Russell. “So many services were included, like transfers and tours. We’re also taking the extension to Rome for the additional cost. How else can you get back to Rome that easily?”
Stops throughout the nine days include Montecatini, Florence, Piazza del Duomo, Pisa and Portofino, among others.
“Their climate is going to be similar to what we’re experiencing in October, so it’ll be a really good time for us to go,” said Bowen. “We have about six people signed up right now, and we’re hoping for more. We can send as a little or as many [as we need].“
For more information, visit Greenwood-Chamber.com or contact Tricia Bowen at (317) 888-4856 or Tricia@Greenwood-Chamber.com.
You must be logged in to post a comment.