ZICASSO EXPANDS SELECT NETWORK OF TRAVEL COMPANIES TO HELP VACATIONERS STRETCH THEIR TRAVEL DOLLARS
Opens Up Directory Offering More Than 500 Sample Trips to Select or Customize
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, Thursday, July 10, 2008 – Zicasso, a new, personalized online trip planning service that matches busy, discerning travelers with expert travel companies, announced that it has expanded its growing network of travel company partners. All Zicasso partners are carefully selected for their ability to deliver quality, authenticity, and best value.
Additionally, the new partners were hand-picked for their expertise in preparing personalized itineraries to desirable destinations that provide good value for the U.S. dollar – either because exchange rates are still reasonable or the cost of living is low. These new partners specialize in the following desirable destinations where vacationers can still stretch their dollars: Croatia, Argentina, Costa Rica, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.
Zicasso also announced its directory of more than 500 Sample Trips for destinations around the world – making Zicasso one of the Internet's best sources for professionally-developed itineraries that can be further customized with an expert to create thousands of variations. Each variation is tailored to meet a traveler's exact needs. Itineraries can also be developed from scratch, and all itineraries are comprehensive and can include accommodations, all forms of transportation (including flights, car rentals, rail, cruises, ferries), drivers, tour guides, tickets to attractions or events, etc.
“We set out to build an exceptional network of quality travel companies that have deep regional expertise and demonstrate excellent personalized service,” commented Brian K.Y. Tan, CEO for Zicasso. “With the weak dollar and rising prices, Americans have to put in extra effort to get the travel value they’ve been accustomed to receiving. This is where Zicasso’s newest travel company partners will help – their expertise in these select destinations can quickly help travelers get exactly what they want at the best value, hassle-free.”
Using Zicasso, a traveler describes the trip they'd like to take using a simple Trip Request form. Zicasso then matches the traveler with up to three pre-qualified travel companies that compete for the traveler's business by submitting personalized itinerary bids – all within a Web 2.0 environment. Zicasso has spent thousands of hours to pre-qualify and evaluate its partners to give travelers important “peace-of-mind” about the travel company they have selected. Unlike other online travel sites that focus on the size of their network, Zicasso focuses on quality and only companies that meet its select criteria are sought out and invited to join.
Adriatic Coast: Croatia
Many Americans dream of a European vacation, but with the Euro at an all-time high, Italy, France and Spain have now become expensive getaways. With all the culture and charm of Europe, Croatia offers an excellent alternative because of its affordable cost of living. With pristine lakes, beautiful beaches and rolling hills, this Venetian-like retreat shimmers with its Roman influence and is a highly recommended European destination to stretch vacation dollars. Zicasso has partnered with the following in-country and regional tour operators:
- Elite Travel; Dubrovnik, Croatia
- Speranza Travel; Zagreb, Croatia
- Traveloteca; Madrid, Spain
- Homeric Tours; New York, NY and branches in Europe
The Paris of South America or a Green Getaway to Costa Rica
With spectacular scenery stretching from the majestic Iguazu Falls to the mountains and glaciers of Patagonia; culture and fine dining in Buenos Aires, commonly referred to as “the Paris of South America”; and a world-class wine-producing region, Argentina is one of the most exciting destinations. Travelers also get great value for the dollar, since the U.S. dollar has gained nearly 10 percent against the Argentine peso over the past few years.
Eco-conscious travelers might also enjoy Costa Rica’s many accommodations and activities that center on practicing sustainable tourism, including the only zero emissions airline, NatureAir, and overnight accommodations at five-star Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, which rests at the foot of the Arenal Volcano. Newly added regional partners include:
- Say Hueque Travel; Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Tangol; Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Albee Adventures; San Jose, Costa Rica
- Passion Costa Rica; San Jose, Costa Rica
- South America Explorers; Riverview, FL and branches in South America
- Tico Travel; Fort Lauderdale, FL and San Jose, Costa Rica
Southeast Asia: Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia
Southeast Asia offers travelers a rich experience at great value. Vietnam extends Americans’ entry into a part of Asia where the dollar goes a long way with the Vietnamese currency. Travelers can experience the unique culture and people of the Mekong and Red River deltas. In neighboring Laos, tourists can visit the UNESCO World Heritage ancient capital of Luang Prabang and take a traditional boat cruise that slowly meanders down a river through limestone canyons. Vacationers might consider a stop in Cambodia to visit the impressive temples of Angkor. Regional travel company partners for these destinations include:
- Haivenu Tours; Hanoi, Vietnam
- Asia World Enterprise; Bangkok, Thailand
- North by North-East Travel; Nakorn Phanom, Thailand and Luang Prabang, Laos
Zicasso has also partnered with several U.S.-based and adventure travel companies that specialize in planning customized trips to all of these destinations, including:
U.S.-Based Travel Companies:
- Archer Travel; Montrose, CA
- Willett Travel; Studio City, CA
- Yankee Clipper Travel; San Francisco, CA
Adventure Travel Companies:
- DuVine Adventures; Somerville, MA
- Pura Aventura; Brighton, England
- Wilderness Journeys; Edinburgh, Scotland
Zicasso is a first-of-a-kind online travel service that combines the best of online Web 2.0 tools with offline personalized services from expert tour operators and travel agencies. Ideal for planning complex trips, Zicasso saves travelers time and money by matching them to pre-qualified, quality travel companies that compete to provide personalized itinerary bids, all within an online Web 2.0 environment. Zicasso’s free online travel service gives busy, discerning consumers a hassle-free way to obtain authentic, quality travel experiences, at the best value. Based in Mountain View, CA, Zicasso is a privately-held company. For more information, please visit www.zicasso.com.