Santa Clarita officials announced earlier this week that residents once again have the opportunity to hit the road, this time to Portland and the East Coast, through a partnership with a South L.A.-based travel agency.
Santa Clarita has offered trips through a partnership with Redondo Beach-based travel agency Premier World Tours for the last five years, according to the city’s Recreation and Community Services Department, which has led the partnership, according to Recreation Coordinator Jennifer Lindstrom.
Between the travel agency and the Recreation Department, which aims to develop “value-based programs that encourage healthy lifestyles and celebrate the community’s diversity,” a contract was established to offer these excursions.
“The agreement, in a nutshell, is: We advertise the trips and collect registration forms for participants that are interested and Premier World facilitates the trips,” said Lindstrom. Through the contractual agreement, the city receives a 10-percent commission, she added.
“This works as an as-needed service,” said Lindstrom. And the service has shown to be a popular feature, as residents have embarked on trips in the past as far east to Nova Scotia in Canada.
Local travel agencies like Newhall-Valencia Travel, which has been operating since 1973, said they don’t see the city’s travel offers as competition.
“I don’t compete with other local agencies, and I don’t believe the city is trying to compete either,” said Newhall-Valencia Travel owner Daniel Arriaga.
His only question: Why not contract with a local agency?
“I would say if they want to contract, contract within Santa Clarita,” he said. “Whether it’s us or another, but keep business in Santa Clarita.”
Lindstrom said the process of choosing a travel agency to work with is done through research. Premier World Discovery, in fact, was chosen through local agency recommendations, she said.
A representative from Premier World was unavailable for comment Thursday.
City Communications Manager Carrie Lujan said the core of offering this program is to provide residents with a trip they can experience together — one “you get to go on with your neighbors.”