FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pressnews.biz (Press Release) Dec 10, 2014
-- New York, NY - It's 8.15 am on a Fall Thursday morning - the door of the bustling Wall Street eatery where we agreed to meet swings open, and a tall man draped in an impressive suit heads towards my table. Richard Krieger, President of The IsramWorld Portfolio of Brands, makes eye contact with me and breaks momentarily into a smile while holding out a long arm that firmly shakes my hand.
The popular restaurant, a few minutes stroll from Krieger's office, is packed to creaking point with bankers, CEOs and executives from the ivory towers in and around Wall Street. Krieger seems well in his element as he settles into his seat and orders his pumpkin spice latte and a platter of appetizers. After exchanging a few pleasantries, we knuckle down to the nuts and bolts of our interview – Krieger’s determined vision to take his beloved IsramWorld to the next business epoch.
We start by touching on his appointment as IsramWorld President in December of 2013, and his professional relationship with the legend and CEO, Ady Gelber. Krieger’s voice almost softens as he talks about one of his longest and most fulfilling business relationships. Gelber had first recruited Krieger several years ago, after he had earned a reputation as one of the most dynamic professionals within the travel industry. While the appointment was initially to leverage Krieger’s proven talent and instinct to lead and improve departments, Gelber was so impressed with the innovations delivered, that by the tail end of 2013 he had given Krieger the keys to the President’s office.
The interview moves on to the goals that Krieger wishes to achieve while the IsramWorld clock ticks on his watch. "One of the goals is to get The IsramWorld Portfolio of Brands recognized as a global tour operator." Krieger continues, "Many people know us from Israel, which is the foundation of our company. It will always be our heart and soul, and that goes without saying. But, we know world travel – and we know it from the depths of the Dead Sea up to the earthy pinnacle of Machu Picchu."
I move the interview along to the areas of growth that The IsramWorld Portfolio of Brands has been seeing while under Krieger's leadership. He swirls his pumpkin spice latte and takes a lingering taste before answering. "From a destination perspective it has to be Cuba. We had modest expectations when we got our license last year, but those expectations have been wildly exceeded." He pauses momentarily to lure a meatball into his plate before continuing. "We've now renewed that license, and are even licensed to participate in the people to people programs for the next two years. It's actually a major coup for IsramWorld, and agents have been highly enthusiastic and vociferous in their support – every departure was actually sold out."
With Cuba a delicate tourist destination for obvious reasons, I press Krieger for more information on how this unique travel experience has been put together by his company. "We're trying to keep to small luxury groups, about 24 passengers per departure. We're focusing on delivering a more intimate and enriching experience for our clients – which is also what our agents have asked us to put together."
Krieger goes on to mention other destinations where The IsramWorld Portfolio of Brands is growing. "Besides Cuba, we decided this year to expand our Europe business. We came out with a program to Iceland and a World War II program to Poland. Both of these were enthusiastically picked up by agents, and most importantly the underlying clients gave very positive feedback on their experiences."
Asked if Krieger plans to offer more specialty tours like Poland and Iceland, he answers enthusiastically. "Oh yes. We've already added some exciting new tours in 2014, and are planning more in 2015 and 2016. We're expanding in the UK too, working on some exciting combinations to give options for London and Scotland, separately or together. We’re doing the same in Portugal, Greece and Italy." He pauses for breath, and sinks away the last of his Pumpkin Spice Latte before touching on a new destination that clearly excites him. “Another series of specialty programs we are close to introducing are cultural and historical experiences in Mexico. They will be available in 2015, and we aim to provide the same enriching breed of experiences as we have with Cuba..” Krieger is quick to point out that this is a key unique selling proposition that he has tried to instill within every strata of his team – while other tour operators peddle run of the mill vacations, The IsramWorld Portfolio of Brands strive to deliver unique and unforgettable experiences.
We begin winding down the interview by discussing Egypt – a country that IsramWorld have recently started to sell tours to again. Krieger explains his position on this interesting yet turbulent destination. "Egypt has always been important to us. From a business perspective it is an important destination." The interview comes almost full circle, as Krieger brings up Gelber once more. "From an emotional perspective, Ady (Gelber) always instilled the importance of promoting and supporting Egypt. Agents trust us, and know that if Isram is coming out with its 2015 lineup for Egypt, it's safe to sell Egypt."
Krieger finishes up by speaking almost lyrically about his unbreakable professional bond with Gelber – a father figure of The IsramWorld Portfolio of Brands. And, as I wind the interview up by thanking Richard Krieger for his time and insights, it occurs to me that even leaders have mentors. And perhaps the Gelber-Krieger influence has helped give birth to a brave new company - The IsramWorld Portfolio of Brands. One which fearlessly embraces the new challenges and opportunities faced by tour operators in the 21st Century, but without ever forgetting the past which brought it there.
Richard Krieger is the President of USA tour operator IsramWorld. Follow & connect with Richard Krieger on his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mrrichardkrieger
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