Selling group tours is a smart business plan for travel advisors. Groups provide expanded income and potential for a growing client base. The challenge is promoting group tours to travelers who have a predisposition to what the experience will be like. The following are common group tour myths believed by prospective travelers and the facts planners can use to demonstrate the benefits of traveling with others.
Group tour myth #1: Group tours do not allow for authentic travel experiences.
Fact: Today’s travelers state the opportunities to be immersed in a culture as the main reason they choose to go to specific destinations. Tour operators often employ local people as guides. Groups are rewarded with an insider’s look at destinations. Local guides have pride in their home and history; they are a valuable resource to discovering one-of-a-kind experiences beyond famous landmarks.
Group tour myth #2: Group tours are large and impersonal.
Fact: Smaller group tours of 16–25 people are more readily available than in the past. Fewer people means more flexibility. Planners can take advantage of cultivating relationships with boutique hotels and venues that can accommodate small groups. Transportation options for smaller groups are streamlined and often technologically advanced, which adds to travelers’ comfort. Reduced group size means tour operators can offer itineraries with more optional activities, giving travelers the choice to tailor their experience.
Group tour myth #3: Group tours are only for wealthy, elderly people.
Fact: Financially speaking, booking group tours appeals to budget-conscious travelers because all the expenses are known up front. Tour operators have relationships with vendors that provide special rates, and in turn can pass savings on to group participants.
Generationally speaking, today’s tour groups are largely comprised of millennials who place a higher priority on travel than other generations. Millennial travelers turn to group tours for convenience, safety and camaraderie. Small group tours often specialize in different types of group travel such as LGBTQ+, multi-generational families, adventurers, culinary groups and more to fit specific interests. Traveling with a group of individuals with a common interest of the destination or activity will offer unique perspectives of other people with different backgrounds. Many lifelong friendships are made as a result of group travel.
Group tour myth #4: With so much information available online, my group can plan a trip ourselves.
Fact: It’s true! There is an abundance of information online about travel options — which can be overwhelming for a typical vacationer. Prospective travelers will read the same blogs, same descriptions and same reviews as everyone else interested in a destination or activity, often resulting in a cookie-cutter vacation for their group. Travel advisors have the expertise and relationships to coordinate all the logistics involved with a trip including transportation, hotels, transfers, tips and meals into one package. Professional planners also take the stress out of group travel by collecting payments and assisting individual travelers if unexpected delays or cancelations come up during the trip.
Group travel has changed over the years. Now is the time to help potential clients understand the facts of how traveling with others can enhance their experience.