RS Travel Development is an inbound tour operator and coach company based in Rome. Italy is its main field of action, but it also operates in Austria, Germany and France. The company arranges all kinds of groups and FIT holidays. Managing editor David Hoekman talked with Ruggero Scoma, the company’s founder.
Q. Describe your company.
A. While we regularly organize land tours for cruise guests, we are experts in religious tours and pilgrimages as well as tailor-made tours, including theme groups such as culinary trips, performance tours, special events, etc. Since our establishment in 1997, we have had much experience and cooperate with many related companies, in particular from North America.
Q. Does RS Travel Development have a signature tour?
A. I named my company RS Travel Development with a reason and since the beginning I saw the business this way: working with international tour operators who have an idea of a tour to offer. Our duty is to “develop” that idea to make it the best, because we are here, and we know how things go. Then, more than offering a tour, we like to cooperate with our clients to build up a perfect itinerary according to the needs and expectations of their customers. This might be a faith tour or a culinary tour or a performance or simply a visit of Italy, but there is not usually a set tour for the reasons I stated.
Q. What industry trends are you noticing?
A. In my opinion and to make a comparison with food, we have now “slow tourism” and “fast tourism.” This latter is that of internet. Anyone can go online and pick whatever offer and arrange a trip on his own (at his own risk). But can he organize, for example, a Mass celebration in St. Peter’s, or a dinner in a restaurant unknown by tourists or a performance at the University of Rome? I don’t think so, and these are just samples of things we normally do. Tour operators have to go over the simple visit or leisure but try to offer something new. The tourist himself is definitively more informed and demanding.
And this is the trend: offering something new and special, which the internet cannot do.
Q. What advice do you have for a US tour operator who is considering offering a trip to Italy?
A. North Americans love Italy, there is no doubt. I again realized this during the last NTA exhibition in Milwaukee when I met many U.S. colleagues. Ours is a beautiful country, but unfortunately its beauty is not matched by a good organization. Let us “fight” with the rules and let the U.S. operators only work on their customers.
Q. What’s the next big thing for RS Travel Development?
A. Working in the faith travel business, the most important thing for us will be The Passion Play, which will take place in Oberammergau, Germany, in 2020. When I attended the Passion Play 2000, where I brought a few thousand pilgrims, I was very surprised in noticing that most of the pilgrims came from North America. This event has become a must in international travel and most of the U.S. operators wish to bring people and arrange tours with a stopover in Oberammergau. We will be there again!
Contact RS Travel Development at +39 0686399613 or rstravel.it.