Long-gone are the days when travelers crammed into motorcoaches to visit 12
destinations in 10 days. Today’s tours can be anything and anywhere the traveler
craves, including stand-out destinations and guides that take them places they
couldn’t find on their own—and don’t forget the importance of customized
intineraries and personal services.
The “where in the world” remains the starting point for most tour travel.
“Unique destinations” rated the most important tour attribute among luxury
travel clients, according to agents who responded to the World of Luxury survey.
This is not news to Abercrombie & Kent, a company that was among the first to
offer luxury travel to remote destinations and today has programs to more than
100 countries on all seven continents. Those who seek the “unique” can opt for
a large choice of locales, such as Mongolia, Myanmar or the Amazon.
The “expertise of the guide” was rated second most important attribute
among luxury travel clients. Brendan Vacations Travel Directors
in Ireland and Eastern Europe “are extremely well-versed in
the traditions, lore and local specialties of each region,” says
Daniel Guerrero, director of marketing for Brendan. “ They
personally assure that every special request, inquiry and
question is answered and fulfilled.” Brendan offers more
than 800 packages to destinations that include Ireland, the
United Kingdom, Europe, Egypt, Asia, Australia, New Zea-
land, Tahiti, Fiji, Mexico, and South and Central America.
In emerging destinations,
personal drivers and tour
guides can be vital to a great
experience. Be sure they
are qualified, though, and
source them through
Choice is intrinsic for today’s luxury tour traveler, and the
“ability to customize the tour to their preferences” is also critical.
Tour companies like Tauck can feature a family of brands, enabling
the luxury tour traveler the chance to decide on the right experience for
them worldwide. Many tour companies also feature modular tours as an option. Abercrombie & Kent’s 36 new “Tailor Made Elements” are pre-planned,
three- to four-day itineraries that can be combined to create a personalized
vacation made-to-order for the demanding traveler.