The structure of guided tours is getting an upgrade at Globus Family of Brands to give guests more choice and flexibility during their vacation.
The new product line, Choice Touring by Globus, will offer itineraries to popular destinations with more excursion options that can be pre-selected or decided day-of.
According to Steven Born, chief marketing officer for Globus Family of Brands, the company has seen flexibility and choice of excursions grow in popularity with its Avalon product where been expanding its choice of excursions. Not only did this inspire, but the experience for product development. After getting positive feedback from guests, Popularity, and appreciation from guests
“We learned a couple of things, operationally, like how best to manage two, three, or four different excursions at one time,” Born told Travel Market Report. “We noted that for both past and prospective customers, flexibility is one of the most attractive features. Our own experience on Avalon pushed us in this direction, to find a way to do this for touring and design a whole tour series around this idea around a choice.”
The outcome was a collection of 13 trips—seven in Europe and six in the U.S. and Canada—with two or three excursion options on select stops, such as a distillery tour and golfing in Scotland, kayaking, and trekking in California, cooking classes, or truffle hunting in Italy. The tours will be offered in Scotland, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Canada, and the U.S., with departures beginning this fall and into 2022.
While the current border situation in Britain and Canada is an exception, the other tours have seen a jump in new bookings right away, Born said, with further momentum predicted as we move into fall and destinations are more accessible.
Born explained the structure as still maintaining an itinerary with visits to must-see sights, but there will be two or three days pauses for these adventures. For example, on the Scotland by Design itinerary, there will be a day dedicated to three or four different excursions in Inverness, and guests have up until that moment to decide which one they want to participate in.
Globus covers everything there is in terms of costs and logistics for these excursions, including transportation. “It’s really care-free to do some of the things in these places, that are completely managed and organized on your behalf,” Born said.
Born admitted giving guests the ability to decide so near to the excursions was not an easy feat.
“This is probably why we’re the only operator who has done this. If there is a single guest who chose an excursion, just operationally we want to deliver these choices no matter the participation level,” adding that most will likely be chosen in advance. “We know that from our Avalon experience, and it’s relatively easy to manage one guest who wanted to see it at the moment.”
As the excursions were developed and contracted during the pandemic, a lot of suppliers were willing to be flexible, Born noted.
“Its’ not just a concept, it’s something we executed for Avalon which has given us that confidence.”
Selling Choice Touring
Born envisions three main audiences for the new tours, one of which is those who have been to the destination already on a more traditional tour but want to get a more immersive experience.
“Travel advisors are best equipped to guide this sale because they know their clients who have had that experience and who they can invite back on this new tour style,” Born said.
The longer potential are emerging escorted tour folks looking for a little more flexibility, “maybe they were on the fence about traditional tours but this gives them range to have a little more control.”
It’s also ideal for multi-generational travelers. “You don’t have to worry about a thing, everyone gets those moments of freedom and you let the tour do the work for you.”
Advisors being able to identify those that are on the cutting edge of escorted, boomers, or traditional tour, feel they would be open to that
The price point of Choice Touring is “within range of traditional Globus per diem,” with a maximum of 10% difference in cost.
“It’s a completely new concept in touring and new product. A lot of new travelers were out of the market for last year, so I would advisors to use this new product as a new introduction to get back in. Take advantage of this opportunity to present to clients.” Born suggested advisors be proactive by picking an itinerary from the travel agent portal and emailing it directly to a client—“that’s the power of suggestion.”