Q&A: Small group touring

MORE and more travellers are looking to travel in a group with like-minded people. We asked Sue Kuti from TravelManagers how to make sure you are selling the right trip to the right client.

What do you define as a small group tour?

I believe a small group is a tour that is 16 people or less. Anything bigger and you start to lose that intimate feeling. The optimum number should be 12-14 people. It’s a great opportunity to get to know new people who are often like-minded.

Is there much interest among Australians for travelling on a small group tour?

Yes, Australians love to travel and not everyone wants to travel alone or in a big group. Many Australians are looking for a friendly and safe way to travel without the large group. Small groups also provide the opportunity for a niche product — walking tours, cycling tours, history focused tours, cooking tours, art tours. I believe that small groups are a growing market. Even suppliers who used to offer large groups are now offering small group alternatives.

Which areas are most popular for small group tours?

Small group tours are everywhere but I think the most popular are small groups to remote destinations like Iceland and Greenland, Alaska and Africa, and more exotic destinations like South America, Egypt and Morocco.

What should an agent consider when selling a small group tour?

It is important to consider:

  • Type of travel required — does the client have a particular interest or destination?
  • Level of accommodation — are they 5-star or 3-star clients? Many groups cater for different standards.
  • Level of activity — does the client want an active holiday?

What demographic does the small group cater for?

How much free time do they want? Some small group tours have every minute organised while others have a balance of free time and organised activities.

Are they looking for a small group that immerses them into the culture? With small groups, local home stays are possible but does the client want to experience this?

What sort of travellers are going on small group tours?

Small group travellers like to explore new destinations but don’t want to do it on their own. They like the camaraderie and safety of a small group. They are usually very social. They can be adventurous in what they do and where they go. They are willing to pay extra to be in a small group.

 

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