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A new kind of touring: Interview with Titan Travel CEO John Constable

Jo-Anne Hui-Miller

Whether it’s in the depths of Africa or along the Italian coastline, it’s well-known that tourists are now searching for authentic, immersive experiences where they can connect with other people and cultures. 

Enter: Titan Travel’s Stay and Explore packages, which have recently landed in Australia and have proven to be successful in the UK. 

“It’s slightly different from a traditional escorted tour. You go to a hotel where you’re based for seven days and you just unpack once. You still have your tour guide with you, but you visit different things every day. I think it will be very popular,” CEO John Constable told Travel Daily while visiting Sydney recently. 

“I don’t think there’s anybody else in Australia that’s offering that style of touring.”

So far, the Stay and Explore tours have been very popular in Europe, particularly Italy and Greece, but plans are underway to grow the program in Africa to meet high consumer demand.

According to Constable, the typical Stay and Explore customer is well-travelled and around 65 years old, but now wants to return to previous destinations and do a deep dive. As guests all stay in the same hotel while on holiday, the tour attracts those who wish to connect with others from diverse backgrounds.

“I suspect it will probably [skew] our demographic a little bit younger,” Constable predicts.

Constable is of the belief that for many customers, touring suits them in different ways, depending on where they are at different life stages.

For some, their first experience may be during their gap year, when 18- and 19-year olds want to meet others while discovering unknown destinations for the first time.

Years later, some people become independent travellers or have a family and decide that they want to do their own research and enjoy DIY holidays.

“Then you come out on the other end and think, ‘Is the best use of my time time?’ or ‘Am I getting the best value at my destination?’” Constable says of older travellers in their 50s and beyond. 

“Connectivity is important. I’ve got time on my hands, maybe I’m semi- or fully-retired and meeting new people from around the world would be great.”

These are the kinds of travellers who want to enjoy the very best Mekong experience with the help of touring and don’t want to take their chances, as they may not return to Vietnam in the future, explains Constable. 

“They don’t want to waste time. They want to make sure they see the best, and to see it in a trusted way. They know someone’s going to do it for them, so the tour manager is absolutely critical to their enjoyment and making the most out of their stay.”

“There is so much value in touring, from food to local guides and their knowledge,” says Constable. “It’s travelling made easy.”

100% for the trade

As a specialist in escorted travelling, Titan first landed in the Australian market in August last year and it’s been a fantastic launch, says Constable. A few months in, and some customers have already travelled with Titan, with hundreds of forward sales already made to the end of very early 2026. 

Prior to entering Australia, the multi-award-winning British company felt like there was a gap in the market for products aimed at the new-to-touring consumer. 

“We felt that our lean towards adventure and being super inclusive gives us real differentiation in this marketplace. We also thought it’s a sector that actually hasn’t had a lot of newness for a long time. We wanted to bring something fresh into the travel outbound market. All over the world, there hasn’t been a whole load of new escort touring companies coming in,” Constable explains. 

“I couldn’t be happier right now in terms of the launch. As we look forward, we’ve got some real opportunities with a variety of things that we think can grow the market,” he says, adding how much he appreciates the support the company has received from the travel trade market. 

As a company that is solely distributed through trade, travel agents are hugely important to Titan, and there are no plans for the business to go direct-to-consumer. 

“I personally think that the travel agent is super important here, due to the way the Aussie travels and the complexity around travel, such as the kind of diversity of where people live,” says Constable.

From a travel agent perspective, there are a number of initiatives that Titan offers to support the industry, such as guaranteed departures. The operator also offers educational tours for trade, such as an upcoming trip in Sicily in October for just Australian agents, as well as ‘a mega fam’ to Europe next year which will be joined by trade from the UK. 

At the moment, Titan is offering a dedicated agent discount off all bookings before 31 July, which is $1,250 per person off all tours, which trade can use to help close sales, adds Constable.

“I think we have market-leading commissions and investment into travel agents. We also have a dedicated team here who train, support and know the industry like no-one else,” explains Constable.

“Titan is 100% for the trade in this market. We want to work collaboratively with them.”

 

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