There is a growing trend in travel and it’s gathering momentum quicker than a viral video of children interrupting their dad’s BBC interview.
If you thought a small group tour wasn’t for you, it’s time to shake off all those outdated preconceptions of being hurriedly transported by air-conditioned bus from one attraction to another. The overall touring market is expanding, with small-group travel in particular showing stellar growth.
Take, for example, Collette’s small-group exploration tours (18-22 people), which account for 30 per cent of the company’s forward bookings for 2018, versus 16 per cent last year.
There are many advantages to travelling as a small group of no more than 25 people. It is easier to get to know your fellow group members, with a more social atmosphere prevailing as a result. It is also easier to interact with local people in more informal, authentic settings and try your hand at local crafts and traditions. And you’re able to venture away from the well-trodden tourism circuits and experience the kinds of immersive activities that would be impractical for bigger groups.
Travelling as part of a small group, you are able to use a variety of different transport types, from rickshaws to river boats, and to experience more authentic hotels and restaurants. This style of travelling tends to keep the budget down, as transfer costs are shared between the group. Itineraries suit those looking for adventure in destinations slightly off the beaten track, where independent travel would be more challenging.
Smaller groups also have less of an environmental impact when they travel. Travelling more nimbly, they reduce the strain on resources and allow for more sustainable economic benefits to filter through to local economies.
We’re now in the grip of a global trend for more authentic, localised, responsible travel experiences – and small group tours are the perfect partner for these. They help you engage with people and places that would otherwise be out of reach – and you end up having more transformative experiences.
Tour managers are important, whatever size the tour group – a good leader is the glue that holds a tour together. Collette’s leaders are hand-picked for their interesting life experiences, expert knowledge levels, fun personalities and caring qualities. A good tour manager will not just look after their group; they will become friends with their guests and help the individuals gel.
That social element is a major incentive to take the plunge and book a small group tour. You will start the tour as strangers but you’ll end it having made new friends. And the adventures that you have shared will be the ties that bind you for life.
Collette escorted tours are expertly crafted and plug you into the authentic culture of countless destinations across the globe.
Collette’s award-winning tour managers, 99 years of experience, unrivalled accommodation and 96 per cent satisfaction rates combine to create 150 of the best tours in the world.
For more information or to request a free brochure from this Abta- and Atol-protected touring specialist, call 0800 804 8368 or visit gocollette.com