The Tour IndustryConsulting

Just as with cruise lines, tour companies come in many different flavors. The tour companies that you may be familiar with are generally quite large and have tours all over the world. You may be familiar with Globus, Trafalgar, Tauck, or Insight.  Most of them offer some combination of budget, mass market, and luxury tours.

Another group of tour companies specialize in a particular destination or certain activities or interests.

The following are descriptions and some examples of each group.

Budget - the emphasis is on price.   They offer stays in Tourist or Superior Tourist hotels (usually in suburban locations), simplified touring (access to the main tourist points of interest), fewer included meals and something less than luxury transportation.

Some examples of budget companies include Cosmos, General, and Mayflower.

Mass Market - companies tend to focus on value - just like the premium cruise lines - include lots more service for a little more money. They will generally use First Class to Deluxe hotels located in city centers. The tours they offer are more in depth explorations of the places they visit - some exposure to art, history, and culture in addition to the tourist attractions.

Prime examples of this group are Globus and Trafalgar.

Luxury - mostly just a step up on all phases of the trip - the finest hotels, many included meals, and top quality tour guides. These companies really offer a different kind of experience - you might go behind the scenes at performance or visit with a family in a remote village. The cost is more but easily worth it if you value the unique experience.

Companies in this category include Tauck and Insight.

Specialty Companies - include destination specialists as well as those companies that focus on activities.  You can just about choose an activity and find a company that specializes in it.  Specialities include, but are not limited to, food and wine, golf, scuba diving, fishing, art, music, and world war history tours.

There are many examples to choose from - some of our favorites are Country Walkers, iExplore, and Lindblad.

Additional Information

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Self Drive Tours

There is a growing number of companies offering self drive tour options.  The idea is to take much of the responsibility for detail planning from the traveler so you can experience more and plan less. There is also a cost advantage in many cases because these companies block rooms and buy attraction tickets in bulk.

Let us know if you would like to explore these options.