Starting a company from the ground up isn’t an easy task, but in 1987, Pip and Lil Tyler did it. They founded Tucan Travel, a tour operator offering group tours in South America.
Since then, the company has expanded into the adventure travel and tailor-made touring markets with tours available in six continents. “We aim to take people to the furthest and most remote regions of the world,” says C.E.O. Matt Grannan, “bring people together and teach people that there is so much out there waiting to be discovered.”
The call to traveling with Tucan, Grannan says, is that as travelers travel to the places they’ve always dreamed of going, they form incredible friendships with others in the group, and create lasting memories of the experience.
Whatever the Dream
As far as those dream destinations go, the company currently offers tours in no fewer than 60 locations, but “we can cater for anyone. Tailor-made tours can be made for any destination in the world, within reason.
“Our most popular tours are to countries in South America, but as our tours in the rest of the world grow in range, they have been becoming more and more popular as well,” he adds. And in its new 2013/14 catalog, he says, “We have tours to new countries like Burma, Indonesia, Cuba, Sri Lanka, Morocco and Borneo. We have also released new tours to destinations we already visit like India, Nepal, China and Southern Africa, and revised our tour to Turkey so that it’s possible to combine our Eastern Europe tours with Turkey as well.”
These added itineraries in Southeast Asia will be hugely beneficial for the company, as it expects such bookings to go on the rise in the upcoming years. But in the meantime, Latin America and the surrounding area continue to do well.
“Peru remains a popular destination year on year; we have several itineraries that are favorites for our customers, and are regularly sold out and full, such as with our Peru Completed tour. We are also particularly excited about our new Cuba tours—we’ve worked hard this year to ensure that our tours have competitive prices and offer the best experiences available, and we are confident we’ve cracked it with Cuba.”
To Each His Own
Tucan Travel recognizes that everyone travels differently, and to that extent, the company offers three touring options, each specifically adapted to the needs of its travelers.
For example, BEX (Budget Experience) tours are created specifically for the younger market, travelers ages 18-35, who have just left college or are on a career break. “The price of the BEX tours are incredibly low and provide excellent value for money. They allow travelers to pick and choose what they want to do and what excursions they want to take.”
A more rounded-out option is available through Worldwide itineraries, which feature a significant number of inclusions such as meals and excursions. Two options here extend to Overland tours, which take place in purpose-built “overland trucks” that combine accommodations, meals and excursions, and Adventure tours, which opt instead for local transportation to get from one destination to the next; accommodations in local hotels, lodges and hostels; and some meal inclusions.
But like we mentioned earlier, Tailor-made tours are always available to clients who prefer their trip be catered to their individual needs. “Tailor-made tours are put together at the request of the client, and can range from backpacking-style to super luxurious. If a client sees a group tour they want to take on their own, we can put something together for them. The Tailor-made option is perfect for honeymoons, family holidays or trips for large groups of people.”
“Travel agents are fundamental to the success of the business—approximately half of our travelers book through agents,” says Gannan. Adding to that, he says “We offer competitive commission rates to travel agents all over the world selling our tours, and we also have some fantastic industry discounts on all of our tours.”