In the September Family Travel issue, Recommend’s Managing Editor interviewed Ryan Droegemueller, product manager for Asia, East & South Africa, for the Globus family of brands, about multi-gen travel to Asia. Here is the rest of that interview. To read about what multi-gen clients can do in Asia, read our full feature story here.
Deserae del Campo (DC): What changes have you noticed when it comes to multi-gen travel to Asia? Is this the kind of destination for the family that has ‘been there and done that’?
Ryan Droegemueller (RD): We haven’t noticed any big trends, but the destination is absolutely perfect for families looking for something different, adventurous and ultimately rewarding. In Asia the cultures and traditions are so different it is a great chance to learn something totally new. At the same time, the local people are so friendly, and in most places they speak English, so it makes for a great experience.
DC: Give me an example of one or two tours you offer to Asia that are big sellers for families. Why are they big sellers? What makes them popular?
RD: Monograms, in general, is gaining in popularity—95 percent of our packages in Asia include private sightseeing so guests have their own local guide with them and no group. The level of service on these excursions is very high and people can enjoy the things that interest them the most. It also allows them to really learn more about the culture, people, etc., as their local guide will be with them throughout and can give them special insight.
DC: Aside from China or Japan, maybe Vietnam or Thailand, are you seeing other not-very-popular destinations (Myanmar, Laos) that families are inquiring about?
RD: The majority of the focus is on China and a bit of Southeast Asia.
DC: Is Globus expanding its family tours in 2015 to Asia, and if so, what destinations are you focusing on?
RD: We don’t specifically offer Family tours to Asia, but between our Small Group discoveries with Globus (no more than 20 passengers) and Monograms (independent travel packages), we have many great options from China to Southeast Asia to India.
DC: What elements make the perfect family tour package to Asia? Is it all about the experiential travel — meeting a family from the country and dining with them or visiting a local school or animal habitat?
RD: Experiential is a big draw and we do include many experiential activities like visiting local tribes, cooking classes, visiting a local home or school—our guests love it. Also, simply learning about the different cultures and what day-to-day life is in different countries is important; it makes many appreciate what we have back home.
DC: What advice would you give home-based travel agents about selling Asia to their multi-gen clients?
RD: Don’t shy away from offering it. There are many family-friendly destinations in Asia. Also important to remember that with international air it may seem more expensive than Europe but once you are in the destination things are fairly inexpensive, whether it is a meal (although we include many) or simply shopping for souvenirs. Step one would simply be to familiarize themselves, if they haven’t already, with some of what Asia has to offer. Perhaps take a specialist program through our Travel Agent Portal or directly through a tourism board.
For more information, visit the Globus family of brands website here.