“Small Group Touring” is not only changing the way people experience Europe but it’s also impacting the memories people take back home with them. Back-Roads Touring is leading the charge towards a more experiential, immersive and interactive style of touring.
Over the years, European escorted touring has been dominated by the traditional 50-seat motor coaches with programs that are designed to squeeze as many cities and destinations into one itinerary as possible. While this has been the norm for so many years, the recent surge in popularity of small group touring has been credited to visitors wanting more than just a few pictures of famous landmarks, instead they want to go behind the scenes and get a true appreciation of the destinations they are visiting.
For 28 years, Back-Roads Touring has been offering small group tours that are designed to get their guests off the tourist trail and give them a true feeling of the region. The v.p. of North America for Back-Roads Touring, Chris Coillet says, “We are focused on creating itineraries that give our guests the most authentic local experiences that they can relive over and over again even after returning home.”
With the evolution of social media and the constant sharing of vacation experiences, to what is potentially a global audience, people are looking for vacations that not only meet their expectations but also help raise their social standing among friends by ensuring that they experience things that no one else has done. As a small group operator with long standing relationships in the regions they visit, an important part of any Back-Roads tour is the interaction with locals from the regions that they visit, which can’t be replicated by competitors or found online. “The opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation with a local character who has a story to tell is one of the most powerful tools for creating life-long memories,” says Coillet.
Tour operators are always looking to inject their programs with these highly sought-after, once-in-a-lifetime experiences to ensure that their guests are satisfying their need for immersion into the local culture. The problem for traditional escorted tour operators is that trying to provide high-quality authentic local activities is difficult when you have 50 people that all want their own private memory. Coillet says, “At Back-Roads, we have a maximum of 18 guests on any of our coach tours. This ensures that our guests get up-close and personal with the destination without 48 people looking over their shoulder while they do it.” For more information, call (877) 330-4850 or visit backroadstouring.com.