You want to take your group on a great trip. You also want to offer the tour for a great price. How do you make the experience as memorable as possible without blowing the budget?
When you’re selecting tour companies to take your travelers on adventures around the world, you have a wide range of options to consider. In addition to a company’s product line and reputation, the price of the trip and the value it represents are going to be key factors in your decision. Tour companies can operate at a variety of brand levels, from low-price, high-volume models to ultraexclusive, high-price concepts. Finding the right balance of cost and value is one of the most important parts of your job.
If you’re looking for a midrange tour product, you’re in luck: Most companies in the travel industry operate somewhere in the middle of the pricing spectrum, and most group travelers are happy with the experiences they offer. These trips, often marketed as “premium” or “deluxe,” usually meet a high standard of quality without crossing over into luxury or unnecessary expenses.
Here’s an overview of what you can expect in 10 essential aspects of group travel when you choose these kinds of trips.
No matter where you want to go — a destination close to home or a faraway place on another continent — you’re likely to find a midrange tour company that offers trips there. Since companies aren’t always chasing the lowest possible price, they have the flexibility to offer tours to a wide range of places, including some that aren’t among the most popular in the world. Some national tour companies have grown quite large operating on this model and are able to offer a comprehensive catalog of global tour products.
2) Seasonality and Timing
As a rule, travel prices are cheapest during the least desirable times to visit a destination. Fortunately, this usually isn’t a problem for tours at this level. Groups willing to pay for a premium or deluxe tour can travel during optimal seasons, when the weather is enjoyable and destinations are at their best. There may be some blackout dates surrounding special events, and you might still consider traveling in shoulder season if you want to avoid crowds. But you don’t have to compromise on season or travel on off-peak days to meet a certain price point.
On any tour, overnight accommodations account for the largest share of expenses, so this is an area where travelers will notice a direct link between price and value. Whereas low-price tours make use of bargain hotels in low-demand neighborhoods, midrange tours are much more likely to use full-service hotels affiliated with nationally known brands. The properties used on these tours are also more likely to be within walking distance of downtown or popular attractions and may feature unique design and local flavor.
Midrange tours also stand out from low-cost counterparts in the area of meals. Travelers on these tours can often expect a full, hot breakfast each day at their hotels, followed by at least one other included meal during most days of the tour. Those included meals will often come from a limited menu of several selections and may also include a complimentary glass of beer or wine. And many midrange tours will feature at least one or two impressive dinners at distinguished restaurants.
Travel planners will find that midrange tours offer a wide variety of activity options for their travelers. In addition to city tours with step-on guides, these trips will also include visits to museums, historic sites and other ticketed attractions. Tour operators will also include several other experiences, such as sightseeing cruises, dinner theater shows and private performances, that add a lot of value to the trip. Customers in this price range can also expect a handful of fun surprises or VIP experiences.