Written By: Caroline Mongrain, North American Marketing Manager, World Expeditions
Active lifestyle has gained in popularity and more people are seeking unique, active and authentic experiences for their holidays. At World Expeditions we have been organising quality treks, cycle trips, climbs and tours for over four decades. We strongly believe that it is not only where but also how someone travels that truly creates a trip of a lifetime.
The main value of adventure travel is that it captures the essence of the experience. Whether enjoying a full panoramic view of the highest mountains of the world in Nepal, witnessing the magic of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate on the Inca Trail in Peru, revelling in the festivities of the Naadam festival in Mongolia or relaxing amongst what feels like a million penguins in Antarctica, this style of travel is all about discovery, personal achievement & experience.
In an era where our lifestyles are fast paced and technology dominates a significant amount of time, the connection with nature away from ‘screens’ is growing in importance and adventure travel continues to be one of the fastest accelerating sectors in the industry as a result. Travel agents stand to prosper from this growth if they are poised and ready to confidently market and sell this style of travel.
Searching for the best active holidays should be fun and inspiring. We are pleased to share with you our expertise in adventure travel and hope these few tips will help you select the best travel experiences for your clients.
Travellers are well informed and they want their travel consultant to go a step further. They are excited to get out of their comfort zone but want to make sure this won’t ruin their hard-earned vacation days. This is where the quality of service, attention to detail and strong knowledge of a travel consultant can make all the difference in inspiring a traveller to perhaps visit a region they may have otherwise not considered. Providing expert advice is of the utmost importance: the best time to go, physical preparation, cultural considerations… and to do so, you need the right tools. With World Expeditions’ detailed documentation it is easy for you to quickly find all the answers and to be confident that you are able to provide all the necessary information for them to select their perfect adventure.
Level of Fitness
Adventure travel will encompass a wide and varied range of adventures. Some are soft while others are extreme. A good grading system, as developed by World Expeditions, makes it easy for intending travellers to understand the physical rating and training requirements for each adventure. The trip grading is an important consideration when choosing an itinerary. It will vary not only by the activity type but also factors including altitude, the trip duration, difficulty of the terrain and any technical requirements. This is a great resource for travel agents who can quickly familiarize with the required level of fitness and it is always encouraged to ask questions if you are unsure of the level of difficulty.
Price and Inclusions
Search for the best value for money. There are many things that can affect a price tag. Pay extra attention to the exclusions; activities not included, local payment, park entry fees, trekking permits, bike rental and meals. All additional costs not only force travellers to carry large sums of money but it also reduces your commission. While some operators offer transparent information, some may make you work harder to gather those details.
Types of Accommodation
There is a wide variety of accommodations available and the desires of adventure travellers is well known – they seek out properties that authentically reflect the character of the area, minimize the impact on the environment and provide the most comfortable option at the preferred price tag. Learning about the different types of accommodation will help you provide the most valuable information, beyond the first impression. As when someone says that they don’t want to camp, maybe they would still enjoy staying at an eco campsite with a view of Torres del Paine in Patagonia, a bedouin camp in the desert or even at wilderness fully serviced camping in a stunning environment. Read between the lines and never forget that it is all about the experience.
About Small Group Travel
We recognise that many travellers have not been on a ‘group trip’ before. We are not talking about bus tours, but a small group trip of around ten participants should allow some time for personal discovery within the framework of the itinerary. Travelling in small group is a good way to develop long lasting friendships as it offers the chance to spend quality time with people who have a desire to see the same destination you do – in the style you like.
Why Choose Private Vehicles
Private transportation is not only safer but it is also a more sustainable option. Public transport for tourism purposes can push services into an overuse situation which results in fare increasing and reduces availability for the local community. World Expeditions utilises private transportation as much as possible. This is the best way to ensure that all vehicles we use have regular maintenance, that our experienced drivers work in good conditions and that they follow strict guidelines to offer the maximum security.
Special Dietary Requirements
Having special dietary requirements including allergies can be a cause of stress or even discourage a traveller to choose their dream adventure, especially in more remote destinations. By choosing an outfitter that offers inclusive meal services on their tour, you can not only cater to those dietary requirements but it also greatly lowers the risk of travellers getting sick. Our appointed cooks and kitchen assistants prepare a creative menu with fresh ingredients and carefully manage the hygiene standards.
Empowering Local People
The main advantage of working with local guides is that it ensures that someone with a comprehensive understanding of regional customs and culture leads the trip. Another advantage is that it provides to the local communities opportunities for self-development through extensive training in health, safety and environmental conservation. It is a big misconception that it is less expensive to work with a local guide compared to using a western leader, but we believe it is the right thing to do. Our training program ensures that local guides have excellent knowledge to provide the best support to travellers. Porters are also an integral part of the World Expeditions philosophy and style of travel. Without them, we would not be able to run our quality programs in the mountains. The welfare of the entire trek crew, from porters to the most senior guide, is the responsibility of the company that sends them out there. We are committed to paying a good working wage and providing above industry standard employment conditions. A happy team is likely to provide a better experience to your clients.
Why Booking in Advance is Better
More and more people prefer to book their trip last minute these days but there are some places where it is important to plan it well in advance. If a traveller is interested in a destination with limited accommodation options like in Myanmar, where only a small number of hotels is available; in popular walking trails such as the John Muir Trail where it is virtually impossible to book last minute; in places requiring special permits such as the Inca Trail in Peru or the mountain gorillas permits in Rwanda; or in regions with short season such as the blossom season in Japan, the best advice you can offer is that advance booking is not only recommended but essential.
Tailor-Made Itineraries and Private Groups
Finally, if you don’t find the right trip out there why not offer a tailor-made adventure? Your clients will surely enjoy the flexibility of a customized itinerary; to choose what they would like to see, the activities they want to do, the duration of the trip and at the date that suits them best. This is the perfect format for private groups and family travel as it gives them the opportunities to build their own exclusive departure just the way they want.
All of our itineraries are designed by people with incredible local knowledge who share our vision of authentic exchange and real exploration with a responsible tourism approach. Whether your client like their adventures to include trekking, touring, cycling, mountaineering, kayaking or cruising World Expeditions can make it happen.
Our team is happy to assist you in finding the adventure of a lifetime for each traveller and to put our expertise for tailor-made trips at your disposal. Don’t hesitate to contact our expert team at 1-800-567-2216 or [email protected] Our vast selection of quality active adventures is also available at www.worldexpeditions.com