A Smart Way to Provide Guests With Guided Vacation Tours
Partnering with a tour operator can be a cost-effective way to offer local experiences.
As experiential travel gains greater exposure, it’s no surprise that more and more people are engaging in local activities when they vacation. The 2018 Virtuoso® Luxe Report found a strong interest in immersive experiences among travelers, and “seeking authentic experiences” came in third on their list of top travel motivations.
“Terms like destination immersion, active discovery, local expedition, and authentic or curated experiences pepper our language today when describing what vacation-goers can expect from their travels,” says Noriye Oto, vice president of cruise and tour product management at International Cruise & Excursions, Inc., a company that administers RCI Travel Guided Vacations tours.
For many resorts, it can make sense to partner with a company that can take guests out on guided tours. Antonio Camacho, vacation exchange manager at Sunset World, Resort & Vacation Experiences, has found that working with a tour operator such as CityDiscovery is a good way to beef up resort offerings while not having to invest in finding guides and planning itineraries. “The primary challenge for the tour operator is education; people often don’t know what tour operators do,” Camacho says. This is where partnering with a resort can be helpful for them.
Resorts can also point guests who are RCI subscribing members to tours and itineraries by RCI Travel Guided Vacations. RCI members can exchange member equity for a partial pay on a guided vacation booked through the program. “Travel experts design the itineraries to give travelers unparalleled access to the most significant sights and interactive experiences,” Oto says. “Local guides provide an educational component that travelers couldn’t get on their own.”
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