Tauck Expands Small Group Options
PHOTO: Travelers are increasingly preferring the mobility of the small group option. (photo by David Cogswell)
Though the cost advantages and convenience of traveling in groups are still highly compelling to travel consumers, there is little doubt that the traveling public is leaning increasingly toward travel in smaller, more intimate and mobile groups.
For those who prefer smaller groups and are willing to pay a slightly higher price for the privilege, Tauck, the 90-year old tour operator of Norwalk, Conn., has a middle ground solution.
Tauck offers the option of taking its traditional escorted tours in smaller groups for a slightly higher cost. Tauck’s classic escorted tours travel with about 40 group members, but under the operator’s special small group provision on specially designated departures they travel with only 24.
The offer of travel in groups limited to 24 people started as a special request and has evolved into a regular offering.
“It was something our guests had asked about, we responded, and it's grown steadily since,” said Tom Armstrong, Tauck’s corporate communications manager.
The special departures on its traditional escorted tours are not Tauck’s only small group options. Tauck’s Culturious series, which was designed for active baby boomers who prefer smaller groups and more cultural immersion, travel with an average of 21 guests.
Most of Tauck’s African safaris are limited to 20 or 30 guests, and the company’s World Cities series travel with an average of 24 guests.
“The special small groups departures are a bit different, in that they're special departures of many of our classic land journeys,” said Armstrong. “Other than being small groups, they follow the same daily itineraries.”
For 2015 Tauck is offering 273 small group departures on 54 of its itineraries throughout its selection of tours to Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Tauck CEO Dan Mahar says that the extra charge is minimal and worth considering for those who prefer the small-group option.
“Of the 54 different trips where we're offering a smaller group option, 42 have a surcharge of 15 percent or less,” said Mahar. “In fact, the additional cost on over a dozen trips is $500 or less. On our ‘A Portrait of India’ tour, the added cost is just $39 per day.”
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