Select Traveler

MAR-APR 2017

Select Traveler

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10 selecttraveler.com M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 7 segment your T R A V E L T O O L B O X I t may be the biggest challenge in group tourism: How do you keep a diverse group of people with a wide range of interests happy and en- gaged on a trip together? For years, the standard solution to this problem was to create tour itineraries that offered "something for everyone" in the hopes that each tour participant would find enough activities they liked that they wouldn't complain about the other activi- ties that they didn't like. And while that ap- proach may have worked well a generation ago, today's travelers are more demanding than they ever have been and demonstrate a much lower tolerance for boredom on their trips. When people travel in groups now, they don't want to sacrifice their personal in- terests for the sake of the group itinerary. That leaves travel planners with the dif- ficult task of finding ways to engage and delight all types of travelers in one trip. Among the most innovative ways to do this is to segment trips, offering multiple choices to travelers along the way and al- lowing them to customize their experienc- es in the context of the group tour. Here are five strategies for segmenting your trips in ways your travelers will appreciate. Though group tours often offer better value for the dollar than in- dividual travel does, they don't always have to cater to the smallest common budget. Some people in your group will always be looking for the cheapest rate they can get, while others are likely to enjoy some upgraded amenities and are willing to pay extra for them. Instead of choosing to cater to one faction or another, why not come up with some ways to satisfy both? Giving your travelers the option to upgrade to a better hotel suite, cruise cabin or airline ticket will allow those who want extra luxury to pay for it while everyone else in the group still gets the best value possible. The tour operators, hotels and transportation pro- viders with whom you work should be able to make this possible for you. B Y B R I A N J E W E L L O F F E R A R A N G E O F VA L U E S . travel groups

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