Back-Roads Touring is keeping coach touring alive this year, with the company set to push boundaries throughout Europe and bump their total number of itineraries to 25.
“It’s all about how you leverage the size of the group,” General Manager Steve Reynolds told Travel Weekly recently.
“With small coaches, you can get closer to the local experiences.”
And it’s this challenge that many coach tour operators run into, according to Reynolds.
With a “leisurely pace that allows for flexibility”, Back-Roads allows a strong degree of spontaneity on their tours, allowing for more unique experiences for their customers.
“Some operators have a small group size, but still use the bigger buses,” Reynolds explained, citing this as an example of what can hinder a more close-up experience in a destination.
And this tactic seems to be working in Back-Roads’ favour, with the company set to traipse through Turkey, Morocco and Portugal in the next year, taking the total number of tours from 16 to 25 by the end of 2016. Back-Roads will also return to Montenegro from Croatian tours as of next year.
“We’re not restricted,” Reynolds told Travel Weekly. “If the group sees something or has a preference to visit somewhere not on the itinerary, our tour guides can accommodate that.”
Reynolds also explained that each of their guides have a unique connection with their destination, whether it be from living there for extended periods or having personal ties to the various historical touchstones of a place.
“We are natural in our experiences, not forced,” Reynolds emphasised. “We want travellers to be emotionally touched.”
“Our guides open a little door into their lives in these destinations.”
Reynolds also stated that with 2015 brochures already released, prices for all tours – finalised or otherwise – would remain as they are, with a guaranteed no surcharge despite the shaky Aussie dollar.
Back-Roads will also continue to honour the earlybird savings until the end of February.
“We want our guests to experience the simple human things,” Reynolds said.
“The same says it all. We want them to go out and explore.”