Small Group Tours: Why Thinking Small Makes Big Sense

By

Think_SmallWhen it comes to groups, travel agents like to think big. “Wow! If I could only put 100 people on a cruise…”

But like the classic ad from Volkswagen (© VW) reminds us, there are a number of reasons to think small, especially when it comes to escorted tours. Let’s count the ways.

1)  It’s easier to round up a small group than a large one. You may be thinking, “Well, duh!” But stay with me.

2) Small group tours appeal to small groups. What I mean by this is that 20 members of a club may not want to get lost on a cruise ship or in a group of 70 tourists, but would welcome the chance to travel together, either all by themselves or with just a few non-members as part of a small group tour. This offers a powerfully persuasive way to pitch your services.

3) Small group tours offer participants the opportunity to get closer to other cultures, a far cry from the “If this is Tuesday it must be Belgium” stereotype.

4) Addressing tours for small groups can help differentiate you from your competition, who are selling the same-old-same-old huge cruise ships and mass market escorted tours.

5) Starting with small group tours is a great way to build your confidence as you hone your skills and learn the ins and outs of group bookings. Then, when you’re ready to tackle your first large group tour or cruise, you’ll be operating from a position of strength.

6) Tour operators are beginning to cater to small groups, so expect BDMs to go the extra mile in helping put together your own small group tour.

“It’s easier to round up a small group than a large one. You may be thinking, “Well, duh!” But stay with me.”
Click to Tweet

Tour ops offering small group tours

There are a number of tour operators that offer small group tours:

Trafalgar Hidden Journeys. Groups of 26 or less to places like Greece, Italy, Ireland, and China.

The Acropolis (Wikitravel.org)

The Acropolis (Wikitravel.org)

Collette Explorations. Groups of 12 to 24 and exotic destinations like South Africa (on elephant back), Myanmar, and Vietnam.

Shwezigon, Myanmar (Collette tours)

Shwezigon, Myanmar (Collette tours)

‘Selling To Groups’ Module 4, Chapter 4

Students of the Home-Based Travel Agent Success Course can review the strategies you need to know to successfully sell groups of any size.

Click here to access your course.

Don’t have the course? Click here.

Globus Small Group Discoveries. At Globus, just 8 people make a group and they go just about everywhere.

Parrot in the Amazon Jungle (Globus Family of Tours)

Parrot in the Amazon Jungle (Globus Family of Tours)

Alexander + Roberts Original Events. Luxury trips for 16 people built around themes like exploring the Jewish heritage of Rome and Florence, sheep shearing in Ireland, and the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that sparked the war in Vietnam.

Jewish Heritage of Italy (Alexander + Roberts)

Jewish Heritage of Italy (Alexander + Roberts)

As an aside, river cruising, perhaps the fastest growing niche in the travel business, is pretty much by definition a small group experience. And with most river cruise lines, just five cabins qualify for group rates.

Tip: If you get a single booking for a river cruise, tell the supplier it’s the first of a group. Then go out and try to sell four more cabins.

Home-Based Travel Agent Success Course

Small Group Tours: Why Thinking Small Makes Big Sense was last modified: October 22nd, 2015 by Kelly Monaghan