The Trend Towards Smaller Tours

15 August 2012

In a recent Insights article on Travel Weekly, author Michelle Baran alludes to the trend towards smaller and exclusive groups of travelers that has operators increasingly creating escorted itineraries for as few as two people, and asks the question, "What's going on with us as travelers that all these escorted tour companies keep evolving their product offering to cater to smaller, more intimate groups, or to travelers who'd rather go it alone?"

Baran says that increased exclusivity in today's consumer preferences has travelers eschewing larger groups for smaller ones, or even just friends or family:

So let's face it, we're kind of becoming a bunch of "mean girls" -- a bit cliquey, if you will. We've prejudged potential traveling partners before we've even met them and decided we don't want to travel with these elusive strangers. The question is, why? Have we bad experiences on group trips? Are we foreseeing potentially awkward or unsavory encounters with our faceless travel companions?

What's interesting is that tour operators often tout that the hidden secret to success of many tours is the bonds that form among the passengers on these trips. True, you might not click with everyone you are traveling with, but there might be some potential lifelong friends in the mix, or at least some very fun traveling pals.

What do you think is causing this more independent touring preference in the market?

Read the entire article.