Heather Colbourn of senior sales manager of Inspiring Journeys  outlines benefits of small group adventures

So it’s decided. Your client’s next holiday with their partner will be a bucket list trip to the rugged landscapes of Australia and New Zealand. But then the inevitable question, which so many agents hear from clients every day, is raised; “Should we travel independently or with an operator?”

As the overall touring market continues to shift, and small group guided holidays are more popular than ever, it’s clear the preconceptions of guided tours are outdated and touring is an ever-growing sector. So with this trend in mind, perhaps it makes sense for agents to pose this question in response; “Do you want to travel just the two of you, or with a small group of like minded travellers?”

Whether your client is a well-travelled couple, or an adventurous solo traveller, there are so many advantages to travelling with a small group guided operator, especially in vast destinations like Australia or New Zealand where there is so much ground to cover. For some clients, it can seem overwhelming to even consider where to begin planning an independent trip, let alone navigate themselves on the ground.

So here are some tips and tricks to help you sell-in the benefits of a small group adventure for your clients’ next holiday to Australia and New Zealand.

Go off the beaten track

A cruise on Milford Sound, sunset over Uluru and snapping selfies in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge are the makings of a wonderful holiday. But what really makes an unforgettable trip and exceeds clients expectations are those off the beaten track experiences on a small guided tour which are difficult to replicate independently.

A guiding light with valuable local knowledge

When someone else is responsible for the planning and logistics of a holiday, you truly can just sit back, relax and fully immerse yourself in the experience. This is where the ‘guiding lights’, or at Inspiring Journeys what we like to call our ‘Journey Directors’ come into play. Talented guides will share unparalleled local knowledge and insights with guests to bring each destination to life. In a small group setting, a guide also has the opportunity to tailor a client’s experience to suit their tastes. Fancy an impromptu guided sunrise walk, gazing out over the stunning Katherine Gorge? Consider it done.

A social atmosphere

In a small group with a maximum of 20 guests, it’s much easier to get to know and form strong bonds with fellow likeminded travellers, and this makes holiday experiences all the more enjoyable. So what makes a breathtaking hike to the summit of Gunlom Falls in Kakadu National Park followed by a refreshing dip in a crystal-clear plunge pool even more memorable? Sharing the experience with a group of new friends, of course.

Meet the locals

Travelling In a small group allows guests to interact with locals at a more intimate level. For example, our trip to Kakaku National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory introduces guests to Manuel Pamkal who speaks with guests about life in the bush and demonstrates the art of rarrk painting, a tradition passed through generations of Indigenous Australians.

Tread lightly

The decision to travel in a smaller group also minimises an individual’s environmental impact, especially in comparison with independent travel. Small group tours reduce the strain on resources and allows for more sustainable economic benefits to filter through to local economies.

More: touringandadventure.com