Saturday,  April 10, 2021  11:24 am

"Not your grandfather's tours": Globus unveils a "you" way to travel with Choice Touring

"Not your grandfather's tours": Globus unveils a "you" way to travel with Choice Touring
From left: (of Globus family of brands); Stéphanie Bishop, managing director; Chris Jones, director of marketing.
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and DailyXtra.ca. Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

Globus family of brands has launched a “you” way to tour with the introduction of “Choice Touring,” a style of travel that promises the fun of exploring new destinations but with added flexibility. 

Choice Touring by Globus is offering 13 new itineraries in Europe and North America and freedom, flexibility and choice is built into every tour.

“This completely new tour design balances the ease of the logistic support of a Globus tour and embeds a bounty of excursions to choose from throughout the tour,” said Stéphanie Bishop, managing director at Globus family of brands, speaking to journalists at a virtual press briefing on Tuesday morning (March 16).

READ MORE: "Thrilling to witness": Globus takes travellers to the Rockies on first tour since March

All choices in Choice Touring are included excursions and come at no extra cost, Bishop explained.

Stéphanie Bishop, managing director of Globus family of brands. (Globus)

Types who “love to tour, but fancy a bit more freedom" can “choose their days, their way,” she said. 

In addition to providing guided sightseeing at the must-see sights, Choice Touring features “YourChoice Excursions,” curated experiences in key and off-the-beaten-path destinations – included in the package price – so travellers can tailor their tour to their own interests.

Backed by research  

Researching the market has been key to Globus’ strategy throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Choice Touring was guided by a recent post-pandemic study by Mintel research among past and prospective escorted tour consumers.

“There’s a rising importance of flexibility within an itinerary,” Bishop said, outlining the data, which says that 55% of potential adventure travellers are looking for extra freedom on a tour.

How it works

Choice Touring by Globus lets travellers choose their own adventure. 

For example: on Globus’ nine-day tour of Scotland, there are four separate occasions that guests can select from a choice of excursions.

“On average, across all the Choice Tours, there will be two to four days of a week-long tour that would be “Choice Days” as guests get to choose from two to three excursions each time,” explained Chris Jones, director of marketing at Globus.

Choice is great – “but only if the choices are truly amazing,” added Jones, listing off examples of activities one could pursue in Scotland, from a storied Oban whisky tasting experience to bicycle tours in Inverness to discovering the origins of Macbeth at Cawdor Castle.

Chris Jones, director of marketing at Globus. (Supplied)

Clients can choose their excursions ahead of time, up to a few days before the date, or on the day of the tour, if there’s space. Or they can switch to something else if they feel like it.

“They’ll have that choice right up to the end,” Jones said.

The concept, you could say, was inspired by a format that’s used in river cruising.

In reviewing feedback from guests of Avalon Waterways, Globus’ river cruise brand, the company found that guests – multi-generational families, in particular – enjoyed having the option of meeting in the morning, doing separate activities in the afternoon, and then reconvening at night.

Choice Touring reflects the “evolution” of travellers and how tastes change over time, Bishop explained. 

“It’s the right time and the best time to do this,” she said. 

"Not your grandfather's tours"

The playful names of the tours, in particular, bring out the fun factor in Choice Touring. 

As Jones put it: “These are not your grandfather’s tours.”  

READ MORE: Globus to require proof of vaccination, negative test or virus immunity

For example, there’s HOT TAM!: SCOTLAND BY DESIGN, a trip that lets guests choose how to “rock your tartans” on a nine-day vacation from Edinburgh to Glasgow, or OH MY GODDESS!: GREECE BY DESIGN, an “odyssey of epic proportions” over eight days in Greece.

VENI, VIDI, VICI: UMBRIA & TUSCANY BY DESIGN, for example, asks travellers if they want to hunt for truffles, catch culture, soak-in the beauty of waterfalls, or stir watercolours?

Choice Touring is for those who love to tour, but fancy a bit more freedom. (Globus)

Or THE ALPS OUT LOUD: SWITZERLAND & LAKE COMO BY DESIGN, which poses some of life’s most important questions, such as swiss chocolate or cheese? More Milan fashion or Como’s fashionable homes? Wine a little or a lot?

There’s North American tours, too, such as CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’: NORTHERN CALIFORNIA BY DESIGN and BOOGIE & BLUES: THE SOUTHERN U.S. BY DESIGN.

Even Canada is included. See MAD ABOUT MOUNTIES: EASTERN CANADA BY DESIGN, a seven-day adventure from Toronto to Montreal, and FROM THE TOP: WESTERN CANADA BY DESIGN, an eight-day journey from Vancouver to the parks and peaks of Western Canada.

You can view all the itineraries here

3 key demographics 

With Choice Touring, Globus is targeting three specific demographic types:  

The Freedom Seekers: “They love the idea of spontaneity but within a structure,” Jones said. “This is really the new market for escorted tours.”

Repeat Tourers: “They’re looking for deeper engagement in destination, especially if it’s a destination they’ve already potentially been to,” Jones said.

Multi-Generation Groups: “Each family can choose what they want to do each day and potentially pick something that is more aligned with their interests,” Jones said.

Choice Touring reflects the “evolution” of travellers and how tastes change over time, Bishop said. (Globus)

Starting in September 

Due to the global pandemic, Globus’ operations are suspended until the end of May and Choice Touring will start in September (if everything goes according to plan).

Having Canadian options included in Choice Touring was important to the brand, said Bishop, noting how Globus already has a Canada campaign underway and how some travellers have already decided to “not cross the pond this summer.”

As much as Globus would like to start operating soon, it is still monitoring the pandemic as it evolves. “We want to be as mindful as possible,” Bishop said.

To that end, the company is seeing a momentum build among accounts and travel advisors as Canada rolls out vaccinations.

“I think in a month from now you’re going to see a big switch," said Bishop. "Will all Canadians decide to book? We’ll see." 

For travel advisors, see this BOOK EARLY & SAVE promo whereby clients who book a Choice Touring vacation can save up to 10 per cent. 

Watch Globus' new promo video about Choice Touring here. Visit www.agentlingo.ca for more trade info.


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