More and more tour operators are organizing individual trips


DThis all-inclusive oceanfront hotel is popular with recreation seekers. Especially for the sake of relaxation, because the sea view calms down. And a regular three-meal routine gives structure. But more and more travelers see it the other way around. Too much uniformity on vacation annoys. They are looking for authentic experiences that will be remembered long after the trip, even without selfies.

A new generation of tour operators offer individual, sustainable travel. They rely on experiences instead of idleness. With the roof tent through Namibia, to places that you have selected yourself; Walking on the most beautiful volcanoes of Ecuador or by train through Laos – the journeys are made in the network with a few clicks like a kit.

“Our target group are people who want a tailor-made travel experience,” says Ambros Gasser, founder of Wedesigntrips. “Authentic, off the beaten track, with tips from locals. They want to travel as they used to do during their studies, only organized. “Sometimes you book accommodation, sometimes you sleep with locals. Sometimes you drive yourself, sometimes a driver is there.

Broker to the organizer on site

Wedesigntrips was founded in 2017 as a spin-off of ASI Reisen, the leading provider of active travel in Austria. The company targets the target group of over-35s and connects customers with local tour operators in more than 30 countries.

Unlike the normal organizer, the customer comes into direct contact with a local. He plans his journey together with the travel expert, who is often a German-speaking expert. With Marc from Namibia, María from Ecuador, Somboun from Laos.

That's right - the organizers rely on local expertise

That's right – the organizers rely on local expertise

Source: Getty Images / Westend61

“The advantage of the individual tour operator travel compared to the conventional one is that the itinerary adapts to the traveler and not vice versa,” says Gasser. Most normal organizer offers are prefabricated, rigid and hardly adaptable. “A traditional tour operator can not offer tailor made travel. At best, prefabricated travel components are combined. “

In the case of the individual tour of a tour operator, the advantages of a self-organized holiday can also be combined with the great advantage of a package holiday, security, because there is a travel insurance voucher according to the EU package travel law. “If you go to a tour operator and you have the certainty that someone is there, something should go wrong,” says Gasser.

The customer specifies the framework

The block holiday from the net is a holiday concept beyond Opodo and Co. And Wedesigntrips is not alone. A whole range of providers are pushing for the market. They are called Evaneos, Travel Experts, It's Your Trip, Mister Trip, and, more recently, Airbnb Adventures.

The system works in all similar: The traveler calls the provider on the website, by e-mail, via Skype or via a hotline journey period, destination, travel budget and desired activities – and often receives within a few hours a tailor-made offer.

A Nepalese guide shows two tourists the wildlife in Chitwan National Park

A Nepalese guide shows two tourists the wildlife in Chitwan National Park

Source: Getty Images / Glowimages RF

Of course, many of the big tour operators have also offered more or less individual trips: Studiosus, Marco Polo, Gebeco, Dertour and Viking Travel. But the new providers are different from that. “There is no other journey for us,” says Annika Lucien, Country Manager for Germany, Austria and Switzerland at Evaneos. “Our trips are not only 100% tailor-made, but also planned by professional travel experts, who are helpful with insider knowledge, tips and tricks during travel planning.”

Evaneos praises itself as “the leading online market place for individual travel worldwide”. Travelers will be inspired by more than 8,000 travel ideas and more than 20,000 travel reviews from travelers on the site. The French company is now present in nine countries. Since its foundation, 300,000 travelers have booked their individual holidays with Evaneos.

Travel as an expression of personality

As with cars and clothing, the trend towards customization is great, even when traveling. “Previously, the traveler liked to talk about the seven-star hotel in Dubai, today about his ski tour on Kamchatka,” says Ambros Gasser of Wedesigntrips. Michael Buller, board member of the Internet Travel Distribution Association (VIR), also sees an industry-wide trend. “On the one hand, customers are much more travel-savvy than they were ten years ago, and they always have better ideas of what kind of travel they prefer. On the other hand, the topic of holidays, like other consumer decisions, is increasingly becoming an expression of one's own personality. “

This trend is also taking advantage of long-distance travel. The German company specializes in the development of travel components in currently 46 countries. Overnight stays, transfers and excursions are combined and offered completely flexible – either as complete round trips or as building blocks following an already existing trip. “We serve customers who are not happy with a round trip off the rack, because they have more individual ideas,” says Stefanie Krämer from Krefeld specialists.

Family connection. The most impressive thing about traveling is often the people you meet

Family connection. The most impressive thing about traveling is often the people you meet

Source: picture alliance / Photoshot

And that too is common to the new companies: they attach great importance to sustainability. “We address people who want to travel close to the culture of the host country and who want to travel sustainably,” says Krämer. For example, on long-distance travel in many countries, not only local guides are included in the trips, but also accommodations run by locals themselves. The bulk of the travel price is therefore directly with the locals.

Ambros Gasser of Wedesigntrips also confirms that more money lands in the holiday destination. “After our guests communicate directly with the local providers, our processes are much leaner.” Wedesigntrips advertises “direct prices without intermediaries” on its website. Although the company receives a placement commission, it assumes the organizer liability and the payment of fees and expenses. “Normally, only 15 to 20 percent of a booked journey goes to value as a value creation destination, with 85 percent of our concept.” According to Evaneos, 73 percent of travel costs in the local economy are spent.

The lowest price is not the goal

And what do the tailor-made trips cost? – “I would say that our trips are usually slightly cheaper than traveling from the catalog,” says Ambros Gasser of Wedesigntrips. “This is mainly because we are shortening the distribution chain and bringing travelers directly into contact with local tour operators.”

Stefanie Krämer of experience-long-distance travel assumes that their offers are priced slightly above the catalogs. This has to do with the fact that the trips often take place with private guides. On the other hand, as a rule, no huge hotel blocks were booked, in which the organizers buy large contingents. And Annika Lucien from Evaneos adds: “Our goal is not to be the cheapest supplier. We deliver authentic, unique and sustainable travel experiences. And at fair prices. ”

(tTTransTranslate) Tour Operator (t) Vacation Package (t) Travel (t) Long Distance Travel (t) Tour Operator (t) KOH TRONG (t) Cambodia (t) Mekong River (t) Ladakh (t) SNV (t) Travel (t) Austria (t) Namibia (t) Guides (t) Cambodia (t) Melinda Kinnaman (t) Lao (t) India (t) Volcano Ecuador (t) Kamchatka (t) AFP (t) Wiking Travel


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