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Size wise: Intimate experiences, exclusive attractions draw travelers to small-group tours

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Posted: Monday, June 2, 2014 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:40 am, Sat Jun 7, 2014.

(BPT) - Small-group travel is growing in a big way. Intimate experiences, exclusive attractions, and the opportunity to create lasting bonds with other travelers are drawing more vacationers to small groups (24 or fewer people) – and tour companies are adding itineraries to meet the demand.

Tauck, an 89-year-old leader in group travel, began adding small-group departures to some of its most popular tours several years ago, and the company has seen the success of those departures skyrocket.  After increasing its small-group departures by 30 percent last year, Tauck will boost that number another 20 percent this year to offer more than 360 small-group departures in 2014. About 55 land tours average 24 guests each, and encompass popular destinations in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East.

What draws travelers to small-group tours? Journeying with a smaller group affords travelers all the advantages of group touring – including having professionals handle the challenges of scheduling, arranging on-tour transportation and gaining admittance to a region’s top attractions. What’s more, small groups offer:

* An intimate experience – Tauck’s tours average 24 guests, and its Culturious trips (designed for active, boomer-age travelers) host just 17 to 21 guests on average.

* One-on-one time –Each traveler has the opportunity to interact with expert guides who share a vast knowledge of a region’s history, culture and cuisine.

* Lasting relationships – A smaller group allows travelers more time to interact with each other, increasing the likelihood that friendships formed during the tour will become lasting, life-long relationships.

* A great transition – If you’ve always traveled independently, you might prefer a smaller group to a larger group experience. Smaller groups can help you feel – and stay – more independent while still providing the convenience, variety and companionship of group travel.

* Access to unique experiences – Full-size motor coaches can’t navigate the narrow lanes of many historic town centers throughout Europe. Small, quaint villages with narrow streets, however, can accommodate smaller groups and mini-coaches. A smaller group can also gain access to cultural and historic attractions – such as a smaller museum – that would be overwhelmed by larger groups.

* Hassle-free travel – Just as with any group tour, traveling on a small-group tour ensures you don’t have to worry about the details, such as arranging your own hotel, admission to attractions, dining opportunities and on-tour transportation. Seasoned professionals manage all the minute details so travelers can simply savor the experience.

Finally, one of the most significant advantages to small-group travel is the level of satisfaction guests report. Tauck, which carefully measures satisfaction metrics, reports guests consistently give its small-group tours high marks in the three most significant areas of satisfaction – value, likelihood to travel with Tauck again and overall experience. Tauck’s small group tours partake of many of the same great itineraries offered to larger groups.

To learn more about small-group travel and available itineraries, visit www.Tauck.com.

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