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2019 Customer Survey Results Are In!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond to our 2019 Customer Survey.  We received 132 responses from customers located in all our communities, as well as a few folks who live farther afield. Our Victoria customers submitted the most responses (34.8% of the total responses).

The lucky winner of a $50 travel voucher, as selected by a random draw, was Edith Bioletti of Kelowna. Congratulations, Edith!

Where Do You Want to Go Next?

We love hearing about all the amazing places you’re longing to visit. Knowing which destinations are on your bucket list helps us select exciting new tours or repeat popular destinations. Based on the survey results, some of the most popular places on your bucket lists include Iceland, Japan, Antarctica, Ireland, Italy, Australia, Spain, Scandinavia, and the Maritimes. There are also a surprising amount of you who still haven’t been on an Alaskan Cruise or want to go for a second (or tenth!) time.

Iceland was one of the most-requested destinations in the survey. Join us on our next tour to the ‘land of fire and ice’ in 2021!

We have good news for many of you, as we are planning tours to almost all these destinations in 2020 and 2021. We already have tours planned for Japan, Ireland, Italy, the Maritimes, and Alaska for 2020. These tours should be out for sale in the near future. We are also in the planning process for tours to Iceland, Australia, Scandinavia, and Antarctica in 2021. Two other brand-new tours we are hoping to offer in 2021 are Portugal & Morocco and Nepal. If any of these destinations interest you, make sure you call your local office to join the interested list as they are sure to sell out quickly.

Another extremely popular destination was Japan, and you can experience this fantastic country with us in 2020.

What You Had to Say

Here are a few of the most common questions/comments we received and how we’re working to improve your experience:

I would like to see more active tours (two and three hiker activity level).
We had multiple requests for more active tours. We hear you and we are working on a lot of exciting two and three hiker tours for 2020 and 2021, so stay tuned!

I would like to see more light activity tours (one hiker level).
On the other hand, we had several requests for more light activity tours, especially on repeat destinations we already offer as two or three hiker tours. We try to offer a range of activity levels for all regions, but sometimes the tour level is dictated by the destination. Walking over rocky beaches, getting in and out of small boats, or navigating difficult terrain is sometimes unavoidable in remote places. Your safety and comfort is always our number one priority, so we never want to put any of our travellers in a situation where they could be injured. If you would like to join a tour but aren’t sure why it has a higher activity level, call your local office to find out more.

Why are single traveller rates so high?
We had a few questions raised in the survey responses about our single traveller rates. Unfortunately, single traveller rates are noticeably higher for one reason only—the cost of accommodation. Almost all hotels and cruise lines base accommodation prices on double occupancy and there isn’t much we can do to change these costs. Whenever possible we try to minimize our single traveller prices and/or offer triple pricing if we can. If you are interested in finding another traveller to share accommodation during a specific tour you can contact us to be put on our partner list.  Once you’re on the list we will notify you if other singles are looking for a travel partner.

I would like to see more short trips in BC.
More and more of our travellers are requesting adventure travel to new destinations, but we haven’t forgotten about our roots offering local tours. 40% of our tours currently available for sale are within BC and on average 38% of our tours are within BC each year. If you have any suggestions for BC destinations you’d like to visit, we would love to hear about them! We’re always looking for new ways to explore our own province.

Can you accommodate my specific needs? I’m in a wheelchair/hard of hearing/etc.
We try to make it possible for every customer to enjoy our tours. Please contact your local office to find out which tours would work for your specific needs.

Why is travel getting so expensive?
Unfortunately the price of travel is increasing across the board. People around the world are travelling more and the cost of flights, fuel, accommodation, services, port fees, and food products have all been increasing faster than general inflation. However as a group tour operator we can negotiate better rates for most tour components. We typically plan our tours for shoulder seasons wherever possible in order to offer you the best rates and avoid the crowds.

Because of my age and pre-existing medical conditions I can’t get insurance to travel outside of Canada.
Travel insurance is a critical item when planning your trip. Equally as important, is to understand the type of coverage you are purchasing and what it offers. The insurance we offer for purchase through Travel Guard has no age limit and covers pre-existing medical conditions. The cost of insurance is based on your age and the length of tour, but our policy is one of the least expensive options for travellers over 70. If you have any questions about insurance, we’d be more than happy to answer them.

Are you going to offer more themed trips?
We are always looking for new ideas for tours and are trying to offer more unique, hands-on activities as this is what people are requesting. We love the idea of themed tours but it can be difficult to find something that will interest enough customers to fill a tour. We try to offer choices of activities or optional activities to make sure there is something for everyone on every tour.

Why don’t you offer home pickup on all your tours?
The simple answer is because it would cost you more money and take longer than a taxi. Having a shuttle pick up every traveller on the tour would increase the tour price and mean you would be sitting on the coach for significantly longer. Some other tour companies offer home pickup but the cost is built into the tour price so you don’t know exactly how much it’s actually costing you. The only exception to our rule is in Victoria where we will offer home pickups if there are less than ten travellers.

Let Us Know How We Can Improve

We want to be your travel partner of choice, so don’t hesitate to let us know where you want to travel next and how we can improve your experience!

Written by: Pam Jensen