Globus Family of Brands hosted a media event at Vancouver’s Giardino restaurant last week. The group was welcomed by Stéphanie Bishop, managing director Canada, Marco Sorbara, executive director Europe, Peter Ouzounov, business development manager Western Canada, as well as the restaurant’s proprietor and iconic chef, Umberto Menghi.
“The Canadian marketplace has a pre-conceived idea of what motor coach touring is about.” said Bishop. “They think they are for grandparents and seniors."
In reality, tours have evolved so much in the past decade, and so have the clients who go on them, prompting Bishop to declare “a big revival in touring”.
Time to tour
Boomers have been the traditional coach tour clients, seeking a safe and comfortable environment where all the logistics are looked after. Now, according to Bishop, the Zoomer generation is also traveling extensively. They are taking the trips that were put on hold while they were raising their families or establishing their career. Bishop also pointed out that what travellers want to see has also changed - they no longer want to just snap photos of passing scenery from a bus seat. They want to venture into quaint towns, taste regional cuisine, and mingle with the locals.
In addition to a structured itinerary, there is also a desire for more independent travel and more free time. The younger generation is also exploring the world at an much earlier age than their parents. These travellers seek authentic experiences, independence, and nightlife.
When these groups travel together, Bishop stated, they create one of the fastest growing demographics - multi-generational families. They are taking coach tours, and Globus is poised for this revival.
Marco Sorbara, who is based in Lugano Switzerland – Globus’ headquarters – is responsible for curating tours to accommodate the revival.
“We go beyond the standard bus tours, by always including special experiences and VIP access. For example, Globus has the exclusive rights to visit the summer residence of the Pope at Castel Gandolfo, which was just opened to the public in 2016. We take our guests into the Papal Palace, and attend a private lunch, with dishes made with ingredients grown from the farm inside the Pope’s residence.” Sorbara said.
For returning guests who have done the classic tours, Sorbara ensures there is a variety of tours which show them the cities less traveled and sites less visited.
The 2018 “Off the Beaten Piazza” campaign highlighting the undiscovered Italian cities and towns was so successful, Globus is expanding the program to the U.K. in 2019 – aptly named Cobblestones Less Traveled. Tours include visits to the wild moorlands ofBritain, and rural landscapes of Scotland including the offshore isles.
For the younger generation, there is Globus Lite, an à la carte package that offers a mix of hallmark cities and lesser known towns, and most importantly on travel days, departure from the hotel is never before 9 .am. And for multi-generational travel, Globus introduced the private touring concept.
When asked about the hottest selling tours, Sorbara pointed to Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Scotland, in addition to Italy. “Russia is also booming, especially as an extension to our Scandinavian tours.”
Globus Family of Brands is a third generation family-owned company offering tours in 77 countries on six continents.