“To awaken alone in a strange town, is one of the pleasantest experiences of the world”, said Freya Stark, the Leading British Explorer and travel writer.
For those of us who believe in travelling and discovering new tour delights to purify and rejuvenate our souls, cyber travel helpdesks and booking websites have definitely blessed us (and screwed us at times).
With the increasing dependency of mankind on cyber networks of tourism, we are flooded with options, but somehow we are yet to reach the point where we actually have a systematic approach to plan and execute group outings and group tours. The entire travel and tourism industry is led by the big daddies – Make My Trip, Yatra, Cleartrip, Expedia, Booking.com etc. But essentially, what do they do? They are booking sites that allow the user to book flights and hotels and offer reviews. And which is very useful, we all use it from time to time. But travel is so much more -bookings are just the beginning of a tour. And all of us don’t travel by air or stay at star rated accommodations.
From a traveller’s perspective, the entire tour arrangement that comes after booking your train/flights – from booking car rentals to exploring the area safely, information on authentic local experiences and a whole lot more, is still the traveller’s task. Though there are scattered information available on different platforms who are doing a great job of sharing details – these information do not always reach the traveller for want of time to research well enough. The local tourism business ecosystem is unorganized – there’s no way of knowing the standard rate for a service, who offers it best and how to connect with the right operator. This gap is yet to be bridged by the most prominent players of the online tourism sector.
Package tours sell well – despite its inadequacy to serve the thirst of an explorer. They are what ‘fixed packages’ are all about- with very little room to customize and innovate. Around the world, travelers complain of numerous shortcomings while on a ‘fixed holiday package’. Any frequent traveler will relate to these package tour woes:-
- Our Travel dates are not fixed by us – Your travel plan might be of five days and four nights. The operator might only have a seven days and six nights fixed package. To holiday or not to holiday, that is the question.
- My tour, operator’s plan— so we don’t just travel when the operator wants us to. We also pay the amount that he wants us to. We stay where they put us up, we visit the places that they take us to. We eat what they claim as delicious. Clearly, not the best idea, when holiday sounds like another fancy day at work!
- No Synergy in Group—Every traveller has a different take on his idea of a perfect getaway. And of course a different budget. While for some, luxurious stay is what defines his holiday, for some the local cuisine, while for another, it is the raw pleasures of camping or guest houses to absorb the local flavour. So a package tour just can’t address the needs of a group of individuals with varying taste, if not customized to their taste. A typical package deal most often fails to group up similar minded travellers together – its just a bunch of different people who have just one thing in common – the destination. The agencies do not even address the essence of a travel group’s expectations and interests, and instead offer what the tour operator deems appropriate.
- What if i just want a more off-the-tour-operators-grid tour— Well, then you are completely on your own. Packages have a group offer, so if your smaller group of four or six want to experience something off the typical package tour, there are no options. Off late, there are a bunch of travel agencies that focus on custom experiences, where the group size does not matter. They can arrange literally anything you ask for. However, they primarily cater to the premier clientele who could not care less about the package cost, as long as they get the thrill out of their experience. So it is true that these niche agencies are catering to a growing demand of out-of-the-box vacations, but it is not an option for the average middle class traveler. You and I therefore, are left to choose from the enormous pool of the typical 3N-4D packages!
- Can I customize a package tour? – Apparently not. Because then you are half the profit and double the trouble. In fact, in most cases operators do not have such options as to come in and join later. Once you are there, you are on your own.
- I want to try something new – Oh no definitely not. You are not allowed to do anything that is not on the tour operators list!
- I want to spend a little more time out here – Remember Monte Carlo? How the love of the Eiffel Tower left Selena Gomez and her two best friends stranded and alone in the heart of Paris? So if you do not want to go down that road we suggest you spend your time as per the schedule set by your tour operator. Else, you might be in for some surprise! Wink!
- I want to plan the trip on my own –Well, then you ARE on your own. Go get a navigation map and get going. You will have to find hotels on your own, book cars on your own and almost take every hassle of arranging a tour on your own. A solo traveler might get away without a care, but for those of us who travel with family, kids, this might not sound too good. And hence, we end up paying the agent for the safe clichéd packaged tour.
- Last but not the least, i do not want the tour operators help, is there an alternative? – While package tour may still work for some, because they need quick fixes on long weekend or a short break from corporate lives, for others a package tour with other families is just not the way they fancy a vacation. We heard your woes, have worked on it, and have brought you the solution.
GroupOuting.com is the first online travel marketplace that allows a travel auction by travelers – where your tours are based on your plans.
With time, it was more clearly understood that package tours must be more organized. It is important to map a traveler’s need with the operator’s way of conducting tours. One package is not a solution for a huge unmatched group of 20! It is the need of the hour to make affordable custom tours made available to the masses. The local tour operators are able to offer unique experiences of a destination – we just need to connect them with the travelers through an organized platform.
To put an end to all group outing and family travel woes, and bridge the gap between what travelers truly need against what they are apparently served by travel agencies, we bring to you GroupOuting, the only online travel marketplace that connects travelers with travel agents on a social platform allowing a tour auction.
Your tour should be planned your way, where you set your terms, your budget, your itinerary, and your duration. GroupOuting.com offers the platform where users will find answers to every travel need. Go plan your tour, post it and invite bids from multiple tour operators. Compare and choose the best offer and enjoy a hassle free tour. Whether be it the weekend tour for a working family, or a long awaited family vacation, Group Outing is the answer.
Let’s break the barriers. Let’s make travel no trouble and more fun. Let’s GO Group Outing.