Escorted tours aren't a new idea in travel
Chicago (PRWEB) July 7, 2008
"Gas prices are going up -- our prices aren't," says America's leading tour company, caravan.com, in a bold departure from the travel industry trend. The package tour operator, which offers escorted tours to popular family travel destinations throughout North America, has decided to absorb increased gas prices rather than passing them on to travelers through increased rates and fuel surcharges.
"The news comes just as kids are wrapping up their final days of school and families are canceling traditional summer and fall vacations due to unmanageable costs. "Traditionally this is the time when families are packing up to see America's national parks and historic destinations," says Caravan Marketing Director, Brendan Duffy. "We don't want to see those vacations cancelled just because gas prices are at an all time high. We'd rather absorb that cost than see those families staying at home this year."
As gas prices rocket past the $4.00 mark, Caravan's decision is a striking departure from the travel industry norm, where public carriers from city taxis to national airlines are attributing rate increases and surcharges to the increased cost of fuel. It's not just carriers either; the cost of fuel affects everything from gas to accommodations to the cost of food and electricity, leaving the entire tourism industry bumping rates. Hotels are raising room rates, boat charters are increasing booking fees and adding fuel surcharges, restaurants are raising prices on meals, and attractions are boosting admissions costs.
"Americans are being hit with increased costs at every turn -- just as they should be hitting the road," says Duffy. "To make matters worse, the increased cost of fuel for necessary travel like commuting is cutting into vacation budgets. Families feel forced into stay-at-home vacations just when they should be getting out and seeing America."
tDuffy knows about families and travel since his company has been providing escorted tours for nearly six decades. "The travel experience is one that families remember forever," says Duffy. "In fact, summer travel is an American tradition and Caravan still believes in families getting out and seeing America. Gas prices shouldn't interfere with that."
Established in 1952, caravan.com has an over fifty-year history operating tours throughout North and Central America. "We're proud of our first fifty-six years, but we're focused on being in business for another fifty -- or more!" says Duffy. "We know from experience that our customers travel with us again and again. We feel we should absorb these increases for as long as we possibly can. After all, we are clearly in this business for the long haul."
Caravan offers six different packages to destinations in the United States and Canada -- ranging in price from $995 to $1195, the same prices as last year. Offerings include major American parks such as Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Glacier National Park, as well as scenic and historic landmarks like the Grand Canyon, Canadian Rockies, New England, and Nova Scotia. Bookings fill up early, but choice tours are still available for summer and fall travel.
Duffy stresses that holding the line on package costs is just one-way summer and fall travelers can save with Caravan's escorted tours. "Depending on where you are coming from, you could easily spend $995 just driving to our destinations. Then you would still have to pay for meals, accommodations and all of your activities." Caravan's eight- and nine-day North American tours include many meals and activities, increasing the ways travelers can save.
•No cost to rent or fuel a private vehicle -- group travel is fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly
•Limited meal costs -- Up to two meals are included every day
•No activity costs -- From raft tours to attraction admissions, every activity on Caravan's itineraries is included in one flat cost
•Affordable souvenirs -- caravan.com tours stop in popular shopping areas with lots of options so you set your souvenir budget
•Better quality accommodations -- Volume buying allows Caravan to get the best possible rates in premium hotels
"Escorted tours aren't a new idea in travel," says Duffy, "but our affordable almost-all-in-one packages are a great opportunity for budget-conscious travelers to enjoy an all-American vacation without breaking the bank."
Caravan's North American travel destinations include:
•The Grand Canyon
•Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park
•The California Coast and Yosemite National Park
•The Canadian Rockies and Glacier National Park
•Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island
•New England and Fall Colors of the Northeast
All tours range from $995 to $1195 and include professional tour guides, distinctive accommodations, and many meals including full American or buffet breakfasts. Best of all, travelers enjoy the peace of mind of knowing they will stay in quality hotels and enjoy premium activities for one affordable rate.
Caravan.com was founded in 1952 in Chicago, Illinois. The Company's signature escorted tours were immortalized in 1965 in a Roger Mudd TV special that became the basis for the romantic comedy, If it's Tuesday this Must be Belgium. Over its fifty-plus year history, the tour company has been recognized with numerous awards for service and innovation, most recently receiving the Sierra Madre Explora award for positively impacting Mexico's Copper Canyon region. In addition to destinations throughout the United States and Canada, Caravan offers tours to destinations in Mexico and Guatemala, and is the largest tour operator in Costa Rica. For more information or to request a free information guide, visit caravan.com.