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G Adventures and National Geographic Expeditions Expand Their Small-Group ‘Journeys’ into South America and Europe for 2019

September 26, 2018 Tour Operator No Comments Email Email

Kicking off the fourth year of their successful partnership, National Geographic Expeditions and G Adventures announce new destinations and tours for 2019 that go on sale this week.http://www.itb-asia.com/press/media-services/accreditation/ With the additions, the National Geographic Journeys’ line of small-group tours further expands into South America and Europe and introduces a mix of hot spots and off-the-beaten-path adventures that are designed to challenge and enrich curious explorers while meeting a rising demand for the destinations.

Beginning in January, travellers will have the chance to take advantage of Bolivia’s recently-improved tourism infrastructure and experience its stunning landscapes, including the famous Uyuni Salt Flats, while learning about its rich cultural heritage and visiting one of the highest cities on Earth. Also new in South America for 2019, a tour of Peru’s archaeologically and ecologically-wondrous north will have travellers exploring cloud forests, hiking a huge waterfall and peering back into pre-Incan times. An additional combination tour of the northern Chachapoyas region, coupled with a visit to iconic Machu Picchu by train, offers a fantastic 16-day deep-dive into life in Peru.

In Europe, National Geographic Journeys builds on growing international interest in Portugal as a vacation destination with two new tours that are eight or 15 days in length. The first, focusing on Lisbon, Coimbra and Porto, celebrates the country’s rich food, wine and architectural marvels. The second combines one week in Portugal with another in Spain, adding the Moorish masterpiece of Alhambra with time for wandering through charming Seville. In Europe’s Eastern region, a new tour in Hungary and Romania has its launch point in Budapest before moving on to Transylvania, for a fascinating and slightly haunting dose of history, culture, myths and legends at Bran Castle.

Launched in late 2015 with a World Tourism Day celebration, National Geographic Journeys has grown from 70 tours in its initial year to 89 different tours in 55 countries today. Since last fall, a special focus on expanding Journeys tours further into Africa and Asia helped bring new travellers to Tanzania, Botswana, Mongolia and Indonesia.

The National Geographic Journeys line of trips offers hands-on exploration, with an emphasis on storytelling, local immersion and social good. Priced from AUD$1,349 per person and from six to 30 days in length, the itineraries are designed for travellers who appreciate having free time and flexibility but value the structure and security that come with group travel. Each trip is led by a knowledgeable, local guide called a Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and is filled with opportunities for making meaningful connections with other people. Whenever possible, travellers visit projects and community initiatives associated with National Geographic or G Adventures that help improve local livelihoods and protect natural or cultural heritage.

G Adventures reported that during the past year, the National Geographic Journeys trips have delivered the strongest growth of all its trip styles, with a 19 percent year-over-year increase among Australian and New Zealand travellers, and a 27 percent surge in booking sales vs. the year prior.  Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Italy and Morocco were the top four popular growth destinations booked by Journeys travellers from Australia and New Zealand.

“The Journeys story is all about growth. Compared to even two years ago, bookings of these trips have soared and we’re adding more product to keep up with demand,” said Adrian Piotto, Australia and New Zealand Managing Director for G Adventures. “In terms of the trend lines, these tours are proving to be one of the most attractive and sellable experiences we offer the travel agent community because of their focus on comfortable accommodations and exclusive experiences. An impressive 69 per cent of Journeys’ Australian sales were driven by our partner travel agents and advisors.”

In terms of the typical Journeys traveller from Australia, the average person is over 55 years old and has booked a trip of more than 11 days long with six months’ lead time. A strong majority of those Australian travellers have been women — who make up 65 percent of Journeys buyers.

“We are thrilled with the strong growth of the Journeys line and are pleased to expand our offerings allowing consumers to experience different parts of the globe,” added Andrea Robinson, Australia and New Zealand Country Director, National Geographic Expeditions. “It feels good to be able to offer people even more ways to connect with the inspiring community programs and fieldwork each of our organisations support.”

The new and updated tours for 2019 are:

  • Highlights of Bolivia (8 days, from AUD $2,599.)

  • Peru & Bolivia: Machu Picchu to the Salt Flats (16 days, from AUD $5,149.)

  • Explore Northern Peru (9 days, from AUD $3,349.)

  • Explore Northern Peru & Machu Picchu (16 days, from AUD $5,119.)

  • Discover Portugal (8 days, from AUD $2,299.)

  • Iconic Portugal & Spain (15 days, from AUD $4,599.)

  • Hungary & Romania Highlights (8 days, from AUD $2,699.)

  • Discover Central & Eastern Europe (16 days, from AUD $5,199.)

For details and a listing of new trips, contact your travel agent, call 1300 180 969, or visit: gadventures.com.au/NGJ-2019 or www.nationalgeographic.com.au/travel/national-geographic-journeys/

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