The Group-Gap Year Mix Is Good News For Agents

According to Acacia Africa, a growing number of gappers are adding group tours to their adventure – overland expeditions, voluntours, and small group safaris becoming increasingly popular with those planning a year out. The tour operator also claims while financial constraints are the basis for shorter gaps, those with “location independent” skills are choosing to extend the traditional 12-month

holiday: group trips appealing to travellers at either end of the spectrum.

Arno Delport, Sales & Marketing Manager for Acacia Africa comments, “This is positive news for agents as a longer gap may involve several group bookings, and the corresponding trend for more budget friendly “mini-gaps” has led to a greater demand for tours covering numerous countries, for example our 58-day Ultimate African Overlander. For clients who want to compress the traditional holiday into a shorter time frame, logistically, this makes perfect sense.”

Ideal for those looking to morph their gap year into a shorter sabbatical, the 58-day Ultimate African Overlander expedition, Acacia Africa’s longest tour, covers eight countries. Starts Nairobi – ends Cape Town.

While some say the gap year is on the wane, Acacia Africa notes that more cash rich, grey gappers who no longer have family and career commitments are choosing to chart their way across the globe for a whole twelve months.  But, it’s the location independent sector that spells the best news for agents.

Arno Delport, comments, “Agents who go the extra mile for these clients could reap rich rewards when it comes to repeat business, many opting to travel over a two or maybe even a three year period."

Erin Michelson, Editor of travel blog www.GoErinGo.com, comments “During my two-year around-the-world journey I took small group tours at least ten times. They gave me the opportunity to meet new travel buddies and enjoy adventures I wouldn’t have been able to participate in as a solo traveller. I booked Acacia Africa's 6-day Troop To The Gorillas overland itinerary from the capital of Uganda, Kampala, to see the mountain gorillas in Bwindi National Park. It was an unforgettable experience. As a single female traveller, group tours also offered a bit of safety and comfort, and they paid off in the end by allowing me to share the cost of my travels.”

Safety is just one reason behind the trend for the group-gap mix; wanting to get off the beaten track, hooking up on the road, volunteering and taking a break from solo travel, cited as other explanations for its popularity.