NEW YORK -- The
confluence of the high-end and family travel markets is creating an
expansive pool of clientele for tour operators. Artisans of
Leisure, a specialist in high-end, custom-tailored programs, has
been angling for a chunk of that conjoined market since the
companys founding two years ago.
Ashley Ganz, owner and president, the New York-based company draws
high-end clientele with published itineraries, then alters the
agendas based on what customers want.
Ganz said the
companys family programs are some of its most successful, leading
her to make the new, 12-night China for Families a published tour.
So many of our clients were taking it, she said.
Ganz said the
company works almost exclusively with families, couples and groups
of friends, and that everything we do is FIT.
China for Families tour includes nine major destinations: Beijing,
the Great Wall, Xian, Guilin, Yangshuo, Hangzhou, Xitang, Shanghai
and Hong Kong.
The trip includes
visits to the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and the Temple of
Heaven in Beijing and the terra-cotta warriors in Xian; cruising in
a traditional wooden boat in Xitang; 21st-century skyscrapers and
colonial architecture in Shanghai; and a tea plantation in
The price of the
tour is $7,920 per person, double, including customized itinerary
planning, luxury hotels, flexible cultural touring with private
guides and drivers, restaurant reservations, regional flights,
airport transfers, visa and admission fees.
Both luxury and
family travel have grown every year since Ganz has been working in
the industry, she said, and the growth picked up after
I do think the
two trends are connected, said Ganz, who learned the business
during a seven-year stint with Absolute Asia, where she served as
director of marketing and business development.
willing to pay more to feel safer, in addition to getting what
their families want. Safety and security are issues the luxury
Ganz said the
Internet has opened up more options for luxury clients and more
competition for sellers of travel, which behooves operators and
agents to stay on top of their game.
A luxury traveler
doesnt have a lot of time, so they are going to go to travel agents
and tour operators and trust them as their representatives to
deliver a product that represents the clients interests, she said.
Rather than having to deal with separate suppliers, they choose
their tour operator based on what it is delivering.
What her clients
want along with private touring and all the flexibility that
entails, Ganz said, are cultural tours -- a real cultural element
with a lot of special-interest components incorporated.
They want to
appreciate the architecture, the cuisine, the interesting
neighborhoods, she said. They want to go far beyond the famous
information, call (800) 214-8144 or visit www.artisansofleisure.com.
reporter David Cogswell, send e-mail to [email protected].