Traveler demand has prompted Lakani World Tours to create a series of escorted programs to less-accessible, exotic destinations.
"As a tour operator, we are best known for our luxury private jets and tailor-made programs," said Heidi Lakani, president of the Newport Beach, Calif., firm and a former executive with Travcoa. "However, many travel agents have been asking for group tours; they find it easier to sell escorted tours.
"We work with home-based agents affiliated with Iatan- or CLIA-appointed agencies," she added. "Commission checks are automatically issued to the agency name and forwarded to the travel agent's address."
In the African/Middle East region, group tours are scheduled to South Africa's Eastern Cape, Namibia, West Africa, Libya (pending Libyan visa approval), and Egypt's Nile River and Lake Nasser.
On the Indian subcontinent, travelers can choose North or South India (or both for those with more time) or Kingdoms of the Himalayas: Bhutan & Sikkim.
Other Asian journeys include Western Asia, featuring Iran and Eastern Turkey; and East/Southeast Asia, covering Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Japan, China, Tibet and Mongolia.
In South America, an in-depth tour to Peru with the Colca Canyon is offered.
Lakani group tours are limited to 14 travelers and are escorted by Lakani tour directors.
Luxury features on each journey include deluxe accommodations at top hotels in each locale, all meals and sightseeing.
Highlights of its 15-day Intriguing India program, for example, include a boat cruise in Varanasi, a sound and light show in Khajuraho, twice daily jungle safaris in Bandhavgarh Park, a cruise on Lake Pichola and a traditional Rajasthani evening in Jaipur.
Three departures are offered in the fall: one each in October, November and December. Rates are from $8,995 per person; the single supplement is from $3,450. Internal airfare costs $600.
Agents can view the full lineup of escorted programs on line at www.lakani.com.