London-based Back-Roads Touring Company, which specializes
in small-group tours for mature travelers, is rebranding in North America as
Blue-Roads Touring Company.
Managing director Ed Pettitt said the company aims to better
connect with American travelers and travel agents, while distinguishing itself
from a California-based adventure travel company that carries a similar name.
The Blue-Roads name, he said, was inspired by American
travel writer William Least Heat‐Moon, who traveled 13,000 miles
across the United States using only the lesser traveled routes marked in blue
in the Rand McNally atlas.
Blue‐Roads takes travelers on small-group
tours focused on local experiences, such as truffle hunting in France or
exploring fjords, glaciers and waterfalls in Norway.
"We see a lot of opportunity in North America,"
Pettitt said. "North American travelers are placing a premium on authentic
experiential‐based travel, which has been our prime focus for more
than three decades. Relaunching and expanding our presence in North America is
key to successfully building the business across all markets globally."
Pettitt said the new brand will also help differentiate the
company from California based-Backroads, an active-travel company that caters
to a different demographic.
Most of Blue-Roads travelers are 60-plus, Pettitt said. And
while many are active, they are looking for "softer" adventures, he
Pettitt said the company's customer base is currently about
15% North American, and hopes to at least double that.