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 said.

Pettitt said the company's customer base is currently about 15% North American, and hopes to at least double that.

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