Kensington Tours is launching a series of itineraries that are available to American Express Platinum Card members in the U.S., exclusively through American Express Travel (No. 6 on Travel Weekly's 2022 Power List).
The customizable itineraries are available for trips to Denmark, Kenya, Peru, South Africa and Vietnam. Itineraries focus on "cultural exchange and supporting local communities," American Express said.
"Our customers are showing a desire for more genuine travel experiences with opportunities to immerse themselves in the cultures and communities they are visiting," said Sangeeta Naik, global head of partnerships and marketing at American Express Travel. "These itineraries allow travelers to gain a deeper understanding of their destination."
For instance, travelers in Vietnam will meet local residents -- ranging from residents of the Vung Vieng fishing village to a former fighter pilot to photographers and documentarians -- who are working to preserve their communities and cultures.
In Peru, travelers will enjoy a private tour of Machu Picchu, learn about a reforestation project and engage with a local Indigenous community, among other activities.
"As a company that specializes in privately guided travel that is customized for each client, we know that more people want authentic local experiences that connect with local communities and cultures," Kensington Tours president Helen Giontsis said. "It's about traveling more consciously."
The tours meet consumer demand, American Express said. Its 2022 Global Travel Trends Report found that 81% of respondents wanted to immerse themselves in the local culture while traveling and have their money benefit the local community. Further, 79% said they were more aware travel might not always be possible because of the pandemic, so they are trying to plan more purposeful trips.
"Providing access to these tours is part of American Express' wider commitment to identifying new, thoughtful travel options that align with what our customers value," American Express said.