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Back-Roads to the Future: INTERVIEW


ED PETTITT, Global General Manager for Back-Roads Touring, discusses what makes the brand different and its plans for the future.

 

What inspired you to join Back-Roads Touring?

I came into travel because I love exploring; new countries and old countries alike – it is
my obsession!

Exploration and going beyond the bucket list sites is hard wired into the DNA of Back-
Roads so it felt like I was coming home.

 

What makes a tour with BRT different to other companies?

We talk a lot about the small group difference and rightly so – our group size in Europe is limited to 18 passengers and in Asia 14.

It enables us to stay in fantastic family run hotels, experience the winding medieval back
roads of Europe and, of course, deliver an experience that is simply more intimate – but
the Back-Roads experience is more than that.

For a start, our Mercedes Grand Tourer fleet in the UK and Europe is a real step up. To travel in that level of comfort, with fantastic panoramic windows, is a game changer and something our clients come
back for time and time again.

Secondly, we have an amazing group of Tour Leaders who are empowered to tailor 

each departure to the group travelling. With a 95 per cent approval rating this year, we
think we are on to something.

Finally, we are not a business based on high volume – we focus on quality and access to special destinations with limited capacity that others can’t.

 

 

What tours are you most keen for travellers to try?

I’m going to keep it close to home and say ‘The Garden of England’ tour. It’s the perfect example of a Back-Roads experience.

In under a week we explore 2,000 years of English history; from the exquisite white garden of Sissinghurst and England’s greatest castle at Dover to the oyster beds of Whitstable that fed Victorian London and the Shepherd Neame brewery in Faversham, serving up a pint of our deliciously warm ale!

 

What new product have you got for 2019?

We recently launched our Asia range and 2019 will be the first full season of operation.

With trips through Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand we have focused on bringing the same quality experiences our clients love in Europe.

I am excited for our clients to experience our dining selections. We have handpicked some of Southeast Asia’s best eateries that you just wouldn’t know about without us.

 

Do you think what BRT offers is the future of travel?

We believe people will always want to travel, explore and discover new places – the challenge for the industry is to stay relevant to that journey.

We are excited that we already enable unique experiences in the regions we visit and provide access to the people and places that make them special.

 

What personal satisfaction do you get from your role?

It is a huge privilege to lead such a special brand with a great history, exciting future and superb team and crew. For a product obsessive like myself, to be in a product-obsessed business is something that gets me excited every day!

 


Written by: ED PETTITT as told to JON UNDERWOOD
Published: 19 February 2019


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