Heads up tour operators & travel Agents, travellers have evolved (once again, are you keeping up?) & while they appreciate you holding their hands, they don’t want you dictating every minute of their escape.

And they definitely don’t want to pay for experiences they’re not all that keen on taking.

It’s the newest travel trend travel organisers need to be aware of and it’s derived from the growing number of independent travellers.

It’s called ‘flexibility in touring’ and it’s essentially where holidaymakers want the knowledge and protection of an experienced guide, they want to travel with new friends, but they also want more choice in their activities, dining, free time and sometimes, even accommodation.

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This type of touring is popping up more and more, and according to leaders in the market it’s giving holidaymakers the freedom to tick of their desired non-itineraries activities, while also receiving a few unknown experiences in a traditional tour group setting.

Contiki Australia is among the operators quick to adopt the new style with its new ‘Independent Insider‘ itineraries, along with Wendy Wu Tours which has its ‘Immerse Yourself’ program and now Insider Journeys is delivering its freestyle ‘Footloose Tours’.

Speaking at the launch of Independent Insider, Contiki’s Managing Director, Katrina Barry, said it’s important for the brand to disrupt and cater to the growing number of independent travellers.

“Independent Insider speaks directly to the traveller seeking to see a city through their own lens, and we’re happy to continue to innovate with our trips to speak to our ever-changing market and traveller needs.”

Katrina Barry, Contiki Australia Managing Director

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Wendy Wu Tours’ local boss, Andrew Mulholland concurred, saying the Immerse Yourself product provides guests with both in-depth experiences and the chance to “do their own thing”.

“For example, if they want to trek the Great Wall of China for three hours, they can do so, or they can extend it and trek for six hours. They have the flexibility of choice,” Mulholland explained.

Meanwhile, new to Insider Journeys (as in, launched today) are the Footloose Tours, which also embrace the desire for more choice with the comfort of a tour.

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According to the operator, travellers will be able to choose their day tours and dining in every destination while still receiving great value for money.

It’s essentially a private tour with a few extra people and no added cost.

The new tours are featured in Insider Journeys’ new brochure heading out to retail stores today.

READ: With the new Contiki you can travel with a group & still do your own thing

READ: Insider Journeys scraps Thailand to focus on specialty destinations

Are you seeing more demand for choice from travellers?