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Explore Worldwide is making significant strides to grow its foothold in North America through strategic senior hires and a renewed commitment to travel advisors. The adventure company specializes in cultural and experiential tours to 100 countries around the world with small group sizes that average 11 people.

Noting that Explore has seen post-pandemic growth of 56 percent in passengers from North America, the company’s Managing Director Edwards said in a statement, “Our vision is to become among the largest sustainable, small group adventure tour companies in the North American market. The appetite to travel responsibly will become even more important in the coming years in this market.”

To that end, Explore recently became a Certified B Corp, meeting the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability, with an overall B impact score of 84.1.

New Regional Director to Expand NA Team

To grow awareness and business in the region, Explore Worldwide has appointed Katy Rockett as regional director for North America in January 2024. Based in Toronto, Rockett brings 15 years of experience in adventure travel, with significant positions at Exodus Travel and Intrepid Travel.

In her role with Explore, she will facilitate the business’s ambitious global plans to achieve 65 percent growth in the market by the end of 2024. Among her focus areas will be capitalizing on the rapidly growing trend of active small-group adventures.

Rockett noted that travel advisors have pointed to many competitive advantages for Explore, including innovative itineraries with a blend of sightseeing and cultural experiences; expert local leaders who go beyond the guidebooks and get you into the heart of a destination; transfers included in tours; and competitive price points.

From walking and cycling trips to visiting iconic landmarks and landscapes with insider knowledge from local guides, itineraries are built to blend active adventures with local culture, offering different trip styles to suit a variety of travelers, including experiences such as hiking along iconic trails, biking through beautiful destinations that cars and buses cannot reach, or all-encompassing deep dives into a country’s culture and history. The trips are ideal for solo travelers, couples, and groups of friends, with an average trip length of 10 days. Nearly three-fourths of North Americans who book with Explore are solo travelers.

A sample of new and notable tour highlights for 2024 include:

  • Highlights of Mont Blanc: Adventurers on this new 8-day tour through France will witness awe-inspiring Alpine peaks and snowy glaciers on multiple day treks through places like Chamonix Valley and sections of the famed Tour du Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps and Western Europe.
  • Historic Baltic Republics: This 15-day tour entices travelers with its fairytale-like charm during guided walking tours of historic epicenters like Tallinn in Estonia, exploring the drifting sand dunes of Curonian Spit National Park, and pausing to appreciate baroque architecture.
  • Simply Japan: Visitors will experience a mix of modern and ancient Japan on this 14-day tour, starting with a fire ceremony at Tokyo’s oldest temple, Senso-ji Temple. The itinerary includes stays in a family-run ryokan and Buddhist temple; an optional day trip Hakone National Park boasting views of Mount Fuji; and a visit to Jigokudani Onsen, home to Japan’s famous snow monkeys.
  • A Taste of Sicily: Travelers on this 8-day tour will roam the historic Ballaro open-air market in Palermo; learn secrets of Sicilian cooking at a traditional farmhouse estate, or Masseria; partake in a chocolate tasting using methods dating back to the Aztecs in Modica; and more.

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