InsideJapan increases small group tour departures by 80%

Inside Travel Group’s Japan specialist, InsideJapan, has increased the number of departures for next year by 80% to cater to “phenomenal demand”.

The operator has also released a new digital small group tour brochure highlighting 11 trips, including two new tours.

The tour operator resumed small group tours as soon as Japan’s borders reopened in June 2022.

It said demand for the destination “skyrocketed” and all of its small group tours sold out for 2023.

Richard Farmer, small group tours manager, said: “Due to the phenomenal demand for our small group tours that we saw in 2023, we have increased the number of tours by 80% for 2024 and we are confident that more people than ever want to travel the InsideJapan way.”

The digital brochure is designed to help agents and consumers decide which small group tours would suit them best.

As well as showcasing the highlights of the 11 tours on offer, it answers questions about the weather, best time of year to travel, inclusions, flexibility of tours and dates.

New for 2024 are the superior-level 14-night Majestic Japan and the 13-night Autumn Elegance tours.

Farmer said the tours are led by an InsideJapan ‘Insider’ tour leader “to help unlock cultural doors and offer everything that makes this country and culture so special”.

Majestic Japan includes stays in Tokyo, Hakone National Park, Kyoto (pictured) and the city of Kanazawa – home to one of Japan’s most beautiful gardens and samurai districts.

The Autumn Elegance tour travels from Tokyo to Kyoto through the central Alps by train. It also features Matsumoto, renowned for the ‘Black crow’ samurai castle, and a stay in a local family-run ryokan in the craft town of Takayama.

Farmer added: “Our small group tours are exactly that – small. These are not your typical tours and most of them have a maximum of 14 people.

“We keep the numbers low which enables us to stay in those special traditional ryokan guest houses, or eat in small but incredible restaurants, meet local craftspeople in their workshops and of course travel across the country on the Bullet Train.”

Gabo Quiros, UK trade manager, added: “We expect these tours to sell out soon and, with our biggest year ever forecast for 2024, we encourage all our agent partners to book places for their customers soon.

“We have also produced a ‘selling guide’ for our agents and we have been on a big recruitment drive to ensure that our travel consultant numbers are back up to pre-pandemic levels to ensure help is at hand if needed.”

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