We often get asked “what’s the difference between your tours and ones offered by your competitors?” This is really a question of selecting a trusted “Name Brand” tour company instead of the other choices available.
HE Travel is the original gay tour operator. In fact, the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association named their Hall of Fame award for our founder Hanns Ebensten in recognition of his pioneering efforts in the field of gay travel. In addition, we are the only gay tour operator member of the National Tour Association and HE Travel staff are often asked to serve on the NTA’s Leadership Team and to make presentations about how we make each small-group cultural and adventure tour unique and memorable for our travelers.
Due to our 40-year history of offering tours to over 80 countries around the world, we have established long-standing trusted relationships with hotels, restaurants, local tour operators and guides that ensure a high level of quality when you travel with us. In addition these relationships often allow us to get excellent rates with our partner companies.
What does this mean for you as a traveler? Well, when you travel with an established Name Brand tour operator like HE Travel, you can trust that you are getting the most value for a good price. When we design a new tour, we use the highest quality hotels, restaurants, and activities available. We are then able to offer a tour package at a price that could never be recreated privately.
The HE Travel team also brings a broad portfolio of experience to our tour development. Owner Philip Sheldon brings his insights from four decades of living and working in Asia to the table, and in 2012 we added European Specialist Biagio Tedesco to our team. Biagio has been designing and leading tours in his native Europe for 20 years, and in recent months has prepared customized European holidays for individual clients while also designing new HE Travel tours in Spain, Croatia and Italy that will be announced soon. Every member of the HE Travel office staff also regularly visits new destinations to generate ideas for new tours. Just in the past year, these have included the Peruvian Amazon, South Africa, Israel, Hawaii, Chile and Brazil.
We also have a team of 15 professional tour directors who live on five continents and bring personal expertise to both planning and delivering our tours. They offer in-depth personal knowledge of the destinations of our tours and well-honed skills for leading biking, hiking, diving and other trips. Several are graduates of the International Tour Management Institute.
There are also more subtle but critically important ways in which a Name Brand company differentiates itself from others. For example, for over a decade, we have included primary medical and evacuation insurance in every tour package, at no extra cost to our travelers. This gives tremendous peace of mind in the rare event that a traveler needs medical attention during a tour, since there is no need to worry about contacting your personal health insurance company to find out what they will or won’t cover.
So when you evaluate your tour choices, we encourage you to look at the bigger picture to see the many dimensions of what a Name Brand tour can offer. Our goal is to ensure that the logistics of travel go as smoothly as possible, so that you can focus on experiencing your destination and building great memories.
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