Q: Which is best – an inexpensive tour with the travelers being able to buy additional activities or side trips as they go along? Or a more expensive trip with a fuller program of activities already included in the tour price?
A: There is no such thing as “best.” It’s simply two different types of trips and you need to know which clientele you are trying to attract.
The low price tag on an inexpensive trip draws the client at the outset, but he/she may not realize the additional expenses to be budgeted for purchasing additional activities. Clients with limited energy or perhaps those liking to go off on their own during free time to explore independently may prefer such a basic package.
A fuller itinerary with more activities included from the outset is often a better value as there is no need for the traveler to spend for each additional activity. We often hear the inexpensive trip referred to as a “stripped package,” but one shouldn’t assume it’s inferior. Note that usually, optional activities purchased by travelers en route do not constitute a profit for the operator as any commissions or markup on these activities go to the local operator or step-on guide, rather than to the originator of the trip.