|Group size is the single most important factor which affects every other aspect of a tour experience.|
|Group size affects:|
Time to load guests on and off the vehicle – the larger the group the more time wasted in getting on and off the bus.
Stragglers, inconsiderate people and general laws of motion mean that it takes time to load the livestock on the truck.
For large coaches this could mean 10 -20 minutes at least for each stop. Do the math on that and soon you realise that over the course of the day you can waste over an hour just migrating on and off the vehicle.
Time in line for food – waiting in line for lunch is never fun nor is getting to the table and having to choose something which the other 20-40 people have just been playing with.
Beware the hungry monster which has been known to stalk those late to the table.
|Time in line for experiences – more time wasted.|
Impacts on types / quality of food able to be prepared or transported – typically the larger the group the more generic the food with little or no focus on the added experiential element that dining adds to a holiday experience.
The ability to cater for the ever increasingly diverse array of food allergies and restrictions is also sacrificed.
Access to guide for asking questions – there is only so many gaps in a day for questions to be asked of a guide and in fact on most larger buses it is physically impossible to shout a question from the back of the bus.
When you do cross paths with the guide you may have to wait in line for your question to be asked.
Impact on the environment (noise, trampling, waste) – nothing quite like going to idealic outback locations and soaking up the ambience.
The larger the group the less realistic this becomes.
|Personal vs impersonal experience – the larger the group the less you exist.|
But at what group tour size do these things come into play.
Choosing the right group size.