Interview: B&R CEO on the Evolution of Active Travel
Published online by Skift | By Samantha Shankman
Butterfield & Robinson will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year. The active luxury tour operator started off by organizing trips for Canadian students then began working with museums and universities and finally found its niche in walking and biking tours in the 1980s.
The tour operator hit its stride during a time when Americans were spending more money on travel and being fit. The boomer generation has remained the tour operator’s primary customer base since that time with about 70 percent coming from the U.S., 10 percent from Canada, 10 percent from Brazil and 10 percent from everywhere else.
“One of the great privileges we have is an extraordinary base of travelers,” Butterfield & Robinson CEO Norman Howe told Skift in a recent interview. “There’s something fundamental about getting on a bike or going for a walk, which makes them more adventurous and more fun — a particularly nice aspect of the crowd.”
Skift spoke to Howe about the evolution of luxury and experiential travel, the growth of multi-generational family travel, changes in travelers’ booking behavior, and branding as an asset