We sat down with Tour Radar and answered some questions for their ‘Spotlight on the Tour Operator’ blog series.
Below is a copy of the feature:
Engaging Cultures Travel specializes in cultural immersion trips in Jordan and Tunisia. Get to know their story a little better in this edition of the TourRadar Spotlight On the Tour Operator Series!
TourRadar (TR): What’s the average size of your tour groups?
Engaging Cultures Travel (ECT): We craft tours for groups of all sizes; from an independent traveler looking to go deeper into the culture, to bus tours of 30 people who all want to stay in local homes. Our favorite group size is around 6-8. Our guests are able to make intimate connections by participating in new experiences together with others they may be meeting for the first time; and with a group this size, it’s not too overwhelming for our hosts. Guests and hosts alike feel like they get to really know one another.
TR: What are you most hoping travellers will get out of the ECT experience?
ECT: A paradigm shift over a cup of tea. Transformation. The founders of Engaging Cultures Travel continue to be radically changed by interacting deeply with real people from a dramatically different culture than our own. That is what we want others to experience when they travel with us. Not just to tick a new country off their bucket list, but to start to see the world with new eyes.
TR: What is the most interesting meal or dish that’s been served on an Engaging Cultures Travel tour?
ECT: One of the food challenges in our photo scavenger hunt is to find and eat sheep brains. Guests are pleasantly surprised by the taste and are thankful for the push off the ledge. Other than that, our favorite meal to serve guests is mansaf, the national dish of Jordan. Sitting on the floor around a large communal plate of steaming lamb, rice, pine nuts, and lava-hot yoghurt sauce; a truly Jordanian experience. We teach guests to eat with their hands and afterward tell Bedouin riddles around sweet mint tea.
TR: Where did the Engaging Cultures Travel name/logo come from?
ECT: Our name isn’t too cryptic. We wanted something that clearly stated what you would get when you tour with us. Engaging Cultures Travel says just that. Our logo is three simple rocks. The Bedouin, when climbing a mountain, will place three small rocks on top of one another to mark their trails. It’s a sign to those coming after you that says “this is the way.” They do not use more than three as it takes away from the natural beauty of the desert.
TR: If Engaging Cultures Travel could run only one tour to only one destination, what would it be and why?
ECT: It would have to be our Jordan Insider tour. We crafted it so that guests get to steep in the culture and not be rushed around from site to site. It is a ten day tour consisting of 3 days in 3 different locations. Each day guests will find themselves having an authentic cultural experience; spending enough time with their hosts to truly bond.
TR: Why should I travel with Engaging Cultures Travel?
ECT: Our tours are not your standard re-packaged itinerary. We have American travel specialists living in Jordan who hand-pick your home stays, meals, drivers, and guides. Because we live in Jordan, we create experiences to get you deeper into the culture and introduce you to our local friends and hosts whom we have known for years.
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