As sports tour specialists, with each team member having over 20 years experience in the sports travel industry, we know a thing or two about creating the best possible hosted tour experiences. If you are considering booking a hosted sports tour then there are a few important factors that you should look out for.
Here our Managing Director, Jamie Smith discusses how you can make sure you are in safe hands when booking a hosted tour.
Make sure it’s official
“All major sporting events will be run by an official body who will allocate tickets to a certain number of tour operators. It is important that you check if your tour provider is one of the approved vendors, otherwise you could be in a situation that your ticket is not actually valid or you could be paying over the odds. An official tour operator will be given a logo which they can use on their marketing material but if you are unsure whether you are speaking to an official provider you can always get in touch with the official body.
At Black Opal we are proud to be working with Cricket West Indies and The British & Irish Lions to provide 100% official tickets. We also never markup the ticket price as you will see when you receive your official tickets.”
Experienced tour managers and hosts
“If you are attending a hosted tour it is the tour managers job to make sure that everything goes to plan and you have the best time possible. An experienced and efficient team should be available throughout the tour to make sure all your needs are catered for and all you have to worry about is having a good time, and of course whether your team is going to win!
Each of our tour coordinators have 20+ years experience so are well prepared for any situation that may arise. Our Senior Tours Consultant Richard has actually been involved in every Lions tour since 1997!”
“Many of the official operators will also have expert hosts, usually former players, who will also attend the tour, but I would suggest checking how much time you will actually get with the host as sometimes they may only attend certain events and not be present for the entire time you are out there.
We are so lucky to have David Gower, Gladstone Small and Scott Hastings as part of the Black Opal team and we are proud to be able to say that they are with us for every part of the tour offering camaraderie and plenty of insider insights along the way.”
Making sure the tour fits with your requirements
“Many hosted tours will have a fixed schedule and accommodation that you will need to sign up to as part of the hosted tour experience, I think it is important that you check all details of the tour to make sure you are happy with all arrangements and also check any flexibility there may be.
One thing I have learnt from my experience is that one size does not fit all and that is something that we consider for all Black Opal tours, we will have planned itineraries, but we can tailor any tour to fit with your requirements such as different travel dates, accommodation etc. My advice is to always ask what options you have instead of just agreeing to a fixed tour schedule which might actually not be 100% your preferred choices.”
A personal service
“A sports tour can be the best holiday you have ever been on, but you want to be a person and not just a number and this service can start right at the point of booking. As a family run business it is important that we get to know our guests. The person you book with will be your contact throughout and you will also see them out on tour at some point.
It may sound corny but we genuinely feel that after a tour you are no longer a guest but a friend.”
What some of our tour guests have to say...
If you would like more information on our sports tour you can call the team on 0330 041 4888
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