Be My GuestWhen it comes to creating memorable, outstanding travel experiences that have your clients coming back to you time and time again, it’s no question that incorporating local immersion and unique interactions are part and parcel to your success – perhaps now more than ever. In fact, according a recent survey conducted by Trafalgar, 49 per cent of respondents claimed that travel is becoming a common tourist trail and nearly 40 per cent said they didn’t see any “real culture” on their last trip. Which is where ‘By My Guest’ experiences, now celebrating 10 years since inception, are becoming more valuable to travel advisors and their clients alike. With ‘Be My Guest,’ travellers are welcomed into the homes of people in small communities not often found on group itineraries. All are eager to share their stories through food and as such, travellers not only get a taste of a community’s culinary delights but also its history, culture and local life. Of course, it’s impossible to choose a favourite among the 103 ‘Be My Guest’ experiences now available on seven continents, but here’s a look at a few favourites across Europe:
Host Béatrice de Montferrier and her daughter Alexandra host guests on their Manor Farm near the famous Château de Villandry for an exclusive and traditional three-course Tourangelle dinner accompanied by local wines. Learn about the history of the house and farm as you wine and dine. Beatrice’s history is equally as interesting. She is the descendant of French nobility dating back to the 12th century. The visit only gets sweeter with a slice of her famous chocolate cake.
ITINERARIES: Best of France, Highlights of France and Barcelona
Travellers will no doubt be charmed by the Morillo family, who have lived in Andalusia for more than 150 years. Learn about the production and sample some of their farm’s olive oil, but not without first having a welcome drink of sangria in their sun-dappled courtyard. Savour Andalusian cuisine al fresco or in one of the cooler rooms off the courtyard of the family’s typical 18th-century white-washed hacienda. Toast to life in rural Seville and be entertained with stories of how the entire family is involved in the business of making some of Europe’s finest olive oils.
ITINERARIES: Spanish Wonder, Best of Spain, Great Iberian Cities
What’s a Scottish welcome without a bagpipe? When guests join the Wood family at their 15th-century historical farm on the shores of stunning Loch Ard, there’s no need to find out. A home-cooked Scottish dinner, tales of Rob Roy and a few foot-tapping Ceilidh tunes by charismatic hosts Fergus and Greg Wood make for a memorable evening, so long as no one over-indulges on the Scottish Whisky. A Robert Burns poetry recital will give travellers a true sense of place in this special corner of Scotland.
ITINERARIES: Best of Scotland, Scotland’s Highlands, Island, and Cities and Highland Trail inspired by Outlander
Though much of the Muhoberac family home was destroyed in the civil war of the 1990s, the oldest part of the house remains – and it is here that ‘Be My Guest’ travellers will enjoy dinner with family members, while discovering the impact this part of history has had on the small town of Osojnik. Your mouth will water as Grandmother Muhoberac grills three types of meat over a crackling open fire. Clients can try their hand at preparing food as the first course consists of piercing ham and potato onto twigs and letting them sizzle in the flames – a traditional local experience. Work off the beautiful meal by taking part in local folklore dance lessons with the family.
ITINERARY: Balkan Delight
Points of focus to close the sale
- 2019 marks Trafalgar’s 10th anniversary of ‘Be My Guest’ experiences, so travellers can be assured that these are well-curated by an experienced team of professionals.
- The interaction and connections ‘Be My Guest’ offers travellers are one-of-a-kind, allowing guests to share meaningful moments – which is what travel is all about.
- ‘Be My Guest’ hosts own or operate their experiences. Eighty-one per cent of which are family-run with many being multi-generational properties.
- The majority of the ‘Be My Guest’ experiences are outside of major cities, dispersing travel into smaller destinations, and as such, supporting the communities.