In 2010, tour giant Globus is celebrating the sixth anniversary of launching its religious tour division by keeping faith in faith-based travel. With a dozen itineraries focused on the lands of the Bible, as well as Protestant and Catholic denominations, Globus continues to be the largest tour operator to offer faith-based travel. Globus also sees strong growth for this niche.
According to Globus’ Religious Travel Study (conducted by Menlo Consulting Group), 4.5 million people have traveled internationally on a religious or faith-based vacation. That number is expected to increase exponentially in the next three years. The same study revealed that by 2012, an additional 9.7 million will have traveled internationally on religious journeys.
One possible explanation for the increase, according to Mike Schields, director of group sales and emerging markets for the Globus family of brands, could be that 2010 marks the anniversary for Oberammergau’s Passion Play, a 400-year-old tradition that draws hundreds of thousands of people every 10 years. “Oberammergau’s Passion Play is a once-in-a-decade experience," he says. "It provides Americans a strong incentive to book a European getaway. And, demand for these vacations is high so we’ve developed a wide range of travel styles and pricing for religious and secular getaways next year.”
Travelers wanting to visit Oberammergau can take religious tours or add Oberammergau extensions to non-religious cruise and tour itineraries. Prices start at $2,209, down an average of 15 percent in the last six months, and are even lower for those who book early. Travelers can receive $100 off all Oberammergau vacations when they book before October 13, 2009.
In addition to its Oberammergau itineraries, Globus has experienced traveler excitement around its Israel itinerary. “We unveiled Journey through the Holy Land in 2009, marking our return to Israel. And, in less than a year, it’s become our most popular religious getaway,” said Paula Hayes, vice president of sales for the Globus family of brands. “In addition, Grand Catholic Italy and Footsteps of Apostle Paul round out our top three faith-based itineraries.”
“Nearly 75 percent of people interested in religious vacations want to delve deeper into their faiths, with others who share their interests, by traveling as part of an escorted tour group,” said Schields. “Most are also looking for vacations filled with a balance of both religious and non-religious exploration, such as shopping and entertainment, as well as first-class service and amenities. With more than 80 years of experience in perfecting vacations, we’re giving this burgeoning group of travelers exactly what they want.”
Travel agents can request Globus Religious Travel 2010 brochures by calling toll free 1.800.221.0090 or visiting www.globusfamilypartner.com.