cherrytreeSomething New in Travel

At TourDirect, our mission is to connect you to the world’s top Ground Operators, letting you book a trip directly with in-country operators at their prices—no additional layers of cost or administration. (Don't know what a Ground Operator is? Read our FAQs.)

TourDirect is a unique company in online travel. Other sites help you book tours—but they won’t tell you who’s actually running the trip until you’ve already reserved your spot. We’re the only ones who are fully transparent and name our partners up front.

Inclusion in this website is not a paid listing or advertisement. No Ground Operator has paid any money to become a member of the TourDirect Alliance. The common denominator among all of our members is that they consistently operate top-quality trips.

TourDirect’s Benefits to Travelers

Why book through us? Here are 10 reasons:
  1. Reliable and vetted Ground Operators—the crème de la crème of the travel business
  2. Direct communications with experts in your destination
  3. Cost savings—you pay only what the Ground Operator charges
  4. One-stop shopping: tours, flights, visas, insurance, travel literature, clothing and more
  5. Safety & security of Credit Card payments (American Express, Visa, & Mastercard)
  6. Complete transparency—Ground Operator contact information is detailed on our website
  7. U.S. management team: established industry professionals with years of experience
  8. U.S. Office for convenience of communication, and also in case of an emergency
  9. U.S. legal and insurance coverage
  10. Medical ($25,000) and Evacuation ($500,000) insurance for every traveler
Our management team personally vets every potential partner, by actually traveling with them in their region of operation. We don't just spend an hour or two interviewing an agency owner, but rather several days field-testing the Ground Operator's staff. We find out how smoothly their trips run, how knowledgeable their guides are, and much more. Only then do we invite a Ground Operator to complete our extensive application, which our Advisory Board reviews along with the inspection trip report. Here is a partial list of the criteria that we use to rate each applicant (most Ground Operators far exceed these benchmarks); all criteria are independently verified by TourDirect. 

1.  Quality of Service – Client Satisfaction:
  • Major focus on educating travelers
  • Strong client referrals: a minimum of 10 recommendation – from different trips – for each of the past 5 years
  • Ground Operator must continue to maintain their high standard of operation
    (monitored by TourDirect staff and verified by our own post-trip Client Evaluations)

2. Experience:
  • Ground Operator's senior management team must have at least 10 years of Ground Operation experience
    (individual, not cumulative)
  • All Tour Leaders, Trek Leaders, and Local City Guides employed by the Ground Operator must have a minimum of 10 years of guiding experience

3. Safety & Security:
  • All Ground Operators are required to have a written Risk Management Plan
  • All Tour Leaders employed by the Ground Operator must have certified First Aid training; Trek Leaders must be Wilderness First Responder certified
  • All Ground Operators are required to have any licenses required by local government

4.  Sustainability:
  • All Ground Operators have existing programs that supports the culture and/or environment of the region(s) in which they operate 
    (verified by TourDirect staff and client visits)
  • Ground Operator must hire office and field staff within the communities that they work
    (e.g: Our Tibetan Ground Operator is required to hire and train Tibetan staff, rather than hiring Nepalese Sherpa staff to operate treks in Tibet)