What is a Ground Operator?
Ground Operators are local companies that provide the actual travel services in a destination. Typically, they own vehicles, employ guides, and negotiate special rates with hotels, combining these and other elements to create a full-service experience. This is particularly helpful for travelers heading to far-flung destinations, where it can be difficult to book each of these elements separately and reliably. Ground Operators are sometimes referred to as Tour Operators or Destination Management Companies (DMC).
How we select Ground Operators
Our management team personally vets every potential Ground Operator, 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.
Please click here for a 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.
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.