We’ve been running small group adventure holidays throughout the world since 1981. Our experience, knowledge and well established close personal contacts in all the countries in which we operate, make us one of the most trusted adventure tour operators in the UK.
We are passionate about what we do – and love to travel. The founder directors ran overland trips through Asia, Africa and the Americas in the 1960s and 70s prior to setting up the company, and were always determined that the spirit of adventure that was such an important part of those early pioneering days, should continue to play key role as part of the driving ethos of Explore.
That passion for travel still runs through the heart of Explore. Our Managing Director, Ashley Toft was a Tour Leader for many years and has travelled extensively. He travels regularly on Explore tours – often with his family now. We are proud of the fact that so many staff travel on the company’s tours both as Training Trips and personal holidays each year.
With over 450 tours available in over 120 countries, the choice that we offer is second to none. As well as a diverse range of adult discovery tours we now offer Walking and Trekking holidays, Family Adventures, Cycling Tours, Wildlife holidays, Tailormade holidays, Polar Adventures and an ever increasing number of Special Interest discovery tours. We also run tours under our edge collection which are tailored specially for 18-30 somethings.
As market leader, we are also the most popular adventure company. Again this is probably because our customers feel safe in the knowledge that they are travelling with a company that has operated over 40,000 tour departures over the years.
We are proud that over 60% of all customers who travel each year have travelled with us previously, and we even have a growing number who have done over 50 tours!
While times have moved on, we have always stuck to a few core principles; things we believe are at the heart of what we do, and which we are sure make so many of our customers come back time after time:
- The Tour Itineraries - only offer unusual and pioneering itineraries that are meticulously planned, and which allow us to get below the skin of the country or area in which we are travelling….. and always with an ‘Explore Twist’
- It's all about travel – the travel experience must come first.. we still believe that the most important element of any Explore tour is where we visit and what we see and do. Accommodation must be clean, comfortable and well located and transport suitable for the terrain; however we are not a luxury operator and hotel facilities will not drive where we go or stay and we will probably use a 4WD rather than a luxury airconditioned bus.
- Service – ensure the ‘Customer Experience’ continues to drive everything we do. We are passionate about providing the very best service in the industry prior to travel and on tour … we are not perfect, but will keep striving to ‘get it right first time, every time’.
- Safety - ensure the safety and wellbeing of our customers, staff and suppliers at all times. Safety is the over-riding factor when making any operational decision.
- Responsible Travel – continue to travel only in a responsible and sustainable way. Ensure the local people we meet and work with along the way are well looked after and that the environment is cared for and not damaged – this includes offsetting all staff and customer flight emissions.
- Tour Leaders – continue to provide the very best Tour Leaders in the industry on our group holidays. A good, well trained Tour Leader can make a good adventure holiday into a fantastic and unforgettable one.
In the office and on the road
We are based in Farnborough in Hampshire, with about 90 staff. Many of us have been Tour Leaders, and over a third of our staff have travelled on an Explore tour in the last year. You can generally speak to someone in the office who has travelled on any given tour.
Our tour leaders come from all over the world. We have self-employed leaders based in the UK, who get the opportunity to travel to some amazing countries to lead on our behalf, as well as an array of locally based leaders who work for our local agents in the area in which the tours operate. Depending on the time of year and area of the world we have a large variety of both UK and local leaders out leading our tours at any one time.