SINGAPORE – “Unity is strength.”

This adage has gained in relevance, group travel experiencing a resurgence and not just among seniors.

Google Trends showed that search volume for “group tours” – especially “small group tours” – has been on the rise for two years.

But today’s group tours are different. Some are powered by influencers and group purchases, while others offer insider access and immersive experiences.

Group tours may differ in style, but they share a few similarities: they offer a lot of convenience and camaraderie – something that was badly lacking during the pandemic.

Here are two tour companies that have emerged lately that organize group tours differently.

luxury travel agency

Intriguing journey

Ms Jess Yap sits in a restaurant, reminiscing about a trip she took to Botswana, Africa, in 2016.

“I was in the Kalahari Desert camp for work,” the Intriq Journey co-founder recalls. “Each bedroom had an open platform with mattresses and blankets. I decided to spend the night on it rather than in the bedroom.

“It was so beautiful – the whole sky was full of stars.”

Ms. Yap, 49, is a seasoned travel professional with over 25 years of experience. His “been there, done this” list reads like an adventure handbook: hiking in Pakistan, visiting a Sunday market in the Chinese city of Kashgar in the Uyghur region, bungee jumping in New Zealand and chatting with the people of Iran.

His business was built on this passion for adventure. Founded in January 2020 with the help of two fellow co-founders and former colleagues Lim Kok Yong, 40, and Stella Fan, 48, it creates bespoke itineraries as well as small-group trips that combine adventure and extravagance.

“Intriq Journey was founded just three months before the pandemic, before Covid-19 had a name. Our business was small during those early months of creation before taking the hit of the international tourism shutdown,” says -she.