Even compared to 10 years ago, the world is a smaller place when it comes to sports tours. Most schools have all travelled to the Caribbean with their cricket teams, South Africa with their rugby teams and Spain with their hockey teams – so where next?
At Gullivers, we have always been keen to stay ahead of the game and to be able to offer new and exciting options, but at the same time give good value for money and a big tick in the safe travel box. What is new, where can you get more than just sports fixtures? Where are the hot destinations for 2018?
Here at Gullivers, we were the original operators of long-haul cricket tours and developed the Caribbean from being dominated by Barbados to sending teams to enjoy St Lucia, Grenada, Antigua, Tobago, Jamaica and St Vincent.
Now the focus has moved to Asia, with some great tours available to both the cricket powerhouses of Sri Lanka and India - but also options to enjoy Dubai and Malaysia. These have the benefit of adding big cultural and personal development opportunities outside of the sport.
Closer to home, we will be launching the first pre-season schools event in Portugal for Easter 2018, where teams will get the chance for some warm weather matches and also games under floodlights – unique for Europe.
New Zealand and South Africa remain the most popular for touring teams from the UK – with Australia and Argentina not far behind.
However, these traditional rugby destinations are now being challenged by schools demanding new and exciting destinations. Groups are now looking at the US as a viable option with rugby growing rapidly because of the really exciting and varied options available. We have just been on a familiarisation trip to the US, and we have some great ideas for you if America is your choice!
With the recent success of Japan at the Rugby World Cup, the Far East is also being contemplated – but be careful as the cost is much higher unless you look towards South Korea! South America is also emerging once again – schools in Chile and Uruguay are keen to receive teams.
Europe has always been the most popular destination for hockey tours for boys’ and girls’ teams. Holland, Belgium, Germany and Spain top the charts – but with options in the Czech Republic and Italy you now have an even greater choice.
The most exciting destination for hockey is a straight shoot-out between the US, Argentina and South Korea for the girls – India and South Africa for the boys. With the recent success of the Team GB women’s team and our relationship with England Hockey – you can be sure we will provide an exciting hockey tour.
The traditional powerhouses of netball – New Zealand and Australia – offer the ultimate in tours for netball teams.
But don’t forget that the Caribbean islands love their netball!
Africa now offers not only the fantastic destination of South Africa, but if you are looking for a real adventure do consider Malawi… demand for tours going there has been phenomenal.
Wow – where can you not go? China is seeing a big investment in football and the US and Canada are offering more and more high quality options for teams of all levels.
With links to the top sides around the world, access to high-quality coaching and match tickets – Gullivers can combine almost any destination with a great football tour.
What keeps Gullivers ahead of the pack?
We have recently partnered with the Teacher’s Toolkit to make the task of undertaking a tour easier and more time-efficient than ever before.
It is an online tour operating system that can act both as a promoting tool to parents and pupils, as well as monitoring the progress to ensure you are on top of everything related to your tour.