ITB Berlin 2010Berlin, Germany — 10-14 March 2010
Welcome to our newest member – Sweet Chariot
Interview with Ian Carrick, Director
Tell us your story. How did Sweet Chariot get started?
For those of you in the know, our company started to focus on sport, particularly rugby. Sweet Chariot is the song England rugby supporters sing at matches.
Rugby, and sport in general, still occupies a significant part of our product mix but we have organised tours for pigeon racers and 4 x 4 drivers too.
What makes Sweet Chariot different from your competitors?
In the case of the 4 x 4 drivers, who leave Mumbai and drive through eight time zones and 19 countries over 50 days, we go the extra mile.
We have a very wide portfolio of products from driving tours, biathlon, pigeon racing, our own lacrosse, hockey and multi-sport festivals, drama workshops, an introduction to UK Education, study tours out of the UK, wine trips to Mallorca, guest speakers, tickets to sporting events and so on.
We’re a friendly, can-do bunch, although we’ll tell you if you can do your trip to a better location, at a better budget or at a different time of year. We care about your trip as much as you do.
What is your favourite success story from your organisation?
We love our Jersey Games sports event for 10 – 13-year olds. It’s the perfect destination for that age group, in a wonderful location with superb facilities.
In sport, we have tournaments in which literally thousands of teams have taken part in Dublin, attending our lacrosse and hockey festivals, as well as enjoying our corporate Six Nations events. For me, the Introduction to UK Education is fantastic. If gives students a chance to experience top UK schools and universities before making a financial and time commitment.
What can we expect to see from Sweet Chariot in the future?
For youth groups I’d like to do more educational tours, both inbound and outbound, because that’s dear to my heart.
For any adult groups listening, I’m happy to show you Bordeaux-standard wines, in the lemon, orange and olive groves of Mallorca. You have to indulge yourself sometimes, don’t you?
Which trends do you see in educational and active youth travel?
Actually, I think the UK will do more activity holidays. Scotland already has a reputation for wild water swimming, hiking and climbing, but there’s a lot of England and Wales that also has its unique character, best seen on foot or bike, with local knowledge behind it.
The UK still has some of the best education in the world. Yes, Oxford and Cambridge are the pinnacle, but very many courses in engineering, law, business schools and so on are world class. If you want help in navigating the opportunities in the UK, we can help.
We can introduce you to educational specialists in Edinburgh University, supply a tutor from Google’s Academy, give you a crash course in e-learning from an Oxford PhD and show you many stunning English schools.
How do you work to ensure the health and safety of young travellers involved with Sweet Chariot?
We undertake risk assessments for our school clients all the time, with a member of staff who specialises in it, having gained an IOSH certificate from another industry.
We work with suppliers, including hotels and excursion providers, as well as local LEAs and schools to produce risk assessments acceptable both to us and our customers.
In addition, we tend to work with operators on the ground, if the group is travelling abroad from the UK, and can provide a tour manager if required by a customer. We also ensure there is a 24-hour emergency number and provide a mobile phone to the group with the number already loaded.
What was your motivation to join WYSE Travel Confederation?
We know we have great products, a great team and a great work ethic, all of which we’d like to share with partners.
Sweet Chariot has provided a top quality service to thousands of touring groups. Many have left the UK to play sport worldwide but we have also welcomed as many tourists into the UK & Europe to play sport as well as enjoy Europe’s culture and education systems.
Sweet Chariot pioneers innovative tours within the UK & Europe, such as the Introduction to UK Education Tour (from juniors through to PhD students), London Life Tours (specialising in Music, Drama, Medicine, Drama and Architecture) or sports festivals such as The Jersey Games multi- sport tournament, World Cup Lacrosse Festival or US Hockey Festival in London.
Having started in 1998, Sweet Chariot boasts experience and pedigree. You are in safe hands.
For more information, visit their website: www.sweetchariot.co.uk
Membership: WYSE Travel Confederation Associate Member
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