Welcome to our newest member – Italy on a Budget tours
Interview with Irene Chimenti – CEO & Founder
Tell us your story. How did your organisation get started?
After spending time as a tour guide for international travellers around Europe, I decided to bring my travel expertise back to my hometown of Florence to offer tour experiences that are fun, educational and authentic. In 2007 I launched “Tuscany on a Budget”, promoting daily tours in Florence, Siena, and all those other places you heard about in the movie, “Under the Tuscan Sun”.
In 2013 I launched Italy on a Budget tours, with the goal of providing fun and entertaining activities for travellers 18-39 all over Italy. Since then the company has been offering trips to new, popular Italian destinations such as Rome, Venice, Pompeii, Sicily, Amalfi Coast, Lake Como and so much more!
What makes your organisation different from your competitors?
Italy on a Budget tours not only want people to enjoy traveling in Italy, but we also specialize in the young travellers that want to travel and see Italy the way locals do, not the way tourists do. For that reason, Italy on a Budget tours bring them to the main highlights, but we also want to give them a different experience by showing them unique places with special views, local people, delicious traditional food etc.
What is your favourite success story from your organisation?
Every happy client is a great success story for Italy on a Budget tours. Our main goal is to create unique memories for them so whenever we receive a positive review, or even better, when clients travel again with us or recommend Italy on a Budget tours to their friends, that means a lot to the whole crew because that is how we know we are achieving our goal.
What can we expect to see from your organisation in the future?
For the future of Italy on a Budget tours, we expect to see of course more travellers joining our tours but also you would see a stronger tour agency with more destinations. Not only the popular ones but also the magic little towns we know would be so appreciated by tourism. Also you can expect new and different ways to enjoy traveling in Italy.
Which trends do you see in educational and active youth travel?
Nowadays people that travel are more interested in getting to know the background of the places they are visiting. One trend that for sure has existed always, is that they like the “fun facts” and for sure they don’t forget those. But Italy on a Budget tours have been able to see how people are now appreciating more the history of the cities, people, art etc. because that allows them to link what they know from their own countries, to what they get to learn from the new destinations they visit. Because at the end the history of the world is all connected.
How do you work to ensure the health and safety of young travellers involved in your programmes?
First, Italy on a Budget tours arranges travel by safe transportation. Here in Europe, while we know theft can be an issue and for this reason our staff are always reminding our clients to take care of their personal belongings. Also, we do not bring them to the risky areas and the places where we stay are always top rated not only for the accommodation itself, but also for the security and safety around the area. In terms of meals, Italy on a Budget tours always make sure that the places we visit offer high quality and fresh food.
What was your motivation to join WYSE Travel Confederation?
Youth changes so fast now. It is so interesting for Italy on a Budget tours to understand their needs and desires in terms of traveling so we know that by joining the WYSE Travel Confederation we would have more knowledge and that would allow us to offer the best of our company and of our country to the new adventurers. Italy on a Budget tours always wants to give a unique experience and for that we know we need to comprehend and keep studying the new generations with its evolutions as well as cooperate with companies which target to youth.
Have you attended a WYSE Travel Confederation event? (World Youth and Student Travel Conference, STAY WYSE, WYSE Exchange Australia, WETM-IAC) If so, what was your experience with the event?
Yes, I attended WYSTC Dublin 2014. It was very interesting especially meeting companies working in the youth field. It was a very positive experience and I also had lots of fun.
What is an industry challenge your organisation is facing at this time?
One challenge for Italy on a Budget tours is being able to maintain group balances from our target traveller type. As we offer tours “on a budget”, travellers can have an excellent experience for a reasonable price, but sometimes people also book with us purely for the price. This can lead to these travellers expecting a different experience than the one they will have on Italy on a Budget tours because they have not read how our tours are developed.
Another challenge is to understand the everyday changes on the marketing strategies we need with the fast changes on the new generation interests.
Italy on a Budget tours is a Italian travel company based in Florence that provides epic trips in Italy designed for young, budget-minded travelers aged between 18 – 39. We offer day tours, city breaks and holidays at major Italian destinations such as Florence, Tuscany, Pisa, Cinque Terre, Rome, Venice, Amalfi coast, Sicily and lots more. This is not a typical big-bus tour company. Small groups, a local team, and personal freedom to follow the whim of the moment are the order of the day, every day.
More details at: www.italyonabudgettours.com
Membership: WYSE Travel Confederation Associate Member
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