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Imperial Tours Launches New China Escapades Line


Imperial Tours launched a new brand of China tour products called China Escapades, a new FIT product targeted to more independent and adventurous travelers seeking greater autonomy and lower prices. “With demand for travel to China growing, our research in the luxury travel advisor community has shown that there is a need for an alternative to our current hosted FIT product at a more accessible price point, so we developed China Escapades,” said Guy Rubin, founder and managing partner of Imperial Tours. “China Escapades affords greater flexibility to appeal to these distinct consumers who are more experienced, adventurous and often repeat travelers to China.”

With the launch of China Escapades, Imperial Tours is rebranding its existing FIT product, which will now be called Ultimate China, for clients who want a hosted luxury experience. Ultimate China programs come with a China Host, a Westerner fluent in Chinese and living in China who ensures quality and service. Imperial’s two private programs are customized to the needs of the individual traveler but the scope of services varies between the Ultimate China and China Escapades products.

China Escapades is slightly more moderate and more independent, but still a luxury product. Like Ultimate China, it will come with the best five-star hotels and room types available. But China Escapades will have virtual concierge support rather than a host who accompanies clients. While gratuities are included in Ultimate China, they are not in China Escapades. While all meals are included with Ultimate China, only breakfast and lunch are included with China Escapades. China Escapades clients seek more independence in their travels and not the extra service a China Host provides. These customers opt for direct rather than mediated contact with local Chinese suppliers to add to their overall understanding of China. For optimum service levels and the security of never being completely alone, China Escapades guests have access to a western Virtual Concierge through a pre-programmed mobile phone 24/7.

For enhanced flexibility, dinners are not included in China Escapades itineraries but Imperial provides guests with restaurant recommendations and designs suggested menus for them to enjoy in Chinese restaurants. The freedom to choose their own dinner options appeals to the whimsical spirit of this traveler. The Ultimate China client, on the other hand, prefers that a China Host take care of all the details (such as wake-up calls, restaurant menus, shopping recommendations to non-commissionable venues, fine-tuning an itinerary in real-time, and more). The China Escapades tours do not offer Lhasa, Dunhuang or Huangshan because Imperial feels a China Host is essential to implementing the company’s unique experiences on the ground in these areas.

To create China Escapades and clearly define what distinguishes the two products, Imperial Tours ran test programs and captured guest feedback on the key elements of the itinerary. Regardless of the type of FIT tour, Imperial Tours has access to exclusive activities and venues as a result of the company’s extensive ‘black book’ of connections throughout China. In terms of price, Ultimate China programs cost approximately $1,300 per person, per day, and China Escapades are priced around $800 per person, per day (prices are based on two people traveling together on an FIT vacation).

Imperial Tours offers customized private tours and scheduled escorted group departures that combine local expertise with the high levels of service and quality expected by sophisticated Western travelers. Through its portfolio of programs and themed excursions, Imperial Tours provides the “best of the best” in China encompassing accommodations, dining, sightseeing, experiences and much more at unrivaled value. Founded by Westerners in 1999, Imperial Tours has offices in Beijing, San Francisco, Offenbach (Germany) and Poole (U.K.)

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