Why Are Small Groups Important?
So what’s all the fuss about Small Groups?
We have been running this these Adventures for 20 years, in addition the Kimberley we’ve also operated the the Outback, on the West Coast and on Kangaroo Island. We’ve experimented with groups sizes, really small groups of 3 or 4, really big ones at more than 20 people.
We have learnt that the optimum group size is 10 – 13, here’s why..
The ‘Click’ Factor
Apart from providing a vehicle, local knowledge, camping gear and food, many of us also join tours for the social aspect, to meet and travel with other people with similar interests.
Sometimes a group gets on so well that the highlight of their trip is not the destination, but the fun times and life long friends that they have made.
Tour guides refer to this as the group ‘clicking’, there is nothing better when you are a tour guide than the moment you realise that your group has ‘clicked’, from this point everyone is on a natural high and no one wants the tour to end.
Now not every tour is the same and we get different levels of clicks, but what we have learnt is that the click is many times harder to generate with a big group, there are just too many people, likewise with a very small group, there are not enough.
It also makes perfect business sense to keep groups at the optimal size: It goes like this, we need awesome customer reviews, we get more awesome customer reviews when groups click, we get more groups clicking when the group size is from 8 – 13 people.
it’s not rocket science.
Logistically Running A Tour
Bigger groups are harder to organise, guides need to spend more of their time organising people and less time actually guiding. The guide to client ratio increases so even when they do guide, the time spent with each person is far less.
In addition to the guide having less time to “guide”, larger groups have a habit of taking forever to get organised and packed up for the day, which means that you actually do less of the fun stuff, less fun stuff = less opportunity to click, getting the theme now?
Bigger Groups = Bigger Vehicles
And finally big groups need a big vehicle, and big vehicles can’t go down the small bush tracks that lead to awesome secret spots.
Only takes 1 line of text to write that fact, but it makes a huge difference to the sort of things you can do on a tour, which in turn, you guessed it, affects the ‘click factor’
Smaller Vehicles = Better Access
Below is a road alert from Main Roads (The Western Australian Government: www.mainroads.wa.gov.au) about the status of the Gibb River Rd in early 2017.
If refers to Blina turnoff to Home Valley, this is basically the whole Gibb River Road.
It is a significant part of the Kimberley and where you find all the Gorges and Waterfalls like Bell Gorge, Manning Gorge, Tunnel Creek, Windjana Gorge, Barnett River Gorge, Galvans Gorge and Adcock Gorge.
So it’s a bit of a bummer if it’s closed.
When this alert was released, this road was open to vehicles under 7 tonne, this includes our Adventure Trucks, but it is closed to vehicles over 7 Tonne. We are 6 Tonne, so any vehicle larger than these, especially those carrying 16 plus passengers, are likely to be well over this threshold and thus are forbidden from travelling on the Gibb.
At the time of writing, Kimberley Adventure Tours was the only tour operator with trucks who was accessing the Gibb River Rd, all other operators had to divert.