BY Norman Howe

Around The World

Again (and Hopefully Always!) Among The World's Best

We love awards as much as the next person, but I don’t mind admitting that we especially love awards that love us back.

Our appearance on the 2016 Travel + Leisure list of World’s Best Tour Operators marks the 17th time we’ve been honoured—more than any other tour operator in the world. I can say with some confidence that we are very good at what we do, and we’re fortunate enough to get plenty of accolades from plenty of places, but the T+L awards are particularly gratifying because they are voted on by real travellers, not just industry veterans.

I’m pretty sure that our own internal standards are tougher than anyone else’s, since the only benchmark that matters to us is perfection, and the only assessment of how we are doing that really carries weight is from you, our travellers.

If our response from travellers is any indication, we - Again (and Hopefully Always!) Among The World's Best're knocking it out of the park!
If our response from travellers is any indication, we’re knocking it out of the park!

The first thing that I do every day when I come in to the office is read our traveller questionnaires (OK fine, I admit that I occasionally look at the sales numbers first…), and in my 20 years at B&R, I’ve never seen better results than we’ve been getting this year.

If I might put humility aside for a moment (no easy feat for a Canadian, I assure you), we are knocking it out of the park this year on every level: it starts with the craftsmanship and thoughtfulness that we put into designing our trips, continues with the flair and creativity that we bring to marketing and selling them, and culminates in the expertise and passion that we bring to running each and every departure.


“The true magic of B&R happens out there in the field, with a specific group of travellers in a specific place at a specific time, where spontaneity and circumstance collide to create serendipitous moments of joy and adventure.”


I firmly believe that the reason we’ve been able to consistently perform at the level of the World’s Best for so many years is because we are a guide-driven culture. We were founded by guides, built by guides, and are run by guides – and so it shall ever be, inshallah!

As guides, we all know in our bones that the true magic of B&R happens out there in the field, with a specific group of travellers in a specific place at a specific time, where spontaneity and circumstance collide to create serendipitous moments of joy and adventure.

I - Again (and Hopefully Always!) Among The World's Best'm already counting down the days until I get out and guide again—Bali, here I come!
I’m already counting down the days until I get out to guide again—Bali, here I come!

As guides, we all know the visceral satisfaction (and exhaustion!) of having put our bodies and souls into delivering a transformational moment of discovery and illumination for our travellers amidst the exoticism of a foreign land, whether in the company of newfound friends or lifelong ones.

And as guides, we are all just waiting for an excuse to get out there and do it again. (I’m already counting down the days until I hit the road to guide in Bali this November…)

So thank you, again, not only for allowing us to do what we love, but helping us to be the very best in the world at it, year in and year out.

And, of course, for ensuring that we have tons of fun doing it.


Norman Howe - Again (and Hopefully Always!) Among The World's Best



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