When it comes to adventure travel, one company that often comes to mind is Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT). OAT has been providing unique and immersive travel experiences to adventurous travelers for over 40 years. But who exactly owns this company?
Overseas adventure travel is a popular and exciting way for individuals to explore different cultures and regions of the world. While many people enjoy these types of adventures, there is often confusion about who actually owns the companies that provide these services. In this brief introduction, we will discuss who owns overseas adventure travel companies and provide some insights into how these companies operate.
The History of Overseas Adventure Travel
Before we dive into who owns OAT, let’s take a brief look at the company’s history. OAT was founded in 1978 by Judi Wineland and Alan E. Lewis, who were both passionate about adventure travel and cultural immersion. They started with just one trip to Kenya and Tanzania and have since expanded to offer trips to over 100 countries around the world.
OAT’s mission is to provide small-group travel experiences that are immersive, authentic, and affordable. They focus on cultural immersion and sustainable travel practices, and they work closely with local communities to ensure that their trips have a positive impact on the destinations they visit.
The Growth of OAT
Over the years, OAT has grown significantly. In 1993, the company was acquired by Grand Circle Corporation, a travel company founded by Lewis in 1958. Grand Circle Corporation specializes in small-group travel for older Americans and has a similar focus on cultural immersion and sustainable travel.
Under the leadership of Grand Circle Corporation, OAT has continued to expand its offerings and has received numerous awards for its travel experiences. Today, OAT is one of the leading adventure travel companies in the world, and it continues to attract travelers who are seeking unique and immersive travel experiences.
Who Owns Overseas Adventure Travel Today?
So, who owns OAT today? As mentioned earlier, the company was acquired by Grand Circle Corporation in 1993. Grand Circle Corporation is still the owner of OAT today.
Who is Grand Circle Corporation?
Grand Circle Corporation is a travel company founded by Alan E. Lewis in 1958. The company started as a travel agency that focused on providing affordable airfare to Europe for American travelers. Over time, it expanded to offer small-group travel experiences to destinations around the world.
Today, Grand Circle Corporation is made up of several travel brands, including OAT, Grand Circle Cruise Line, and Grand Circle Travel. The company is still family-owned and operated, with Lewis’s son, Christopher, serving as the CEO.
What Does This Mean for OAT Travelers?
For travelers considering an OAT trip, the fact that the company is owned by Grand Circle Corporation is unlikely to have a significant impact on their travel experience. OAT operates independently within the larger Grand Circle Corporation structure, and the company’s focus on cultural immersion and sustainable travel has remained consistent over the years.
However, it’s worth noting that travelers who are interested in other types of travel experiences, such as river cruises or more traditional tours, may want to consider other Grand Circle Corporation brands. Each brand has a slightly different focus, and travelers should choose the one that best aligns with their interests and travel style.
The Benefits of Traveling with OAT
Now that we know who owns OAT and a bit about the company’s history, let’s take a closer look at why travelers choose to travel with OAT.
Immersive Travel Experiences
One of the primary reasons that travelers choose OAT is for the immersive travel experiences that the company provides. OAT’s trips are designed to take travelers off the beaten path and provide them with unique opportunities to learn about the local culture and history of the destinations they visit.
Small Group Sizes
Another benefit of traveling with OAT is the small group sizes. OAT limits their group sizes to no more than 16 travelers, which allows for a more intimate and personalized travel experience. This also allows for more flexibility in terms of itinerary and activities, as the group can adjust their plans based on the interests and preferences of the travelers.
OAT places a strong emphasis on cultural immersion, and their trips are designed to allow travelers to interact with locals and learn about their customs and traditions. This can include home-hosted meals, visits to local markets and shops, and opportunities to participate in cultural activities and festivals.
Sustainable Travel Practices
OAT is committed to sustainable travel practices, and they work closely with local communities to ensure that their trips have a positive impact on the destinations they visit. This can include supporting local businesses and conservation efforts, as well as minimizing the environmental impact of their trips.
Experienced Trip Leaders
Finally, OAT’s trip leaders are experienced and knowledgeable, and they are passionate about providing travelers with a unique and memorable travel experience. They are well-versed in the local culture and history of the destinations they visit, and they are skilled at facilitating interactions between travelers and locals.
FAQs for Who Owns Overseas Adventure Travel
Who owns Overseas Adventure Travel?
Overseas Adventure Travel, commonly known as OAT, is owned by Grand Circle Corporation, a global travel company. Grand Circle Corporation is a privately held company founded in 1958 by entrepreneur Arthur Tauck Sr. Today, it is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, and operates a group of travel companies that focus on adventure and cultural experiences for mature travelers.
What kind of travel experience does Overseas Adventure Travel offer?
Overseas Adventure Travel offers immersive and unique travel experiences that focus on off-the-beaten-path destinations and have an educational aspect to them. Their trips are specifically designed for small groups and usually involve cultural exchange and outdoor activities, such as hiking or biking. They aim to provide an authentic travel experience that goes beyond typical tourist spots.
Are Overseas Adventure Travel tours expensive?
Overseas Adventure Travel tours can be quite expensive as they cater to a specific type of traveler who is looking for unique, authentic experiences. However, the price of the trip can vary depending on the itinerary, the length of the trip, and the type of accommodation. In general, OAT trips are all-inclusive, meaning that transportation, meals, and activities are included in the price, which can make the trip more cost-effective than it initially appears.
How does Overseas Adventure Travel ensure that its trips are sustainable and responsible?
Overseas Adventure Travel prioritizes sustainability and takes steps to ensure that its trips have a minimal impact on the environment and local communities. For instance, they work with local guides to promote ethical tourism practices, use locally owned hotels and lodges, and minimize waste on their trips. They have also established a non-profit organization, the Grand Circle Foundation, which supports education and cultural preservation programs in the destinations where they operate.
What is the cancellation policy for Overseas Adventure Travel?
Overseas Adventure Travel’s cancellation policy depends on the time of the cancellation and the type of trip that was booked. Generally, there is a non-refundable deposit required to secure the booking, and the cancellation fee can be significant. It is advisable to read the terms and conditions of the trip carefully and consider purchasing travel insurance to mitigate any costs associated with cancellation.