Is 1300 USD a discouraging price for a tour?

Last time I asked a question about people’s perception of a certain issue I made some enemies here I believe. But here I am again, asking another question.
Without specific details what do you think of 1300USD for a tour of 14 nights15 days to Sri Lanka? I mean at a first glance is it too expensive or discouraging? Or would anyone take a look at what’s on offer?
I am designing a leaflet for a friend who said he would display it at his workplace. I don’t want it to be discouraging at the first glance. Hence the question. :smiley: Thanks a lot for any answers.

It really depends on what’s included. If that’s everything - airfare, lodging, food - it’s not a bad price at all.


I think that less than $100/day is quite reasonable… “If” the accommodations are good.

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no airfare, only for the tour within the country.


It’s suspicious.

As it would be too cheap for 15 days/14 nights? That’s less than 100/day.


Good accommodation and comfortable transport. But that’s not mentioned in big letters. Maybe I need a total rethink about the whole thing-what to be in big letters, and maybe the price in smaller letters I guess.

That’s my other concern. What if it looks suspicious in case it sounds too cheap? Maybe the best is to not mention the price at all I guess. I’ll design with and without prices, Then I’ll let him decide what to display.

Have you Googled the tour provider to see if there are any comments by folks that took it previously?

Do you have comps?

Are there other similar food tour groups in Sri Lanka of that length? What are they offering and for what price?

I mean if every other company is offering a 2-week food tour for 10k USD and you’re offering a similar one for basically a 1/10th of the price, the first thing that comes to mind is “Hmm, are Nigerians now getting into the, ahem, tourist business?”

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Hi there, LMS.

Not knowing the price of things in your country, or what would actually be included, I can’t really assess whether the $1300 represents good value or not. My instinct is that it does.

As with any marketing exercise, you do need to emphasise what folk will get for their holiday - the itinerary, standard of accommodation, transport, guide, etc. That’s the reason why they’ll buy it. Then, at the end of the marketing, put the price.

Out of interest, I found this culinary tour in South Africa which sets out what I mean about “advertising” what folk would get.

Sounds like your plans are starting to move forward. Look forward to reading more in due course.



Who is the target audience? Sri Lankans? Backpacking Australians? Where will the brochures be displayed - in Sri Lanka?

I live in NYC. If I am going to Sri Lanka I would not take this tour as it is too cheap. I’m staying at a better hotel class than an under $100 per day. There are some amazing luxury properties there.


100 USD per day for “in country / on site” is not a “OMG shocker” - pretty normal I’d say - but keep in mind the ‘buyer’ is expecting lodging and meals in that cost.
that said, a seasoned traveler to the region will know, , , , really doesn’t cost that much… but, yes, they will pay for the services of “everything pre-arranged”

keep in mind - the average US or European tourist is not expecting to hear:
“Oh hi! This morning we will visit xzy but your are on your own for lunch.
After lunch, we’ll visit abc, and you are on your own to find dinner and a bed for the night.”

sounds silly - but unless the details are explicitly stated, people - especially seasoned travelers, will avoid the offer. they will expect the tour organizer to have found and booked “very nice stuff” for those needs.

methinks the biggest issue for explorers is unexpectedly discovering things that anyone would reasonable assume is “included” in the stated cost/price. and it’s not only “assumed include” - being tossed into a foreign country and foreign culture and a language you don’t read/write/speak and suddenly required to ‘do it yourself’ . . . no - mega -big issue.

sorry if your earlier reception was a bit ‘chilly’ - most likely a failure in communications . . . . we do get buckets of spammers - they seldom continue past their initial posts… honest questions get honest answers - hope mine help!


@ipsedixit There’s a huge competition.

Some companies show very small totals, and then tell the guests that it’s only for transport and accommodation. Tickets for attractions should be bought at the sites, and meals paid for by the guests.

Big companies with a good reputation name a much higher price, and add less attractions. They add “activities” in order to keep the guests occupied but spending less money. They make big profits. Some actually name a very big price, and then include the five star hotels etc. But that’s for the wealthiest tourists.

1300 can actually do the work for large groups. (Hence the phrase “From 1300” in the ad.)That’s with 3 or 4 star hotels, breakfast, and transport. Plus tickets to attractions. On sharing basis a comfortable room can be booked for 100 – 150 USD. For a company it can be booked for much less. That’s shared between 2 guests. So if a room is booked for 100 USD that’s 50 per person. They are hotels with a swimming pool and decent service.

@Harters Thanks a lot John, helpful as always. Yes things are getting into shape I guess. I was busy with some other work during the past few months, and am back to this. Thanks for the website link. I’ll get a few ideas from it. Have you seen my website I’ll message it to you :smiley: I don’t know how ethical it is to post it here in public.

I think what you say is true. I’ll first show the important points in big letters. Then the price at the end (in much smaller letters maybe). I can message you a leaflet I have already created, for a general idea.

Trying to build a reputation for quality service for reasonable pricing. Proves to be harder than I thought. Lol.

Usually with any company, the lunch and dinner are not included in the cost (which is clearly mentioned in the itinerary in this case) unless requested by the group. But they are taken to a restaurant of their choice (pre arranged) and are able to dine together. No running around looking for restaurants. But on request that too can be added to the cost. Breakfast is included.

Guide is included in the price. One with the National Tourist Guide License, the highest grade in Sri Lanka. :smiley:

It’s good to know how actual people from other countries see this. Gives a great opportunity to fine-tune my leaflet.

@TheGforceNY Target audience is the US and EU. I am sending this ad to a friend living somewhere in Pennsylvania. He offered to display the leaflet at his workplace as a help. Also sending to a friend in Germany who has been telling me to send a leaflet for several weeks now.

Surely there is an itinerary related to the advertised price. A detailed one. Even the itinerary pages on the website have details to a great extent, but the itinerary sent in personal correspondence has everything needed, and open for discussion too.

Definitely there’s luxury accommodation in Sri Lanka. The Hilton, Cinnamon, Anantara, Uga, Shangri La, and many others. But I don’t think there would be too much of a demand for that level of tourism for a small player like me.

@HappyOnion ) Thanks a lot for the advice. Very helpful.

I have always been honest Tom, never been a spammer. It never was any misunderstanding, but it’s all good. Your answer here helps a lot. All answers here gave me a really good idea about what is expected, and how the price is seen by different groups.

I’m learning a lot @LastManStanding , even if it doesn’t help you much! :grin:

My husband usually does most of the booking for our family trips, always “small group tours”, just including our family of five.

It’s usually in Europe, and we usually get to choose from a range of hotels, and tell the company what kinds of activities we are looking for.

Husband won’t do busses. He looks for private “cars” that can comfortably accommodate five, with “English speaking” drivers.

We usually have two or more phone or zoom discussions before agreeing to a final list and prices. Accomodations are really important to us, and other than hotel breakfasts, we usually only expect food to be included on food tours. We make it a point to ask about convenient options when we book all day tours.

My sister and I have worked with planners when we are touring primarily for food, and we do a lot more back and forth about food, and get restaurant reservations, but the meals are not included.

We have never booked a tour that includes airfare, but we do ask for transportation between airports or trains and accommodations, and often for family arriving from different airports at different times.

We need to get better at asking about getting to and from tour meeting places.


This is close to what I had in mind.
Give the guests a plan, discuss with them, make any changes, and execute. And definitely be available on some video calling channel as much as possible.
Your answer helps to a great extent, as it will be mainly small groups that I must expect, being a new comer to the field. It’s too early, I mean much too early to think about buses at this point. lol.
Toyota KDH vans are the best for small groups, and are the most popular among tourists that arrive in Sri Lanka.
What you say about food is the main reason not to include food. Different choices and requests. It’s a tough task unless it’s a buffet.
Thanks a lot for your input, really helps.

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Oh yes! Being available for unforseen events is huge! We have had hurricanes, floods, and strikes that would have been difficult, if not impossible to navigate on our own.

A few companies have supplied apps which were varying degrees of helpful; we could communicate with other members of our party and the tour company, access maps, tickets, itineraries. Other things I am probably forgetting.

ETA One more thing, that I don’t understand completely; we can tell that some tour companies are working with smaller tour guides that also work independently, and have their own websites, or are part of something like “Local Guides com”, or the ones that work with TripAdvisor. One thing we noticed is it is harder to figure out tips and reviews when they are presumably subcontracted, then it is when we arrange it ourselves.

ETA, not Local Tours com, its Tours By Locals.. And Viator was the company that seems to manage most tours for TripAdvisor.


Yes having a group communication method is essential. But before committing to a tour there could be a million questions to discuss, and it’s good to know that you are talking to an actual professional, not a teenager with a laptop. Lol.
Sri Lankan guides can be verified online, the list is published, with the category, on the Tourism Ministry website. Tripadvisor is full of self promotion I think. They have networks of companies that review each other, according to what I have seen. Therefore I decided not to advertise there. I created my own website, and keep improving it as much as possible, until the day I can afford to hire a webmaster. :sweat_smile:
Tip is mostly what guides go for, especially at big companies. Guide fee is one place where companies cut costs. They pay a very low amount and tell the guides to “work well” for a “good tip.” Some guides take the tourists to various shops for commission, and at the end of the tour they have visited more shops than anything else. :rofl:

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Kind of impossible to answer without knowing what it covers, what grade of hotels, and what comparable prices are as there are likely already other similar alternatives

Can you add some details?


Are these set tours where anyone can sign up and there’s a set itinerary? Or are you acting as a guide and travel agent for private parties on their own schedule? I personally would not go on a group tour with 40 strangers, but I’d consider a private guide/driver in an area where it’s hard to navigate on your own.

My budget is much closer to backpacker than Amanjunkie and I haven’t been to Asia in 15 years but I agree that $100/day seems cheap to very cheap depending on what’s included. In 2009 around SE Asia, sketchy backpacker hostels were $5-10, an ok cheap hotel was $20-30, and an actually nice place was $50+ so $100/day was do-able. I imagine there’s been inflation. (I checked and the price at the all-inclusive property where I worked has doubled!)

I’m sure Rick Steves has been mentioned before, looks like his European tours are mostly $3-400/day. He tries to be on the budget end and make Europe affordable.

I feel like $1000/week is a minimum, that’s only $143 a day What can you offer for $2-300/day?


@Saregama basically it includes transport in a comfortable AC vehicle, tickets to all major attractions of each day, decent accommodation at 3 to 4 star hotels, and breakfast. The guests’ extra expenses would be the lunch and dinner, and anything they buy, like souvenirs etc, if they wish so. Also any unexpected expenses such as medical stuff.

Prices change depending on the number of guests, which I have mentioned clearly in the preliminary correspondence, and in the FAQ section of the website.
Comparable prices would be: big companies such as Jetwing would quote somewhere around 2000 for this tour excluding tickets, and a small player would quote around 1200 but only for transport and hotels.

My main point is to not make the tour look too cheap or too expensive. Because even I won’t look at something if it sounds like a click bait or a scam. That’s the barrier I want to break.

@Babette for 300 a day, for a group of around 5, I would give a plan that would compete with any other top class company operating in the country in terms of value for money. Only without accommodation in the price range of Uga Chena Huts, but with accommodation such as Jetwing Yala, Double Tree by Hilton, and Shangri La Hambantota. :grinning:
These tours are only for a single group, and all pre-planned. But then it also works for a group’s own schedule i.e. send me the itinerary and I’ll plan the whole thing and arrange it. The group only has to participate, everything is taken care of.

From all above responses what I realize is that I cannot squeeze all potential tourists into one leaflet. Need different ads. But I can only display one leaflet at my friend’s office. Lol. Tough decision.

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