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Look for the ASTA, American Society of Travel Agents, logo on Celtic Heart Tours.

Celtic Heart Tours recently joined one of the largest associations of travel agents in the U.S., the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA).

While we are technically a tour operator business, not travel agents, being a member of this group gives us access to a wealth of resources and support, and to a large networks of agents who might be interested in selling our tours to their more adventurous clients.

One of the perks is a daily digest of travel news compiled from sites across the World Wide Web. I was particularly interested in a recent posting of survey results which showed people indicating a preference for “off-the-beaten path” travel: “Majorities of those Travel Leaders travel agents who primarily book leisure travel indicate they are seeing an increase in interest and bookings for small ship cruising, off-the-beaten path travel, and international family travel, all positive indicators for the growing luxury travel segment.

As you may know, “off-the-beaten-path” travel is a specialty of Celtic Heart Tours. With our small group size we are able to go where large tours cannot go, and where “self-drive” tourists may fear to go!

Travel guru Rick Steves may be the pioneer of off-the-beaten-path tours, but his “small group” tour sizes of 24 people, constantly rotating through previously “undiscovered” locations, have turned them into just another roadside attraction. I love Rick Steves, but in my opinion his tours have become a victim of their own success.

While it’s probably just a matter of time before people start showing up at O’Neill’s Bar and Restaurant in Allihies with the Rick Steves Guide to Ireland poking out of their backpacks, for now the Beara Peninsula remains wild and natural, the perfect destination for those seeking the “real” Ireland.

Please visit our website, www.celtichearttours.com, for more information on the Beara Peninsula and upcoming tours!