Toronto company named world's best tour operator

Jul 7 2016, 8:00 pm

On Thursday, global travel brand Travel + Leisure released their annual World’s Best awards.

Among all the hotels, islands, cities, cruise lines, spas, and more, they also named the 10 best tour operators in the world. You know, the people who actually get you to all these amazing places and make sure that every minute is well spent and well worth that spend.

best tour company in the world

According to Travel + Leisure, their World’s Best survey is comprised annually from readers’ feedback of their experiences around the world: “Readers rated tour operators on their staff and guides, itineraries and destinations, activities, accommodations, food, and overall value.”

Well, not only is the #1 pick a first-timer on the list, they’re also based out of Toronto.

Gray and Co. is a luxury boutique tour company that offers 10-15 trips per year in some 45 different countries. Primarily focusing on biking and hiking trips, you don’t get voted the best in the world if you’re not pulling out all the stops.

“We’re high-end, we can’t hide it,” Gray and Co. owner Cari Gray told Daily Hive.

Nor should they. Says Travel + Leisure:

No matter where your biking trip takes you, there will be gorgeous landscapes, challenges to match your level of expertise, luxurious accommodations, and fantastic food and wine.

As Gray adds, “We appeal to high end travellers, it’s a personal service.” What does that mean? Well, think beyond the stellar vistas and professional guides to the kind of trip where you’re receiving such subtle (but unbelievably satisfying) upgrades as cold towel waiting for you at the top of a steep climb.

It’s all in the details.

best tour company in the world

Gray spent 15 years at tour company Butterfield & Robinson (they came second on Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best list) as guide, researcher, and global marketing & public relations director before founding Gray and Co. in 2008. And she’s learned a lot about how to make a dream vacation in the last 20 years:

Catering to the world’s most discerning travellers for more than 20 years has taught us well. These folks have much in common: they expect the highest levels of service, expertise, flexibility and discretion — no matter where in the world they’re headed.

At Gray & Co., we specialize in crafting high-end, scrupulously researched active trips to the most promising corners of the globe. Our travellers have already perfected the art of living. We help them take their thoughtful lifestyles on the road, mixing authentic interactions, seamless logistics and one-of-a-kind experiences into every day.

Of course, none of this will come cheap. Packages usually start around $1,500 per person per day (not including airfare) and go up from their depending on said details.

When we ask Gray what her favourite place to travel is she laughs and says, “Usually where I’ve just come back from. Let’s see, I’ve just come back from Greece. I’ve just come back from Australia and South Africa…”

We don’t know about you but that’s enough detail for us. Sign us up (and lend us $20K).

Eric WainwrightEric Wainwright

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