The founder of tour operator Scott Dunn believes that group travel is having its moment
The affable Andrew Dunn, founder of specialist tour operator Scott Dunn, is quick to admit that he only really started the business as a way of going skiing for free. But from managing a few chalets in leading ski resorts in France back in the 1980s, Scott Dunn (named after his grandfather) has since grown into one of the most respected luxury travel operators in Europe and the Americas.
Now, with the opening of their Singapore office – their first in Asia – Dunn and his team are aiming to fulfil a long-held ambition to offer customers their distinctly personal brand of travel advice in this part of the world. Here, the 54-year-old Brit shares his top travel tips, where he’s excited about visiting next and his views on current travel trends.
What makes Scott Dunn different?
We are really all about giving people a tailored experience, a bespoke service. We won’t sell or book anything unless we have an expert on the region in place, so you’re really paying for that knowledge and understanding.
We’re also very family-oriented, which I think is super important. For example, we pride ourselves on having our own children’s club, and we take kids from age four months.
Moreover, we pride ourselves on our ability to resolve any problem, whatever the cost. People really appreciate that piece of mind.
Which parts of Asia are you most excited about offering your clients?
There’s so much to choose from. Myanmar is such an intriguing destination; then there are the options for skiing in places like Niseko in Japan; of course, there are the different options for travel in Sri Lanka as well. These are the three big areas for us, but I also think Cambodia is very current. Wherever the destination, though, it’s really all about adding value through creating bespoke trips that match our clients’ requirements.
Which countries are on your bucket list?
Well, I’m very excited about travelling to Vietnam or Laos. I’ve never visited either country, so they are very high on my list.
Favourite travel memories?
One of my most magical moments was spent in Myanmar, on the Belmond Road [a luxury cruise ship], travelling down the Irrawaddy River. We were on the deck and there was this haunting music playing and around a thousand candles floating on the river.
More recently, I had a fantastic family holiday to the Maldives, staying at Soneva Fushi resort. It was just great because it was so stress-free and offered something for all in the family.
Top tips for travelling with teenagers?
Find out how to turn off the Wi-Fi! At Scott Dunn, we also offer “Thrill & Chill” itineraries, which cater to families travelling with teens. Take Costa Rica for example – adults can relax on the beach, while teens can enjoy adventure activities such as surfing or zip-lining through a jungle.
What are the hottest travel trends at the moment?
The multi-generational holiday is something we’re seeing a lot of right now. These holidays involve everyone from the grandparents to the grandkids, and people spend proper time together as a family unit.
The other big thing is travelling for special occasions – be it weddings, landmark birthdays or anniversaries – where you’re going away with 20 to 30 of your closest friends and family members. For example, I went to Marrakech in Morocco for my sister’s 50th birthday earlier this year. This is when having a travel operator is particularly great, as they can help organise everything and leave you free to enjoy the moment.