This has always been a contentious issue for me!
What size should truly be considered as a small group tour?It really annoys me when I see tour companies that operate 16+ seat minibuses promoting their tour as a small group tour! I guess in comparison to the old standard Coach tour comprising up to 48 people, it is somewhat smaller! At one point years ago, there was even a 30 seat coach promoted as a small group tour! Obviously the reason for the size of the group is dictated by a number of factors such as style of tour, cost of tour and target audience. Matching all these things to be at an optimum is tricky and hence it can be hard for you when deciphering the promotional blurbs and deciding on a tour. From experience and research based on sporting teams, business focus groups and educational learning guidelines, the optimum group size is 5-7 members.
The group size that continues to function effectively is 4-9 members.Groups are known to function cohesively with a size up to 12 members. I have noticed recently that some of my colleagues who specialise in the more personalised style of touring have come up with a new term; ‘Micro‘ to further distinguish themselves from the broad spectrum that is ‘small group’. Most of those guys are using vehicles with a maximum of 6 or 7 passengers so that is a fairly apt description.
This is how I reckon tour group sizes should be referenced:
- Micro: 2-7 people
- Small: 8-12 people
- Medium: 13-30 people
- Large: 30+ people.
- Your expectations of the tour
- Group size
- Destinations included
- Cost of tour – Budget limitations
- Value for money – based on previous factors