As Christmas approaches and The Dragon Trip puts its feet up by the fire- it’s time to reflect on the year over a few cold ones. 2016 has been a year of division across much of the world, with Brexit and Donald Trump’s victory casting a shadow of bitter disunity over it. However, 2016, for The Dragon Trip has been a more positive one, having brought thousands of people from across the world together, and we end the year in an optimistic mindset.
First and foremost, the experiences of our Dragons have continued to be inspirational, exciting and enriching. We’ve taken over 2,000 people on China group tours this year, and more still to Japan. Our feedback has never been better, with a whole bamboo raft of epic compliments from the people we’ve had the privilege of travelling with. This is testament to the hard work put in by all the team and the constant effort to create new and exciting itineraries all over Asia.
To half-quote Hugh Grant in Love Actually, we may be a small company but we are a great one: camping on the Great Wall, sushi-making in Tokyo, arcade challenge, close-knit teams working across continents, world-class banter, the little red book, the kung fu master’s right kick, the kung fu’s master left kick for that matter, Cherry’s songs at company news and, above all, a sense of drive and purpose to be the best in what we do.
For those who just can’t contain themselves about Love Actually (or Great Britain)
This year has been one of consolidation mixed with innovation. We’ve never had more people travel with us and there’s has been a whole range of new and exciting opportunities for TDT.
This time last year, we polled our past customers to pick a new destination for us and they chose Japan. We listened and have now added a whole new nation to our adventures with Japan joining to the TDT family. Our trip was expertly crafted and we designed and marketed a product that fits into the company’s ethos of enabling people to have real experiences in awe-inspiring locations. Unlike, much of this year, the polls got it right and the launch has exceeded our expectations. 3 sold out trips in 2016 have received rave reviews – all 5 stars!! – and we have already taken an astonishing 150 bookings for next year, including 2 new family trips, 2 schools and over 100 backpackers. A year ago that seemed as improbable as a reality TV star becoming the most powerful man in the world.
Northampton to New York
Our Learning Adventures have moved into new areas, now running trips for international schools based in China and the wider Asia area. Schools from Didcot to Dubai, Sevenoaks to Shanghai, Northampton to New York have jumped aboard The Dragon Trip and given their students the experience of a lifetime. We’ve also been nominated for best educational product by the British Youth Travel Awards (winner TBC!).
Goodbye to Sasha
This year also saw us bid a fond farewell to Sasha who returned to her native Kazakhstan after years of fantastic guiding in Xi’an. Sasha was a real favourite with our Dragons over the last few years and she will be sorely missed by all. Our adventure leaders have done an incredible job this year and we’re thankful for their relentless efforts! Roll on 2017!
Next year looks set to be even better, with an expected increase in our bookings as well as some exciting new ventures. We’re setting up a base in the US, enabling more schools from the US to get out of their comfort zones and take the plunge on a tour of China or Japan. In addition, we’ve now taken on Orientis DMC, enabling Dragon Trip Extra (aka ‘Miscellaneous Adventures’) to develop even further, with some exciting new group bookings planned for the New Year. And who knows what else could happen!? More trips? Another new country? Let us know what you want and we’ll see what we can do 😛
All these additions needed a new home so we took the decision to undergo a rebrand and drag The Dragon Trip into the cutting edge of the travel world. Our new website looks fantastic and the brand has really helped define who we are, as a company. Though we may have more guides, trips and countries, we’re determined not to lose sight of our core values – these pervade throughout everything we offer and are centred around running authentic, unforgettable trips in eye-opening locations, to people of all stripes.
More Hugh Grant
To re-quote Love Actually (for the last time): whenever I get depressed about the state of the world, I think of the smiling faces of the students when they are chatting to their new Chinese friends on a school visit or the awe-inspired looks after trekking up to the see the view at our remote Great Wall camping spot. The world may well be in a difficult place right now but as long as there is adventure, travel and beauty- things can never be too bad. Life’s too short to feel angry so I hope, like us, your New Years’ resolution is to seek out inspiring experiences wherever you find them.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us here at TDT in China, Japan and the UK — enjoy the following festive ditty from some of our team!!
Anything special to share with us? Where are you now? Get in touch!