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Whole Foods already has a massive following of dedicated, wealthy consumers who are likely to salivate at the news and become the venture’s first customers.
The tours are targeted at travelers with a passion for eating and exercise. Many of the tours include hikes and bike rides through a region to meet with locals, watch how meals are made, and where raw materials bought.
The first Whole Journeys tours will depart in April 2013 and will run between five days and two weeks. The tours cost between $3,000 and $4,5000 including guides, hotels, and meals, but not airfare.
The majority of current offerings are in Europe, but there are plans to expand in North and South America. Initial trip offerings include bike rides through Italy, fishing trips to salmon rivers in the U.S., and a hike along the historic tea and horse caravan road in China.
Whole Journeys is marketing itself as travel option for custom groups of friends or family as tours can handle up to 16 people. There’s also the opportunity to incorporate niche tours for singles, couples, or specific language speakers.
Whole Foods picked the executive director Kathy Dragon for her extensive experience running tours worldwide and her role as owner of a travel company, The Dragon’s Path.