Since the beginning of 2020, the family business has been offering pure adventure travel for the first time. Why the move to new tours is happening now, and where the journeys are leading – ASI Managing Director Ambros Gasser in an interview
Ambros, since the beginning of 2020 ASI Reisen offers adventure tours. What made you decide to introduce this new travel category??
Traveling has something to do with curiosity. At least our travels. Because it is always about the personal experience in nature and culture. To the discovery of new. We as the ASI team feel the same way. We feel like developing new things, but we take great care to ensure that these new themes are in line with our philosophy as a family business and, of course, that our guests also enjoy them. Because we ourselves are not always on the mountain or sitting on the bike, this fits very well in the case of adventure tours.
Cobbler, stick to your last! After all, isn't ASI really the specialist in walking tours?
Since 1963 the ASI has developed and also changed a lot. Founded as a pure alpine school with courses for aspiring mountaineers, then came guided hiking trips in Europe, the expansion into the distance, in the next step individual hiking trips and for 4 years (e)Bike trips added. Things have changed. In this respect I say that the constant change became a good companion for us. Because despite the change, the mission of our family business is still the same: We want to open people's eyes and hearts to nature and culture.
We visit the main highlights of a country, like Petra in Jordan.
So what makes the ASI adventure tours?
On an ASI adventure trip we want to give the participants a comprehensive impression of the destination – this includes the obvious things, but for us also the hidden secrets of a country. Who hasn't heard of Petra in Jordan or the Acropolis in Greece?? If you are traveling to a new country for the first time, you naturally want to visit these highlights and cross them off your "travel checklist". Our goal is also to bring you closer to the people, to the real life of the locals. We want to make the mysteries of nature and culture understandable and tangible. The insights of a destination are carefully curated places and experiences that you may not know, but leave a lasting impression.
Experience Jordan's Highlights
Marvel at the World Heritage Site of Petra, desert castles and float in the Dead Sea – Experience Jordan's highlights now!
The focus is therefore on the highlights and insights. What makes them?
Highlights are the classic, important "stops" in a country. These are the places and things that first come to mind about a country. Even if we like to direct the view of our guests on the ways off the usual fairway, Petra must not be missing on a Jordan journey.
…and the Insights?
Insights are experiences that make the country, culture and people more comprehensible. They lead off the beaten track, to the locals and their way of life. We want to focus people's attention on the small, unspoiled moments. These are the moments that one always remembers after the vacation: This is the morning tea in a Berber village, which the village elder pours in a high arc into the cup. Or the first attempt to bake bread like the Bedouins in the barren environment of Wadi Rum.
We get an insight into the life of the locals, e.g. Baking bread in Wadi Rum.
Which accommodations ASI books on the new adventure tours?
We put a lot of focus on the selection of hotels. Especially on the fact that it is small, charming and typical country hotels. These are in the 3-4 star segment, all comfortable hotels.
ASI is known for its active tours. How strenuous are the adventure trips?
Not exhausting, but stimulating – that's what our adventure tours are supposed to be. We would like to sharpen the sense and the openness for nature, culture and the people behind it. ASI adventure tours therefore have no degree of difficulty. If you just want to be on the road and you like to move around, you are in good hands. The highlights and insights should be equally open to anyone who is interested and enjoys light activities.
Sharpening openness to nature, culture and the people behind them.
What do you mean by easy activities?
By this we mean, for example, an extensive but leisurely walk through Chitwan National Park in Nepal or an e-bike tour through the beautiful wine region of South Africa. Simply enjoyable movement that brings us gently to our next destination. You don't need any previous knowledge, just the desire to move a little.
Experience already sounds a bit like adventure
If you want to try something completely new, you can definitely do that on an adventure trip. In Ireland, for example, our guests have the opportunity to try their hand at peat cutting with the locals. In doing so, they tell their stories from earlier times and thus allow an authentic insight into the life of the Irish people.
An authentic insight into the life of the local people.
How does such an adventure trip work?
Basically the same as other ASI trips. Arrival, welcome by our guide, an eventful day, transfer to your accommodation… this is similar to all other trips. The subtle difference is the daily schedule: no all-day hike or training course awaits the participants, but sometimes a leisurely bike tour or a small, pleasant hike to the special places of the country. So every day is designed with varied experiences.
And which countries can already be experienced since the beginning of 2020?
We have selected a small, fine range of exciting destinations. We have the green island of Ireland in the north, the land of smiles, Vietnam, in the east, Jordan with its desert charm in the south and Costa Rica as a tropical exotic in the west. And still 12 ASI experience journeys more.
Experience& Round trips with ASI
Experience the country authentically: Highlights in Vietnam, Jordan, Costa Rica, Namibia& more – Discover all ASI adventure tours now!