Motorcycle tourism is big business -- as people from one part of the world travel to another to do some riding, but would rather avoid the stupendous fees involved with shipping a bike and the logistical headaches involved with planning where to ride, where to stay, what to pack, who to ride with.
For Harley-Davidson, tours are in the brand wheelhouse because H-D is a lifestyle and community-centric brand par excellence. While there are dozens of tour operators around the world who use Harley bikes, Harley itself has -- since it established an "Authorized Tours" program in 2011 -- expanded the program. It now operates in Australia, Europe, Canada, South Africa, South America and New Zealand -- and of course the U.S., where the focus is the mountain states, California and the Southwest.
The Milwaukee manufacturer has, in fact, bolstered the latter, with a new Phoenix-based provider for its Authorized Tours program: Twisted Trailz Excursions LLC.
The company, in 2011, launched the global Harley-Davidson Authorized Tours program, along with a dedicated website, and 11 independent, multinational tour operators running 150 distinct tours in 10 languages. Now the number of yearly global tours is up to 200, all can be booked as group happenings or individually. The tours are in five thematic groups: luxury, "beautiful Planet," events, short breaks, and "once in a lifetime," all of them with guided, semi-guided, and self-guided options. The guided tours include things like a guide, a support vehicle, and lodging accommodation.
Harley-Davidson spokesperson Amanda Lee tells Marketing Daily that tour partners outside the U.S. more often than not tend to be private business owners, not larger tour companies. In the U.S., non-Harley-Davidson aligned providers like EagleRider, the largest touring company in the world, do tours using Harley products. “But Twisted Trailz is the first (and only at this point) U.S.-based tour provider offering tours in the southwest,” she says.