Copyright 2018 IFBT
Ian Fletcher Battlefield Tours
PO Box 112
T: 01634 319973
IAN FLETCHER BATTLEFIELD TOURS
CELEBRATING TWENTY YEARS OF BATTLEFIELD TOURS 1998-2018
Twenty years gone already? When IFBT began life in 1998 I wasn’t sure how long I expected it to survive. There were some big guns floating around in the battlefield tour business but I’m glad to say that most have since gone under or disappeared, leaving us as one of the longest established battlefield tour companies in the world. There have certainly been some high points along the way, including some firsts. For example, we were the first company to run a battlefield tour to the Sudan (twice now), were the first to go to Argentina to look at the ill-fated 1806-07 campaign, and we were officially the first tourists to enter the Crimea following the annexation by Russia in 2014. We were also the only company to be present at all of the 200th anniversary celebrations of the Peninsular War (save for Arroyo dos Molinos). We have also taken many very special guests, including the present Duke and Duchess of Wellington who requested a private tour to Portugal in 2008. So, all in all there are many achievements to be proud of.
IFBT prides itself on its personal touch, in the selection of hotels, the forming of interesting itineraries and even the selection of the menus. Perhaps this is best reflected in the high percentage of repeat bookings which we receive. And then there are the expert guides. After all, no tour can really be claim to be led by an expert if your guide simply reads from a book. Anyone can do that. IFBT guides, on the other hand, are all published authors, some several times over, and their knowledge comes through years of study and interest in their own particular area of specialism.
The 2018 programme is not as extensive as those of past years but it is, nevertheless, exciting all the same. There have been one or two changes which you will notice. I decided not to renew our ATOL licence for the coming year, mainly as a result of the Civil Aviation Authority moving the goalposts once more and making it even more financially difficult for small businesses like IFBT. This means we can no longer include flights as part of the package. However, as only three tours involve flying this will be no hardship. Furthermore, it gives travellers the opportunity to make their own arrangements to meet us at the point of arrival of those particular tours. You will also have noticed that, for the second year running, there is no extra charge for single rooms. Finally, you will not have failed to have noticed that you’re reading an e-brochure for the first time. Like several other companies I decided to abandon the traditional paper brochure and go for a more eco-friendly and cost effective brochure which, by its increased size, has allowed us to pack more into it by way of content. It also allows us to update things and change details if necessary so do please keep an eye on the IFBT website for updates.
Well, there you have it. Twenty very enjoyable years have gone and we’ve had some great fun and made great friends with travellers whom I now consider good friends. Indeed, many tours have now become more like a group of friends going on holiday together rather than them being battlefield tours. Long may it continue. So, thanks to all of you who have enabled us to make it through to our twentieth year. I hope to see many of you again in 2018.