Hello, and welcome to the nineteenth season of Ian Fletcher Battlefield Tours. Well, the Lord (or whoever) continues to throw obstacles in the way of operations and 2016 was no different. Worries over the economy, terrorism and the drop in sterling haven’t helped any tour operator. Numbers were certainly down on the previous year. However, not one of the 2016 tours was cancelled because of low numbers, something which I’m very proud of. The groups may have been smaller but everybody who booked a holiday got their wish. Small groups are not too good for business but they’re actually far more intimate and guests certainly get more access to our guides than they would if the groups were large ones. It also makes for à la carte dining, group menus being unavailable for small parties. Swings and roundabouts I guess.
The economic climate and the drop in sterling has certainly forced me to look at the way we do things as regards the tours in order to try to improve things both in terms of numbers and for potential travellers and I hope these are positive ones. First of all I’ve removed the much-hated single supplements from every single tour. After all, the vast majority of travellers are single travellers anyway so it made sense in a way. Also, I’ve done away with charges for the use of credit cards. So I hope these moves will not go unnoticed. Whether any of these moves have the desired effect remains to be seen! I also hope you like the new format of the brochure. A change is as good as a rest, as they say. Next year will, of course, see the 20th anniversary of IFBT, which probably means we’re one of the longest established battlefield tour companies in the world. Some boast eh? Anyway, here we are then, the 2017 tours, and I hope you’ll find something of interest.
IFBT: out and about in 2016
Top, left to right: The Glienicke Bridge, Potsdam, Solferino church, the museum at Marengo, Le Touret Military Cemetery, the Berlin Wall, Morane Calabro
Bottom, left to right: the Jewish Memorial at Baba Ya, Kiev, Wellington's command post at Busaco, Red Square Moscow, skulls at Solferino, the walls of Badajoz, and Friedland.
NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS IN 2017
AND NO CREDIT CARD CHARGES!
no more paying extra for single rooms
It was with great shock and sadness that we learned, barely a week after returning from our Zulu tour to South Africa, of the death of our guide and friend, Ken Gillings, who drowned whilst out scuba diving with his son off Cape Vidal. Ken was one of the leading experts on the Zulu and Boer wars and on South African military history in general. He'd been our guide on three tours and was hugely popular. He also enjoyed our company. Indeed, following our tour in November he wrote to tell us he hadn't laughed so much for ages and thoroughly enjoyed himself. Ken was the author of several books and had been on the organising committee of the centenary of the Boer War in 1999. A hugely respected guide he will be sorely missed by his family, friends and all of those who had enjoyed his company.