Episode 27 - Doctors-On-Tour with founder Ian RaymentSep 15, 2023
Dr. Kevin Mailo welcomes guest Ian Rayment, founder of the CME company Doctors-On-Tour, to the show to talk about what Doctors-On-Tour offers physicians and how it differs from other CMEs. They also discuss the Ecuador/Galapagos trip offered by Doctors-On-Tour in partnership with Physician Empowerment coming up in April 2024.
Ian Rayment started as an accountant, and later in his career found himself drawn to the addictive travel industry as a manager and president for various high-level travel companies. He founded the Doctors-On-Tour concept in 2000 and focussed on it full-time in 2007. Doctors-On-Tour prides itself on being a wholly unique and immersive CME learning experience that takes physicians into some of the most incredible destinations to learn hands-on about alternative medicines and cultures.
In this episode, Dr. Kevin Mailo and guest Ian Rayment talk about the unique offerings of Doctors-On-Tour and how their educational structure features not just academic sessions with keynote speakers, but visits to local hospitals and with local doctors, learning complementary alternative medicine, and soft volunteering for local physicians. They discuss the beauty and immersive quality of the travel experiences in the wide-ranging destinations and how valuable the experience is for broadening medical horizons. Ian Rayment details exactly what sort of mind-blowing experiences the Physician Empowerment group can expect from the upcoming Ecuador/Galapagos trip from April 2 to 16, 2024.
About Ian Rayment:
Ian Rayment was born and schooled in Sheffield, England and graduated from Birmingham University (1978) with a BComm (Accounting) honours degree. He completed his UK ACA designation (1981) while articling at KPMG in Birmingham, England and then spent 3 years in Toronto, Canada with Price Waterhouse as he used his designation as a passport to work overseas. Ian returned to the UK in 1984 as group accountant with Sheffield Insulations, a nationwide insulation distributor, before heading back to Toronto in 1987 which has been his chosen home ever since.
Ian entered the addictive travel industry in 1988 as CFO with Vacationair, one of Canada's new startup airline entrants in the wake of deregulation and joined one of the airline's owners, Regent Holidays, in 1990 as CFO.
He assumed several areas of general management over the next few years (as well as being invited to become one of the partners in 1992) before assuming the role of EVP in 1996, including the additional responsibilities of product contracting, marketing and yield management. He was instrumental in negotiating the sale of Regent to Transat A.T. which finalized in 2000, at which time he took a round-the-world sabbatical for 3 months with his family.
He initiated the Doctors-on-Tour concept in 2000 but was persuaded to return to the corporate world in 2003 as president of Holiday House, part of the Thomas Cook Group and the largest FIT tour operator in Canada (sister company to charter tour operator, Sunquest Vacations) where he was responsible for all aspects of the business, including sales and marketing, commercial, operations and product procurement.
Ian resigned from Holiday House in 2007 to further develop the Doctors-on-Tour brand which is now well-established as one of the leading, and most unique, providers of worldwide CME programs for health care professionals.
Resources Discussed in this Episode:
Dr. Kevin Mailo: [00:00:01] Hi, I'm Dr. Kevin Mailo, one of the co-hosts of the Physician Empowerment podcast. At Physician Empowerment we're dedicated to improving the lives of Canadian physicians personally, professionally and financially. If you're loving what you're listening to, let us know. We always want to hear your feedback, connect with us. If you want to go further, we've got outstanding programming both in-person and online. So look us up. But regardless, we hope you really enjoy this episode.
Dr. Kevin Mailo: [00:00:35] Hi, I'm Dr. Kevin Mailo, one of the co-hosts of the Physician Empowerment podcast. And this is kind of a special episode because we're going to do things a little bit differently here. And why don't I start by just putting it out there? Shameless self-promotion. So Physician Empowerment has teamed up with an incredible CME company that goes abroad educating Canadian physicians in different aspects of foreign healthcare systems and alternative healthcare delivery. And that company is Doctors-On-Tour, and I am very excited to be interviewing the founder of Doctors-On-Tour, Ian Rayment. And later on in the show, we'll give you some details on the trip that we're doing because it's incredible. We are headed to the Galapagos Islands in April of 2024. But let's talk to you, Ian, a little bit about your journey, because you started out quite conventionally. You are actually an accountant, licensed accountant, and now you have this incredible company that takes you all over the world to some of the most remarkable destinations that people, you know, a lot of us have on their bucket list. So Ian, with that being said, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Ian Rayment: [00:01:53] Certainly. First of all, thank you for inviting me onto your podcast, Kevin, to talk about the Doctors-On-Tour and also our new arrangement and partnership with with your company, Physician Empowerment. I guess in short straw, I'm a finance guy. CA in both the UK and Canada that sort of morphed and migrated into a travel guy or T-guy, as my friends call me. Essentially came over here 30-odd years ago, got into travel - and we're lucky enough to get into travel as one of my own passions, probably travel, sports, entertainment, what I spend most of my leisure time doing, and now business time doing as well - got into the travel industry in Canada. Financial director of one of the airlines, one of the startup charter carriers in the late 80s, then moved over into mainstream tour operating in the 90s. They were sort of a sea, sun and sand Mexico / Caribbean destinations. Initially on the finance side, you know, was fortunate enough was one of the young executives of the company to move into tour operating, took on over the years all the fun stuff, contracting, product development, marketing, etcetera, etcetera, became a partner in the company Regent Holidays. And then in 2000, after ten years, we sold that company to Air Transat.
Ian Rayment: [00:03:08] That's my journey into travel. And the medical side started because had a non-compete clause for a year and I was one of the partners. My wife was a drug rep in Canada working for initially Alterna. When I was wondering what I was going to do, you know, after my non-compete clause, I actually was putting together programs for Alterna when they used to take docs down to Vegas, Mexico, Caribbean, etcetera, not what you're allowed to do under a non-compete. Then a couple of things happened - 911, which meant that getting back into the corporate world was a challenge for travel, and also, you know, I saw an opportunity to actually, and actually came from literally a dinner meeting with physicians with my wife, to take doctors away on a combination of vacation and medical education overseas. Recognizing that in the early 2000s, the drug companies, which used to do that, had actually stopped, you know, taking high prescribers away. There was an opening and based on my financial knowledge, under the tax provisions in Canada, any professional who's got a need for ongoing accreditation could be doctors, engineers, accountants, whatever is allowed to go on two overseas educational trips per year.
Ian Rayment: [00:04:26] That was basically the premise of what we started. Filling a gap and also taking advantage of a tax opportunity for physicians to make their life more financially efficient, as you do, Kevin, what you do. It was never supposed to be full-time and what it sort of turned into. You know, was persuaded back into the corporate world in 2003, I headed up Thomas Cook Canada for five years, you know, between 03 and 08. Huge job, you know, many call centers, many VPs, and after a few years I realized I'd got into travel because I enjoyed travel and seeing places and I was no longer doing that because I was now purely managing a huge organization. So I decided now 15, 16 years ago, let's make a change. Let's take this Doctors-On-Tour concept and see what we can sort of develop into. And that's 15 years ago. We're now in over 20 plus destinations worldwide and all five continents. We have a huge repeat and referral business. We still, you know, are a relatively small boutique, very much owned and managed company in Toronto. But it's great fun and it's been successful and it's what I enjoy doing.
Dr. Kevin Mailo: [00:05:41] So you go to some incredible destinations, as I alluded to earlier, these are kind of bucket list places. And I know certainly our upcoming trip to the Galapagos exactly fits that bill for me. But talk to us a little bit about the structure of the educational programming within this, because this is a lot different than sitting in a dingy conference room, which I think a lot of us dread with CME. I know I struggle with it, I don't think I can do another Vegas conference room, you know, for a while. Yeah.
Ian Rayment: [00:06:13] So I mean, by virtue of actually where we go to, I mean that tends to drive the educational component. And for the most part, we're going to, you know, second sometimes even third world countries, the likes of India, Vietnam, places in Africa, South America, very much Second World, I would sort of put it down as. But all of these places have something in common in so much that they're not totally dependent upon Western medicine. They also have a history and a culture of complementary alternative medicine. So irrespective of the destinations we're in, and I say they range from, you know, South America, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Chile, in Africa, in South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Morocco, Southeast Asia, irrespective of where we're going to there's always essentially three, sometimes four components. The first one, we always have academic sessions in the destination. Yes, it is in a conference room, although on your particular trip where we're partnering on, it will actually be on a cruise ship with a much nicer view. And on those academic sessions we have a combination of a local keynote speaker talking about the local education, local medical system, supplemented by Canadian speakers. Second level, we always visit both public and private hospitals in the destinations, essentially meeting with local doctors and learning about different medical systems, talking about common challenges, maybe. So that's the second level and really getting out there and, you know, I tend to lead as well, you know, some of our programs and if you've been to, as I have, you know, public hospitals in India, for example, I mean, these are just mind-blowing visits which really, you know, broaden the horizons as to what a lot of these countries and doctors have to manage with or, more to the point, without.
Ian Rayment: [00:08:12] Third level is always some kind of complementary alternative medicine. Why do we do that? We believe, a) that, you know, most of our physician clients, or a lot of them, although they don't all necessarily buy into it - and that could be anything from, you know, acupuncture in Southeast Asia or China, it could be Ayurveda or allopathic in India, it could be herbal medicine or shamanism in Ecuador - many of our clients have an aging population base with chronic diseases, and they have a need for both conventional Western medicine, but also complementary medicine as part of that essentially medical treatment path. So it is, we find, relevant to, you know, most of our clients. And then also as well, the fact we have so much local CME, whether it be the hospital visits for local speakers, for complementary alternative medicine, that ticks all the boxes as far as the educational trips overseas being a tax deduction for the physician.
Dr. Kevin Mailo: [00:09:16] Yeah, it's not something you can get--
Ian Rayment: [00:09:18] -- You have to be there--
Dr. Kevin Mailo: [00:09:21] -- on Zoom or in a dingy conference room inside the borders of our country.
Ian Rayment: [00:09:26] Exactly. Exactly. And then the fourth level, again, irrespective of destination, if we can do it, would be a certain amount of soft volunteering for physicians. That could be, for example, we have an ongoing relationship with an organization, SOS Children's Village, which is a worldwide series of orphanages. So maybe the docs will, you know, spend a couple of hours as well as the totally unique visit there, you know, assisting the nurse, maybe working the line. We've had them in Kenya, had a Masai clinic, learning about Masai traditional healing, but then also assisting the local Masai doctor there, you know, to see the line of local people outside of his clinic. So that's kind of a soft volunteering side. So that's basically our four level platform, pretty much irrespective of where we go to. Recently, as we are also doing a few very much first world destinations, like for example, Iceland, like for example, Japan, we're combining things. So in Iceland, not very much complementary medicine, but we go to a place called Kerecis and learn about how fish scales are used as anti burn products. We go to a place called deCODE to learn about the human genome. In Japan we go to Cyberdyne, which is very much leading edge robotic equipment and see it actually used in a hands-on environment in nursing home. So very much yes, mostly complementary alternative, but we're sort of ever increasing our destinations, a little bit leading edge as well, but all relevant and all really broadening the horizons to our clientele while having, you know, a unique vacation which we tailor working with local ground operators. So it's a unique, tailored relationship which they really can't find anywhere else.
Dr. Kevin Mailo: [00:11:20] And typically very small tours as well. Like I know, ours, the Galapagos, you know, will sell out very quickly because it's very small numbers. It's nice to create that intimate environment.
Ian Rayment: [00:11:32] It is. Our group sizes are never more than 30, 32. We believe, you know, that's a manageable number. This is not like a, you know, a program on a mainstream cruise line with, you know, thousands of people where the only logistics essentially are, you know, getting on and off a ship and the same ship every day. And I always compare what we do to sort of the, you know, the Steve Martin film, you know, 'Planes, Trains, Automobiles' and throw a couple of ships in. Logistically, it's not straightforward. That's what we take care of. You know, we make sure we're dealing with very diligent partners in all of our destinations to make sure everything is taken care of absolutely perfectly, which is not always straightforward in the destinations we operate in. And that's what we pride ourselves on. But logistically, yes, it's pretty relatively small groups. You know, max 30 / 32. And yes, I think we will, you know, this has always been the Galapagos, one of our absolute signature destinations that we're well known for, and this will be our 20th Ecuador program now in the last 15, 16 years.
Dr. Kevin Mailo: [00:12:40] Wow. Incredible. Yeah, I mean, when you talk about exposure to other health care systems and different philosophies of medicine, that certainly resonates with me. Looking back at my own training, which was extremely conventional and Western-centric, and beginning to see more perspectives through the diversity within our patient population coming from different backgrounds. But even just the gaps in Western medicine and, you know, reflecting on my own, you know, exploration of Eastern philosophy and Buddhist perspectives on, you know, mental health and things, you realize how little you truly know. I think that's one of the big ones with these kinds of trips is we come there as experts in our field and leave a little bit humbled and a little bit more open to a broader perspective when it comes to not just disease management, but the notion of health, which I think is important because I think we define health in a very narrow way.
Ian Rayment: [00:13:47] Exactly. And, you know, many of our destinations, we, if we're trying to define, you know, we'll often be asked what is the CME program? And of course it's a very varied program. But we will often sort of capture it under the title of health and healing because it is very much, you know, the ongoing healing perspective as opposed to treatment from a pharmaceutical Western perspective of just a particular ailment, and then, you know, you get in and you get out.
Dr. Kevin Mailo: [00:14:18] Diagnosis, prescription. Diagnosis, prescription.
Ian Rayment: [00:14:21] Yeah, exactly.
Dr. Kevin Mailo: [00:14:23] It can be more than that. And just improving our patients' experience, but even improving our own experience of delivering health care, which I think is is very powerful and a source of rejuvenation for us as individual practitioners.
Ian Rayment: [00:14:40] Yeah. And of course many of the cultures and countries we're going into, you know, their traditional medicine has been around for thousands of years. You know, you look at places like China, like Southeast Asia, they've chosen to complement it with Western medicine, whereas the Western world is going about it the other way and complementing, you know, Western drug medicine with more sort of complementary alternative healing therapies. I'm not even a doctor when I'm talking about this.
Dr. Kevin Mailo: [00:15:08] Oh, I know, but you've been around enough now with so many trips.
Ian Rayment: [00:15:12] My bank manager, I walk in if I go in there, they call me Doctor Rayment and I keep saying, No, no, I'm actually a finance guy going to travel and now specialize in these, you know, medical educational trips.
Dr. Kevin Mailo: [00:15:24] So our trip to the Galapagos is coming up April 2nd to 16th, 2024. Tell us a little bit about the programming on that trip.
Ian Rayment: [00:15:34] So as I was saying earlier, it really is one of our signature programs, which we've become very well known for. Most of our clients over the years, this is the first program they will have done with us or, you know, going on many of them and doing many more. We sort of catchphrase it as Ecuador so much more than the Galapagos because a lot of people will think of Ecuador as purely the Galapagos. They don't think about all the other, you know, different components. It's one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. So we like to give people very much a perspective of a lot of the different highlights with the Galapagos coming up towards the end of as the absolute, you know, piece de resistance. So you have a four day trip. You fly into Quito from either Toronto or Montreal. Quito was actually the first ever Unesco-designated city. They beat out the likes of Venice and Rome back in the the mid 1990s. It's got a gorgeous old town. It's got a fantastic climate up at 10,000ft, it's a perennial spring climate. And we use Quito, as well as being a fantastic place to visit and learn about the culture and see the sights and the history of museums, we use it as a little bit of a hub for what else we're doing in Ecuador. So we'll have 2 or 3 days in Quito. We're then going to fly you down to the Ecuadorian Amazon.
Ian Rayment: [00:17:02] The Amazon, of course, is a huge area of which people may think of Brazil as being the main part of it. Brazil, which also used to be one of our programs years ago, is very much the commercialized Amazon. Put it this way, I don't want to see jet skis flying around the Amazon basin, which is what you'll see in Brazil. So the the Amazon in Ecuador is totally pristine and therefore it's not the easiest of places to get to. So you will actually, you'll take a regular sized aircraft on a 30, 35 minute flight from Quito into Coca in the Amazon basin on the Napo River. You'll then take a three hour motorized canoe ride up the Napo River. You'll feel like you're going into the middle of nowhere because you are. You'll then finish that motorized canoe ride. You'll have a 20, 25 minute walk along the boardwalk through the rainforest. You'll then get into a regular canoe, your luggage will go separately, and you'll have a 20 minute canoe ride to an absolutely gorgeous, pristine eco-lodge called Sacha Eco Lodge right in the middle of the Amazon. What are you going to do there? You're going to basically immerse yourself in the Amazon rainforest. You're going to go on canoe trips. You're going to go on nature hikes both in the daytime and also at nighttime, because you'll see many, many different things from both day and night, nocturnal perspective. Recognizing, so when you're actually on the river system or on the lakes in canoes, you'll see very likely caimans, which are essentially the South American versions of alligators.
Ian Rayment: [00:18:40] You'll hopefully see giant otters, you'll see a lot of birdlife. But a lot of the, you know, the creatures in the Amazon tend to be high up in the canopy. The canopy is around about 40 or 50m up off the rainforest floor. So what we'll do at Sacha as well, and they're famous for this, they were the first lodge to have a canopy tower, which you'll actually walk up to get to that canopy level. They are the first lodge to have a canopy walkway. So as long as you're good with heights, you'll scale the tower around about 40 or 50m up, there are three different towers. There's Tower A which has steps, Tower B, which doesn't, and Tower C which has steps at the end. You'll walk out along a 150-200 meter walkway across the Amazon rainforest next to the canopy from Tower A to B. You'll have fabulous sights up there. It's a totally unique experience. And then no going back, you'll head over to Tower C and come down. If you're not good on heights and don't want to walk across the walkway, the latest addition 2 or 3 years ago is actually what we call a canopy train, where you will go into the equivalent of like a cable car in the Alps, but a fair bit smaller, only 10-12 people, and you will be taken up on a crane into the canopy and basically you'll roam around the canopy in this crane.
Ian Rayment: [00:20:11] So a lot of absolutely unique activities. I mean, people, they tend to understand what they're going to get with the Galapagos because a lot of people have done their research, you know, on BBC, National Geographic. They tend to be blown away by the Amazon because they don't know what to expect. And all the immersion and the unique way that you can experience it at somewhere like Sacha Lodge. It's only 25 rooms. Our group will take 15 of those rooms at the lodge. Fantastic food. And you'll also learn about the Indigenous community in the area, which is very much involved in the Lodge from a staffing and a management perspective. They're very much involved in the cooking. So you you learn all about the Indigenous cultures of Ecuador, which are extremely important from a cultural perspective in the country. So you'll have your four days in the Amazon. You'll come back out exactly the same way as you as you went in, back into Quito. We then are going to take you up for a couple of days into the the foothills of the Andes and the highlands and the lakes of an area called Imbabura. Not just highlands, lakes, also volcanoes. You're going to spend a fantastic couple of days exploring the area, hiking, heading into very much lots of little cottage industries. You can buy fabulous leather weaving, go to the largest trading market in South America, and you will stay in a 400 year old hacienda which is being converted into a hotel now for tourists.
Ian Rayment: [00:21:46] Every room a little bit different. And one of them may be haunted depending on which room you're actually in. You'll have lunch in another couple of haciendas as part of that whole sort of two-day component. So again, totally different. Most companies don't sort of take you into this area. It's almost like the, for those of you listening in the Toronto area, it's sort of a Muskoka where the Quitoans have their cottages. It's a couple of hours north of the the city. We'll then bring you back down to Quito. You'll have a night at an airport hotel. The rationale being that they built a brand new airport in Quito about 6 or 7 years ago. The road got built about two years later. Even in good traffic, the airport is a good hour, hour and a half away from a city. So we're going to bring you back into the city because you have an early morning flight the next day where you will fly over from Quito to Guayaquil, which is the largest city on the coast in Ecuador. Purely a tech stop. You won't get off the flight. You'll then have another one and a half hour flight and you will arrive in Baltra in the Galapagos and you will board a luxury expedition yacht, the NY Isabella II, for your five day absolutely mind-blowing Galapagos cruise expedition.
Dr. Kevin Mailo: [00:23:01] Amazing. And we will be talking as well on the trip, Wing and I, with some Physician Empowerment materials. I don't have that finalized yet but what we've done in the past is talked about practice transformation and wellness. So those are going to be the topics that we cover and nothing is going to be excessively heavy throughout this trip. I think it's important to step away from being super, super efficient and instead like taking time to reflect, frankly, on our practices, especially in the space of wellness. As you know, I'm very passionate about physician wellness and and that's really where I want to, you know, hit deep in terms of some of these topics because I frankly am a little fed up getting told to do wellness modules on the computer. I don't really think that's how wellness is taught, and it's certainly not how it should be lived. So we're looking forward--
Ian Rayment: [00:23:56] You would like to be doing it in the space where you have your photo behind you and in fact, you'd be doing it in the space where I have the photo behind me, which is... And I should also, you know, talk about just what the Galapagos experience is like. So, yes, this is a cruise component, but this is not a, you know, what most people think of cruising. The Galapagos is such a pristine environment because it is so well controlled and managed by the Galapagos Conservation Authority. They limit the number of people into the Galapagos, which is around about 60,000 people a year. They limit the number of ships and the size of the ships. The four biggest ships are only 50 cabin ships. We're actually using on this particular trip, as I say, a 20 cabin vessel. The beauty of that size of ship is that it's very intimate. You get, obviously, you'll get to know everybody on there because most people on there will be part of the Physician Empowerment group. As far as your days in the Galapagos, you'll be doing two specific landing sites every day. You won't be docking anywhere on the vessel. All of your transportation between the ship and shore is done by Zodiac, also known as pangas or dinghies. Again, that's really to protect the islands and the infrastructure, or lack of infrastructure, on the island, there won't be infrastructure apart from a couple of the islands where there is a population, the only population is a wildlife that you'll see.
Ian Rayment: [00:25:23] So two landings a day. The biggest thing about the Galapagos is, yes, as most people likely research, you'll learn about the history, you'll learn about Darwin and the theory of evolution and why, you know, the seven different kinds of finch all have different traits because they had to adapt, you know, to the different islands that they actually live on. You'll see loads of very much unique endemic species like the marine iguana behind me, which is totally ubiquitous in the Galapagos. But you can look and you'll never see it until you get close up, because it is so camouflaged into the volcanic landscapes of the actual islands. But what people don't realize is they'll have seen likely video footage on BBC, on National Geographic, and they'll think they must have been there for a year or two years to get that footage so close up and you'll have been there for maybe 1 or 2 landings and you'll realize you're getting most of the same footage. Because all the creatures there, they're so unused to humans, despite the fact that the Galapagos has now been opened to tourism and ships going in on a limited basis for the last 40, 45 years, the creatures there, they have no predators, no natural predators, and they all coexist together.
Ian Rayment: [00:26:45] And we don't see man as a predator because it's never been allowed. So therefore, they're not afraid of you. The rules and regulations, you'll go ashore in maximum group sizes of 14 with a Galapagos expert naturalist guide. You have to stay on the trails. You know, you can't approach the animals. They will approach you. You'll have situations where, because there's no fear, there's no predators, you'll have sea lions where the mum is in the ocean 100m away, and the newborn baby of 2 or 3 weeks old is on shore and he or she will come wandering up to you on the pathway. Rules are very strict. They want to come and touch you because they have no fear. You have to back off because you will spread human infection and impact the environment, etcetera, etcetera. So many unique experiences not only on land, but also you'll have 2 or 3 opportunities through the five day cruise to snorkel. Don't worry if you're not, you know, a strong swimmer, we'll give you a little, you know, sort of life jacket. So you can float easy enough, they'll give you instruction. But whether you're on the surface or whether you're sort of diving down, you'll be swimming with sea lions. They'll be coming two, three feet away. They'll be playing with you, zipping in and out. You'll be likely seeing penguins, which are a lot more mobile in the water than you'll see, you know, on the on the shore. You'll be seeing, I mean one of my most unique experiences there, pelican.
Ian Rayment: [00:28:15] So I was snorkeling. I was actually following a huge Galapagos sea turtle, you know, for about 15, 20 minutes. You know, he was about ten foot below me, five, six foot long. I suddenly hear in the water, look up, and it's a pelican, which has come down slightly vertical. As it comes into the water, what I saw was it was catching the fish with its feet completely open and take the fish. Absolutely unique experience.
Dr. Kevin Mailo: [00:28:44] Wow.
Ian Rayment: [00:28:44] I've been there myself now 4 or 5 times to the Galapagos, and it's almost like going on safari. I never get bored of it because you're always, apart from just being in such an incredible, you know, location, you'll always get some kind of different interaction that you've never had before. So, yeah, I would recommend it to, it is on most people's bucket list. Who knows how long it will be around still? I mean, it's very politically charged and so much of it, you know, it is a huge tourism driver for the Ecuadorian government. But certain sections, certain parties are saying that even with 60,000 tourists a year, there are too many. So it's really somewhere which may not be available forever. So it's a great opportunity.
Dr. Kevin Mailo: [00:29:28] I love that. All right, we should probably wrap up and I could just keep asking you more and more questions about this trip because as I said, it's a dream of mine. But we should wrap up. I was going to say, for those of you interested in registering, early bird registration that we've arranged is expiring at the end of September, and we expect this trip to fill up very quickly. And we are very, very excited again, to be partnering with Doctors-On-Tour for something like this. And we look forward to this.
Ian Rayment: [00:29:58] One point, Kevin, as well. So I mean, I think everyone knows post Covid, you know, travel has become a lot more expensive.
Dr. Kevin Mailo: [00:30:06] Yeah. Oh yeah.
Ian Rayment: [00:30:07] Because there's so much pent up demand. This particular trip, it's not an inexpensive trip. It never has been. You know, you're dealing with cruise cabins which have a very limited inventory and therefore, you know, the cruise cost is an expensive cost. But what we always tell people on this trip is when they are comparing against maybe similar trips either with or without a medical component, be very conscious of what you're comparing against. So, you know, this is a 14 day trip. It includes, you know, five day cruise, four days Amazon, numerous days in Quito, the highlands, hacienda, etcetera, etcetera. It's priced in Canadian dollars, not in US dollars, like a lot of what you'll see, as well as being a full two week program as opposed to just a 7 or 8 day program. It includes your airfare off either Toronto or Montreal. It includes your flights from Quito to the Galapagos and back. It includes your flights to the Amazon and back. It includes nearly all meals. So it's actually fantastic value. But people, you know, should be fully aware of what all the inclusions are. I guarantee you you will come back and say this is one of the best value trips or one of the best.
Dr. Kevin Mailo: [00:31:26] Oh, without question. And in my view--
Ian Rayment: [00:31:29] To make people conscious of, you know, the pricing is, they're not inexpensive programs, but they are fantastic value for what you get.
Dr. Kevin Mailo: [00:31:37] You know, but when I reflect on the profession and how hard all of us work, not only to get where we are, but to maintain where we are... When I think about, you know, using those hard earned dollars, it should be on once in a lifetime experiences like this, right? I mean, you should be able to look back on your career and say, yeah, I had a lot of high points. I had a lot of great experiences. It was a great, great ride is the way I look at it.
Ian Rayment: [00:32:07] I mean, not, you know, once in a lifetime. This is our, you know, first particular venture with PE and we have another 30 plus destinations. We have, I mean on any one of our visits, what I would call a close trip as exclusive to PE. You know, most of our trips are open, available on our website and on any one of our trips, we have a 40 to 50% repeat factor. And we've got people now, you know, many people who are up to, you know, ten trips with us.
Dr. Kevin Mailo: [00:32:36] And that's Wing. Wing should have been doing this interview because he's been with you for years.
Ian Rayment: [00:32:41] Kevin's partner.
Dr. Kevin Mailo: [00:32:41] And loved it. It's my first trip, but Wing's been with you for years.
Ian Rayment: [00:32:45] Yeah. Wing is now on up to 4 or 5 trips with us and obviously is an avid follower and that's what we strive for.
Dr. Kevin Mailo: [00:32:53] Yeah, no, this is why we're working with you because Wing has just sung accolades about every detail of the trip is planned out, is thoughtfully planned out to make it a truly incredible experience. So again, I am so excited. It's coming up April 2nd to 16. Flights depart from Toronto. So if you're in the GTA, super easy to take your flights on this trip.
Ian Rayment: [00:33:22] Or Montreal, we also have flights. And as far as the flights go, there are no direct nonstop flights from either Toronto, Montreal or anywhere in Canada down to Quito. We, for years, have used the most efficient routing. We're flying on Copa Airlines, it's the national airline of Panama. It flies down pretty much like a plumb line from Toronto or Montreal into Panama. Such a short connection time and then on to Quito, so early morning departure, getting in there at a reasonable time, early evening into Quito. You have a benefit of, it's a star alliance carrier. You get points on the carrier and we find them a lot easier to deal with in Air Canada.
Dr. Kevin Mailo: [00:34:04] Awesome. Awesome. Okay, let's wrap it up.
Ian Rayment: [00:34:09] Thank you, Kevin. Thank you for the opportunity. And I look forward to working with your organization.
Dr. Kevin Mailo: [00:34:14] Very excited. Thank you so much for coming on. Cheers you.
Ian Rayment: [00:34:18] You're welcome. Thank you.
Dr. Kevin Mailo: [00:34:21] Thank you so much for listening to the Physician Empowerment podcast. If you're ready to take those next steps in transforming your practice, finances or personal well-being, then come and join us at PhysEmpowerment.ca - P H Y S Empowerment dot ca - to learn more about how we can help. If today's episode resonated with you, I'd really appreciate it if you would share our podcast with a colleague or friend and head over to Apple Podcasts to give us a five star rating and review. If you've got feedback, questions or suggestions for future episode topics, we'd love to hear from you. If you want to join us and be interviewed and share some of your story, we'd absolutely love that as well. Please send me an email at [email protected]. Thank you again for listening. Bye.