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on tour ❖

marty de souto, ctc

Tour Programming as a Career AT SOME TIME IN OUR CAREER, it’s necessary that we sit down and decide what is the purpose of the trips we offer and then think further as to what is our role in bringing these travel opportunities to our participants. Are we doing this as a lifetime career? As recreation? For personal fulfillment? PURPOSE OF OUR TRIPS Let’s ask ourselves: (l) Is our travel program to educate our travelers? (2) Is it to provide fun and enjoyment to those who might otherwise stay at home? (3) Is it perhaps to enlarge our participants’ horizons and provide them with a more global outlook? (4) Or is it to provide a social opportunity for our travelers to meet new people and perhaps form new but ongoing friendships? (5) Is it to make money for our sponsoring organization – and perhaps ourselves also? (6) Could it be to obtain publicity for our organization so as to build its stature? (7) Is it to attract new membership to our traveling club organization? MANY MOTIVATIONS All of the above can be viewed as legitimate reasons for our trips. But we then need to delve further and ask ourselves “Why am I here?” Am I here involved in this as a career, as a business? Am I here as a goodwill gesture to bring enjoyment, fulfillment and opportunity to others? Am I here because I love being involved in the world of travel – meeting people from other places and stretching my world knowledge? Am I here simply for the “free trips” that I 6 April 2010

manage to take and I just put up with all the work and headaches as a means to an end – travel for myself? Am I here because I actually work for a travel agency or tour operator and only do group tours as a part of my daily job? I would guess that for many of us a combination of some of the above motivations may strike a chord rather that just one of them. I have come to realize that, as an educator myself, I enjoy spoon-feeding ongoing learning through travel. But I have also learned that on tour one cannot continually be teaching;

LUSTING FOR TRAVEL I’ve learned that I’d love to be able to have a successful career in travel, but that financially it can be a rough road to riches and very few “make it” as a financially-fulfilling life enterprise. I see many involved in managing travel programs as a second career; these are the individuals who, upon retirement, and with a basic retirement income, can then turn their energies to what they really lust for – a life in travel. I’ve also seen those who have found a way to continue their

Many factors, from “free trips” to learning about the world, motivate tour planners. Some are in the business to bring enjoyment to others. your travelers want activity and fun and friendship woven throughout the day. LEARN ABOUT YOURSELF I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve learned that I enjoy designing the itinerary; the creative process is what turns me on. I do not necessarily enjoy escorting tours designed by others. I’ve learned that I can easily design and book tours to certain areas of the world that I know well but that for other areas I am not as well qualified and need to put my travelers on a travel product such as a cruise or tour from some company that excels in that area.

present non-travel career but augment it with the occasional tour or tours during the year. Each of us will have our own motivations and we need to be clear about them. We also need to assess our individual strengths and weaknesses. We can then make the choices necessary and direct our travel programs accordingly for success. Marty is founder and chair of the travel industry training program at Berkeley City College in Berkeley, Calif., where she teaches all aspects of group travel. You can reach her by e-mail at For information on her latest book, How To Plan, Operate, and Lead Successful Group Trips, click on Premier Tourism Marketing’s educational website,

Carnival Cruise Lines from New Orleans


Pl On us wit e Free he ve 10 Pai ry d ®

The Queen of the Mississippi & The Carnival Triumph Jan. 20-27 and Jan. 29-Feb. 5

This is a French Quarter Cruise & Play Tour. We've combined sightseeing in the Port of New Orleans with a “Fun Ship® ” cruise through the Mississippi Delta south into the Caribbean. Experience first the soul of New Orleans from your hotel in the Vieux Carre. Feel the rhythm of Bourbon Street, hear the wail of Jazz Trumpets celebrating into the night and taste the flavor of a cuisine perfected by centuries. Then fall in love with the Carnival Triumph® a ship packed with Balcony staterooms. You'll get a giant dose of fun with Carnival's Seaside Theater ®, three pools, a waterslide and Spa Carnival.® Oh, and mini golf. And a sliding Sky Dome. Sailing into the Western Caribbean you can dive among Cozumel's famous coral reefs, ride a beach buggy or swim with a dolphin. Then at Progreso, Yucatan you can visit one of the new Seven Wonders of the World - the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza. Sailing twice a month year-round you can schedule this tour to fit your schedule. Prices vary with season. Note, we have great group rates secured in January. So, Hop aboard and get the fun started.

U.S. Tours Cruise Tour Package includes: • Two Nights Lodging in the French Quarter • Dinner & Private Cooking Class at the New Orleans School of Cooking • Dixieland Jazz Brunch at Court of Two Sisters • French Quarter Walking Tour • Five Day Cruise on the Carnival Triumph® • Visits To Cozumel & Progreso Mexico • Meals aboard Ship • All Taxes & Fees on these services • Luggage Handling at the Hotel & Pier • One free berth with every 10 paid full fare guests

Per Person Prices:


$698 Interior Stateroom $748 Ocean View $828 Balcony Carnival reserves the right to re-instate the fuel supplement for all guests at up to $9 per person per day if the NYMEX oil price exceeds $70 per barrel.

Call U.S. TOURS Today!


Rates are in U.S. Dollars per guest, double occupancy, capacity controlled and cruise only. Restrictions apply. Ship’s Registry: Panama.

Group Tour Programming as a Career  
Group Tour Programming as a Career  

Columnist Marty de Souto asks readers to sit down and think about the purpose of their trips and why they are in the group tour business. Ma...