Groups Today November/December 2023

Page 1

Groups Today NOV/DEC 2O23


2023 Readers' Choice


Published by Serendipity Media, LLC Volume 21 Issue 6




GROUPS TODAY Nov e mber/ D ecember 2 02 3

IN THIS ISSUE C o v e r : 2 0 2 3 R E A D E R S ' C H O I C E AWA R D S

N OV EMB ER / D ECEMB ER 2 0 2 3 Vo l u m e 2 1 , I s s u e 6

GROUPS TODAY IS PUBLISHED BY: Serendipity Media, LLC 866-252-7108



Eugenia Chinsman: Connecting Travelers with Their Roots

Daniel Beals, St. Lawrence Cruise Lines page 28

page 4


Kasie Smith



Courtney Van Hagen MANAGING EDITOR



Megan Marshall

2023 Readers’ Choice




Kelsey Shoemaker Rachel Syrba OFFICE COORDINATOR


Maggie Mutch

page 8


Haleigh Gerwig MEMBERS OF: Student & Youth Travel Association American Bus Association National Tour Association Circle Michigan Ontario Motor Coach Association









Rapids, MI, and additional mailing of fices.

Pickpocketing and Thef t Abroad: How to Prepare, Prevent and Respond

Navigating Tomorrow: 10 Predictions for the Group Travel Market in 2024

Subscription information may be obtained

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A N OTE F RO M TH E M A N AG I N G E D ITO R As we prepare to say “goodbye” to 2023 and welcome 2024 w ith open arms, it’s hard not to ref lect on the past year and how far each of us has come. W hether you helped several groups finally embark on their bucket list trips, are just getting your group travel business off the ground, or celebrated a milestone year of business, grow th has undoubtedly taken place in one form or another. W hile we don’t have a cr ystal ball at our disposal, we do have expert insight as to what’s likely on the horizon for the coming year. From new trends to continued areas of focus, f lip to page 26 to find out what could be next. One thing we do k now for certain? Our Readers’ Choice Awards are back! From shopping and dining to adventure experiences and emerging destinations, we share who you, our readers, decided were the top dogs in group travel this year (page 8). Don’t miss it! In t his issue we a lso vent ure overseas—but not w it hout some di ligence a nd awareness for t he unex pected. W hile t hieves and pickpockets w ill always ex ist, arming yourself w ith the k nowledge of how to prevent an incident from occurring

SARAH SUYDAM Managing Editor

(and what to do if, unfortunately, it does) is v ital. Travel to page 6 for more. Of course, as we do in ever y issue, we connected directly w ith the voices of the indust r y. You can f ind out more about Manst ravel’s Eugenia Chinsman and her work in connecting African American travelers w ith their African roots on page 4. We also learn the latest from our neighbors to the north on page 28, thanks to a fun conversation w ith Daniel Beals from St. Law rence Cruise Lines. From the team here at Groups Today, we hope your travels are safe, your holidays are bright and your hearts are warm. See you next year! Cheers!

Send your stories, suggestions and thoughts to: 535 Cascade West Parkway SE Grand Rapids, MI 49546


GET INSPIRED Enhance your profe s s ional development w ith timel y group tr avel indu s tr y up date s , bu s ine s s tip s and more . gro up s to d ay. c o m /s ub s c ri b e


GROUPS TODAY Nov e mber/ D ecember 2 02 3


COME EXPERIENCE THE WILD IN THE HEART OF ATLANTA! One of Atlanta’s oldest cultural destinations,

lowland gorillas , including Willie B . III,

Zoo Atlanta is located in historic Grant Park,

Zoo Atlanta’s younges t gorilla and the

with easy access to the city’s fine dining,

grandson of Atlanta icon Willie B . Zoo

accommodations and other downtown

Atlanta also hosts the U.S. headquarters of

attractions. The Zoo is home to hundreds of

the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International

animals from around the world, including

in support of their work for gorillas and

a wide variety of birds, primates, and large

human communities in Africa.

mammals , such as African elephant s ,

Groups of 15 , up to a maximum of 50 paying guests, may receive a discounted

giraffes and southern white rhinos. The Zoo als o features one of Nor th

group rate . Sp e cial group rate s are

America’s largest populations of Bornean

available for advance bookings , which

and Sumatran orangutans and western

can be arranged up to a year in advance.

Visit to plan your visit today.

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By Sarah Suydam


Connecting Travelers with Their Roots


W it h a backg rou nd a nd educat ion i n i nter nat iona l

a f fa i r s a nd world c u lt u re, Eugen ia C h i n sma n i s no stranger to travel. Chinsman’s husband’s prev ious work w it h t he Un ited Nat ions kept t hem t raversi ng much of A f r ica a nd Eu rope for 25 yea rs. However, upon h is ret i rement, Ch i nsma n was con f ronted w it h what she wanted to do nex t. A friend suggested sharing her love for travel w ith others, and the rest is histor y. Chinsman got to work, learning ever y t hing she could about ow ning a home-based travel business. She joined what was k now n at t he t ime as NACTA (now k now n as the ASTA Small Business Net work) and became chapter director for New York and Connect icut. She’s at tained almost ever y professional certification one could imagine, including ASTA’s Verified Travel Adv isor certification. Now 16 years into her industr y tenure, Chinsman has received many major awards from a w ide cross-section of social and business communities. She is president of both ASTA Small Business Net work’s Connecticut chapter and Ma nst ravel, LLC, t h roug h wh ich she fou nd her n iche: Selling safaris and roots and cultural travel to Africa. “In 16 yea rs, I’ve been able to con nec t a l most 50 0 African Americans w ith their roots in Africa,” Chinsman sa id, not i ng t he evolut ion a nd g row i ng popu la r it y of


GROUPS TODAY Nov e mber/ D ec em ber 2 02 3

Photos © Eugenia Chinsman

genea log ica l t ravel ser v ices, wh ich r e q u i r e s mu l t id i s c i p l i n a r y s k i l l s c om bi n i n g a nu m b e r of f ac t or s .

good number of our clients.

of ways.

“Life is short, the world is w ide—do not procrastinate!”

“My obligation as a travel adv isor is to continue to prove that independent

“Ma n st ravel i s c u r rent l y t he on l y

W hen it comes to adv ice for

cont rac tors a re a v a luable a r m of

a genc y pr ov id i n g s uc h a u n ique

newcomers, Ch i nsma n emphasi zes

t he t ravel indust r y, and to cont inue

ser v ice, wholly dedicated to helping



ma k i ng my cl ients my nu mber one

A f rican A mericans ex perience t heir

te c h nolog y a nd bei ng aw a re t h at

p r i o r i t y a n d p r o v i d e a b e y o n d-

lost culture and heritage.”

even though it takes time to develop

expectation level of ser vice.”

One i ndu st r y cha nge C h i n sma n


a specialized niche, it’s worth it.

say s she’s seen i s t he accept a nce

“In order to succeed in their field,

of independent cont ractors by

newcomers must rea l i ze t hat each

pract ica l ly a l l major suppliers. She

niche has its ow n needs,” she sa id,

a lso notes some of t he best lessons

a dd i n g t h at f i nd i n g a n a r r o w e d

she’s learned in recent years include

spec ia l i z at ion—w het her a spec i f ic

never procrast inat ing, because you

ma rket seg ment or a ta rgeted

ne v er k no w w h at t omor r o w m a y

dest i nat ion—doesn’t have to mea n


put t ing all your eggs in one basket.

“COV ID taught me that life in just

“Ga i n i ng k now ledge t h roug h FA M

a moment could be taken away w it h

t r ips, t ra i n i ng sem i na rs, webi na rs,

no warning! I lost many groups who

publications, periodicals and forging

were a l l re ad y to go,” C h i n s m a n

relat ionsh ips w it h tou r ism boa rds

reca l led. “T hese were people doing

could also be helpful.”

their bucket list trips to places they’d

T he t r av el i ndu s t r y h a s t au g ht

saved for and dreamed about; as they


were ready to f u l f i l l t hei r d rea ms,

pla n n i ng , ma rket i ng a nd c ut t i ng-


w ith


COV ID struck. For t wo years, we lost

edge technolog y, a career as a travel

a huge portion of our resources and a

adv isor can be rewarding in a number

In addition to her work in the travel industry, Chinsman is president and founder Sweet Mother, Inc., a foundation which honors mothers who have been successful in balancing motherhood with their business, their profession and their community.

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By Allison Kay Bannister

Pickpocketing and Theft Abroad: HOW TO PREPARE, PREVENT AND RESPOND


Traveling overseas can be an excit ing oppor t unit y to

the local embassy—and make it easy to be contacted if an emergency arises. Embassies and consulates are available 24/7, so be sure to save information for the nearest one.

ex perience new env ironments and cult ures, but it does

Photog raph a nd ma ke mu lt iple copies of key

requ i re d i l igence a nd awa reness. A f ter a l l, a ny place

documents. Keep paper copies w it h you, but sepa rate

that’s foreign to you means the unexpected could be right

f rom t he or ig i na ls, a nd ent r ust t he ot her copies w it h

around t he corner—especia lly t hieves and pick pockets.

f r iends or fami ly. Elect ronic copies shou ld be saved in

Un s u s p e c t i n g t r a v e ler s c a n e a s i l y b e c ome pr e y t o

a secure online locat ion. If somet hing goes aw r y, you’ll

suspecting predators, and a dream vacation could end in

want more t han one way to access proof of ident it y and

an unpleasant wakeup call.

other pertinent information.

To help avoid t hat, we’ve u ncovered some t ips a nd

R e s e a r c h a h e a d o f t i m e . O n t r a v e l . s t a t e . g o v/

resources, follow ing advice from the U.S. State Department,

destination, you can search for your destination and learn

A ARP, and Rick Steves, a renow ned travel authorit y.

about sec u r it y concer ns a nd a ny a rea-speci f ic a ler t s, guidelines, and regulations.

BEFORE YOU GO Take the right first step. Register for the U.S. Department of State’s Smar t Traveler Enrollment Prog ram (STEP) at With this free ser v ice, you can enroll your t r ip and receive safet y and secur it y updates f rom


GROUPS TODAY Nov e mber/ D ec em ber 2 02 3

WHILE YOU’RE THERE Use a money belt or si m i la r pouch—to hold cash,

t ickets, IDs and ot her items you wou ldn’t want to lose. We’re not talk ing about a fanny pack. In fact, those can be prett y easy targets. Opt for something that can be tucked or secured in your clot hing or worn around t he waist or

is to k now how and where t hey operate—and stay up to

neck; concealed, yet accessible to you. If you’re carr ying a

date on the latest stunts.

backpack, use a zipper lock and/or wear it back ward.

Tourist attractions, train stations and public transport,

Leave valuables in your hotel room, or at home. Unless

museums, street performances, and ATMs are just a few

you absolutely need your expensive jewelr y or electronics,

of their hangouts, and while big cities are more prone to

don’t even pack t hem. If you do bring t hem, store t hem

crime, it can happen in small tow ns, too.

in a hotel safe or in your room, out of plain sight. Even

Thieves of ten work in teams, w it h one conducting t he

expensive-look ing luggage can attract the w rong eyes, so

distraction while the other does the stealing. Their ploys

go for something nondescript instead.

include dropping coins or other items in an attempt to get

Secure your phone and camera. Your phone not only holds snapshots of precious memor ies, it a lso contains

you to courteously bend over to help—and thereby expose your wallet or lose track of your attention.

personal information and ser ves as a lifeline in contacting

“Accidentally” spilling cof fee or squir t ing ketchup on

others. Setting it on a table or holding it up loosely to take

you (and even fak ing a bird dropping on your shirt) are

a pic could leave it up for a quick grab—so don’t get too

other ways a stranger can get too close, under the guise of

la x. If you carr y a camera, use a strap and keep it secured

assist ing you w it h cleanup. A n indiv idual pretending to

to your body.

be in distress is another common trick.

Stay alert and maintain your g uard. W het her you’re

A nd, i n crowded a reas, a seem i ng ly i n nocent bu mp

a litt le jet lagged or simply in awe of your surroundings,

or elbow—or get t i ng sa ndw iched—m ig ht be ex pected,

losing yourself for a moment could mean losing valuable

but it may be more than that. Here’s where those earlier

item s—w het her it ’s to a pic k poc ket or to you r ow n

precautions really come in handy.


If you’ve done all the right things, but still encounter a

Pickpockets, con artists, and theft rings are clever and

mishap, the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate can help;

w ill find ways to separate even the sav viest travelers from

most impor tant ly in replacing a lost or stolen passpor t.

their possessions. The best way to not fall into their traps

They can also assist w it h contacting friends and family, f ac i l it ate ac c e s s to me d ic a l c a re, e x pl a i n f i n a nc i a l a s si st a nc e opt ion s, i f needed, c on nec t you w it h a n English-speak ing law yer and more.

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2023 Readers’ Choice

AWARDS CVB or DMO: City/Region

New York City Tourism + Conventions Thanks to N YC Tourism + Convent ions, resources for group travel professionals to discover ever y thing t hey need to k now about how t hei r g roups ca n e x per ienc e Ne w York C it y ’s f i ve boroug h s a re endless. In a place where each borough is like its ow n cit y, t he g uidance of N YC Tourism + Convent ions Mac y's Four t h of July Fireworks. Photo © Julienne Schaer/N YC & Company

proves to be priceless.

HONORABLE MENTION: Louisville Tourism | Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp | Ottawa Tourism | Travel Dubuque

CVB or DMO: State/Province

Tennessee Department of Tourist Development Groups of a l l k inds w i l l f ind somet hing to love in Tennessee, as t he Ten nessee Depa r t ment of Tou r ist Development br i ngs g roup t ravel professionals a bount y of informat ion and inspirat ion. From culinar y adventures and music appreciation to historic landmarks and invigorating outdoor exploration, you’ll be prepared to take on the whole state. HONORABLE MENTION: Enjoy Illinois | Travel Wyoming | Virginia Is for Lovers | Visit Maryland

Beale St reet. Photo © Tennessee Depar t ment of Tourist Development


Drury Hotels Groups are sure to “Travel Happy” w ith a stay at one of Drur y Hotels’ 150 locations in 26 states. With discounted group


rates, f lex ible room block options and free amenities (including hot break fast, 5:30 Kickback , and Wi-Fi), a stay that’s comfortable, convenient and memorable is a given.

HONORABLE MENTION: Embassy Suites by Hilton | Hampton by Hilton | Hilton | Marriott Hotels & Resorts


GROUPS TODAY Nov e mber/ D ec em ber 2 02 3

By Sarah Suydam Dining Experience

Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant Big adventures require big, delicious meals—and that’s exactly what groups w ill find at Buca di Beppo. With Italianinspired dishes ser ved up family st yle in an eclectic atmosphere, Buca di Beppo ensures groups feel the lively energ y of a classic Italian table. Regardless of the occasion, ever y meal feels like a celebration. HONORABLE MENTION: Carmine’s | Cracker Barrel | Golden Corral | Hard Rock Cafe

Hands-On Experience

Corning Museum of Glass See glass in a new light! Home to t he world’s most comprehensive Photo © Buca di Beppo®/Earl Enterprises®

collection of glass—including 50,000 objects representing more than 3,500 years of histor y—is the Corning Museum of Glass. Watch live

Beer, Wine or Spirit Trail/Scene

glasswork ing demonstrations, take part in a “Make Your Ow n Glass”

Kentucky Bourbon Trail

session, peruse the new Contemporar y Art + Design Wing and more.

E s t a b l i s h e d i n 19 9 9, t h e K e n t u c k y

HONORABLE MENTION: Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum | Disney Theatrical Sales Broadway Workshops | Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum | Madame Tussauds

Bourbon Trail® continues to be a draw for millions of visitors from around the globe. Groups could stop at a few distilleries—or all 46—for tours, tastings, activ ities and even lay their heads at bourbon-themed hot el s. T he bi r t hpl ac e of “A mer ic a’s Official Native Spirit” awaits! HONORABLE MENTION: Asheville, North Carolina | Finger Lakes Region, New York | Traverse City, Michigan | The Whiskey Rebellion Trail

Sightseeing Tour

Make Your Ow n Glass Image Fusing. Photo © The Corning Museum of Glass

City Cruises by Hornblower W it h a n ou t i n g on a C it y C r u i s e s


w a t e r c r a f t , g r ou p s c ou ld s e e t he i r

Virginia Arts Festival

dest inat ion and its surroundings f rom a whole new perspective. W hether they

Hav ing celebrated its 26t h a nniversa r y in 2023, t he Virg inia A r ts

c hoos e a sig ht s e ei ng c r u i s e, d i n ner

Festival continues to be a group favorite thanks to its more than 250

cruise, whale watching experience, thrill

performances presented each season. The Festival is also anchored

boat ride or other w ise, Cit y Cruises has

by a not her t rad it ion t hat ’s wel l loved by g roups: t he V i rg i n ia

the adventure groups crave.

International Tattoo.

HONORABLE MENTION: Big Bus Tours | Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures | Boston Duck Tours | Old Savannah Tours

HONORABLE MENTION: Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta | EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival | National Cherry Blossom Festival | Tulip Time

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2023 Readers’ Choice


Grand Canyon National Park Home to the majorit y of the immense Grand Canyon, Arizona’s Grand

Photo © Evan Joseph/SUMMIT One Vanderbilt

Canyon National Park stuns travelers year after year. Ninety percent of the park’s visitors venture to the South Rim, where views of the Colorado River, red rock canyons and millions of years of geological history are on display. HONORABLE MENTION: Grand Teton National Park | Kinzua Bridge State Park and Sky Walk | Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada | Tidal Basin, Washington, DC

Observatory View

SUMMIT One Vanderbilt Groups a re i nv ited to cha l lenge t hei r senses w it h t h ree levels of i m mersive a r t space at SU M MI T O n e Va n d e r b i l t . D e s i g n e d t o inspire and thrill atop Manhattan’s

Garden, Conservatory or Botanical Garden

t a l lest sk y scraper, SU M M I T One

Longwood Gardens

Vanderbilt offers groups incredible

Met icu lous ga rdens a nd a rch itect u ra l g ra ndeu r awa it a rou nd ever y

f loors up, along w ith one-of-a-k ind

corner at Long wood Gardens, home to nearly 200 acres of some of t he most beautiful plants from around the globe. Upon visiting, groups can choose bet ween g uided or self-g uided tours, fountain perfor mances, gardening workshops and much more. HONORABLE MENTION: Biltmore | Brookgreen Gardens | Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park | National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden

v ie w s of t he c it y f rom over 9 0 experiences. HONORABLE MENTION: CN Tower | Empire State Building Observatories | Skydeck Chicago | Washington Monument Observation Deck

Performance or Entertainment Venue/District

Broadway There’s nothing like a world-class Broadway show right in the heart of Manhattan, and the new shows debuted in 2023 and beloved classics proved to groups that Broadway is back and better than ever. Groups could round out their show experience w ith various workshops, ex hibits, behind-the-scenes tours and plent y more. HONORABLE MENTION: Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts | The Kennedy Center | Sight & Sound Theatres | Tennessee Performing Arts Center


Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Home to the legendar y aircraft carrier Intrepid, the space shuttle Enterprise, the world’s fastest jets, a guided missile submarine and more, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is a group staple. Options to add a private guided tour, an exciting simulator ride or lunch round out the experience. HONORABLE MENTION: Art Institute of Chicago | Mississippi Civil Rights Museum | National WWII Museum | Smithsonian Institution Continued on page 12...


GROUPS TODAY Nov e mber/ D ecember 2 02 3

Flight Deck View. Photo © Int repid Sea, A ir & Space Museum

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2023 Readers’ Choice


... continued f rom page 10.

Adventure Attraction

City Climb at Edge NYC Thrill seekers w ill love raising their heart rates at Cit y Climb at Edge N YC, the highest external building climb in the world. State-of-t he-a r t t rol ley a nd ha r ness s ystems secu re g u ides and guests as they scale the outside of an over 1,200-foot-tall building, tak ing in nothing but unobstructed views of N YC! HONORABLE MENTION: Cumberland Caverns | Dogwood Canyon Nature Park | El Yunque National Forest | Royal Gorge Ziplining

The Stair. Photo © Cit y Climb at Edge N YC



Mall of America

Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort

Wit h four levels of shops, restaurants, an aquarium,

With a storied histor y as one of the premier Thoroughbred

amusement park and more, it’s no wonder that Mall of

racet racks in t he count r y since 1904, Oak law n Racing

America is a group favorite. Beyond the usual experience,

Casino Resor t has ever y t hing g roups could want in a

groups can even take a private (and customizable) behind-

ga m ing dest inat ion. T ha n k s to a recent $100 m i l lion

the-scenes tour to see MOA’s offerings in a whole new light.

ex pa nsion, raci ng , ga m i ng , d i n i ng , lu x u r y lodg i ng , sports betting and entertainment take center stage!

HONORABLE MENTION: The Mall at Millenia | Shipshewana Stores & Shops | Simon Properties | Tanger Outlets

HONORABLE MENTION: Caesars Palace | Island Resort & Casino | Mohegan Sun | Resorts Casino Hotel

Amusement Park

Universal Orlando Resort At Universal Orlando Resor t, g roups are able to ex perience epic stories and ex hilarat ing adventures in astonishing and immersive ways. From thrilling coasters and the magical Wizarding World of Harr y Potter™ to drop water slides at Volcano Bay and ever y thing in bet ween, groups of all k inds w ill find something to cheer about. HONORABLE MENTION: Cedar Fair Properties | Hersheypark | Six Flags Properties | Walt Disney World Resort

Beach Destination

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Situated on South Carolina’s Atlantic coast, Myrtle Beach shines as a destination for beach-loving groups! With 60 miles of pristine shoreline, a famous boardwalk, thousands of restaurants, over 90 golf courses and fishing opportunities galore, Myrtle Beach has a coastal charm groups won’t be able to resist. HONORABLE MENTION: Atlantic City, New Jersey | Honolulu, Hawaii | Outer Banks, North Carolina | Virginia Beach, Virginia Continued on page 16...


Photo © Visit My r t le Beach GROUPS TODAY Nov e mber/ D ec em ber 2 02 3

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GROUPS TODAY Nov e mber/ D ecember 2 02 3

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2023 Readers’ Choice


... continued f rom page 12.

U.S. Main Street/ Downtown District

Bourbon Street, New Orleans In the heart of New Orleans’ French Qua r ter is Bou rbon St reet, where

Nashv ille Sk yline. Photo © Nashv ille Convent ion & Visitors Corp.

revelry and excitement are always on tap. Whether your groups are looking

Destination: United States

to enjoy a strolling libation, dinner

Nashville, Tennessee

on a balcony, live music or simply the energy of the crowds, Bourbon Street is

As Tennessee’s capital cit y, Nashv ille is k now n for its celebration

always a good idea.

of music—from museums and performance venues to honk y-tonks.

HONORABLE MENTION: Holly wood Boulevard | Pella, Iowa | San Antonio River Walk | The Five Boroughs of NYC

Visiting groups w ill also be enamored w ith the cit y’s friendly and creative spirit, which comes alive through its shops, restaurants and numerous group-friendly attractions. HONORABLE MENTION: Boston, Massachusetts | Chicago, Illinois | New Orleans, Louisiana | Washington, DC

Destination: International

Italy A European bucket list destination for many, Italy delivers stunning la ndscapes, U NESCO World Her itage sites a nd Old World cha r m all on one plate. From the canals of Venice, historic sites of Rome, stunning ar t of Florence and delicious food and w ine of Tuscany, Bourbon St reet. Photo © New Orleans & Company

there’s much for groups to indulge in. HONORABLE MENTION: Australia | France | Ireland | London

Destination: North America

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Emerging Destinations

Bot h Ontario’s capital and t he most

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

popu lated cit y i n Ca nada, Toronto

Home to t he nat ion’s or ig i na l a nd la r gest A m i sh set t lement,

is a diverse and bust ling metropolis

L a nc a ster, Pen n s y lv a n ia ha s no s hor t age of oppor t u n it ies to

where over 180 languages are spoken.

discover the rich histor y weaved throughout the communit y. During

From its many g reen spaces, spor ts

their v isit, groups could explore a stretch of Route 772, also called

venues, arts and culture institutions,

New port Road, which is off the beaten path of the normal Lancaster

a nd soa r i ng CN Tower, t he 6i x is a

tourist stops and f ull of A mish-ow ned and -operated stops. They

destination surely worth exploring.

could even enjoy a bugg y ride for themselves!

HONORABLE MENTION: New York City, New York | Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada | Orlando, Florida | Vancouver, British Columbia

Along w ith a plethora of activities to enjoy, such as quilt shops and heritage attractions, groups could set out in Lancaster’s Craft & Cork Trail to imbibe in the area’s best breweries, exquisite w ineries and craft distilleries. Continued on page 18...


GROUPS TODAY Nov e m ber/ D ec em ber 2 02 3

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2023 Readers’ Choice


... continued f rom page 16.

Charlotte, North Carolina A cultural melting pot, Charlotte, North Carolina’s distinctive neighborhoods each offer groups something different. This accessible, walkable, inclusive and diverse city is home to world-class museums, performing art venues and attractions, like the Mint Museum, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the US National Whitewater Center and more. “Groups who’ve discovered our v ibrant cit y are now telling their friends and colleagues about us—if you haven’t been to Charlotte in the past three to four years, you haven’t been to Charlot te!” said Ned Blair, Director of Charlotte Sk yline. Photo © Charlotte Reg ional Visitors Aut horit y

National Sales, Visit Charlotte.

Manitoba, Canada Home to lush forests and 100,000 lakes and waterways, Manitoba offers groups plenty of bucket list opportunities—from kayaking alongside beluga whales, coming face-to-face with polar bears and witnessing the magic of the dancing Northern Lights in Churchill to visiting the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and Qaumajuq (the world’s first Inuit art center) in Winnipeg. “Manitoba’s war m hospita lit y and welcoming nat ure combined w it h iconic bucket-list ex per iences and cu lt ura l awareness are exactly what today’s group travelers are look ing for,” said Melanie Swenarchuk, Senior Manager, Market Development, Travel Manitoba. “W hether you come to Winnipeg or Churchill, the experiences you have and memories you make w ill stay w ith you long after you’ve left.”

Montgomery, Alabama An epicenter of history, arts and culture and award-winning cuisine, Montgomery, Alabama has groups coming back over and over again. As the state’s capital city, Montgomery saw many important moments during the Civil Rights Movement, which groups can solemnly honor and learn from in a number of ways: The Legacy Museum, the Rosa Parks Museum, the Civil Rights Memorial, Dexter Avenue Baptist Church—just to name a few. A lso not to be missed: An ​​A labama Shakespeare Festival performance, a stroll a long R iver f ront Pa rk a nd a Montgomer y Biscu it Baseba l l ga me. Don’t leave Photo © Jamie Mar t in/A labama Depar t ment of Tourism

w ithout tr ying some of the soulful barbecue and southern comfort food found at establishments like Dreamland BBQ and Cahawba House.

Savannah, Georgia Savannah, Georgia’s storied beaut y, southern charm, haunted histor y, unique local shops, fresh coastal cuisine, and scrumptious southern meals at award-w inning restaurants truly delight groups of all k inds. From the Plant Riverside Dist rict’s bout ique hotels and chic roof top bars to a tour of t he Mercer-Williams House featured in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, a delightful combination of old and new can be found around ever y corner. “Group travelers are getting increasingly excited about Savannah because there’s just the right blend of ever y thing here,” said Anjuli King, Director, Domestic Group Tour & Entertainment Sales, Visit Savannah. Remember: Tybee Island, Savannah’s beach tow n, is only a couple of minutes away!


GROUPS TODAY Nov e mber/ D ecember 2 02 3

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Photos © NJ Div ision of Travel & Tourism

NEW JERSEY: LITTLE STATE, LOTTA "WOW!" 130 MILES OF BEACHES There’s more to New Jersey than its location—although it

Even beyond toes-in-the-sand season, the Jersey Shore

is perfectly nestled between New York City and Philadelphia.

delivers. Your g roup can dig into a blend of histor y and

This small-ish state is big on personalit y, packed w it h

nat u re at t he Sandy Hook Unit of Gatew ay Nat iona l

possibility and will wow your group every chance it gets—

Recreation A rea; ja m to live music a nd photog raph a r t

f rom Pr i nceton’s iv y-covered ca mpus a nd t he world’s

murals in Asbury Park; or excavate Cape May “Diamonds,”

f irst boardwalk to t he oldest operat ing light house and

admire t he “Painted Ladies” and celebrate t he holidays,

Thomas Edison’s laborator y. Add in powder-soft beaches,

Dickensian st yle, in Cape May.

awe-i nspi r i ng at t ract ions, jack pot bel ls a nd wh ist les, uncommon historical landmarks and more—you’ll begin to wonder just how many “wows” your group can take!

MORE THAN 400 CULTURAL EXPERIENCES Majest ic masterpieces loom large under open sk ies at Grounds For Sculpture, an outdoor art park, while exotic

OVER 1,000 AT TRACTIONS Hit up Six Flags Great Adventure for t hrill-a-minute rides, live shows and events. American Dream houses

global collections can be explored at the Newark Museum of Art. Be sure to gaze upon wonders of science, histor y and the arts at the New Jersey State Museum.

ever y imaginable pleasurable pursuit under its expansive roof, including the Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park (the Western Hemisphere’s largest indoor amusement park), Big

New Jersey is where histor y happened. Your group can

Snow (North America’s f irst and only indoor, real-snow,

mar vel over militar y relics at the Old Barracks Museum,

year-round ski and snow resort) and world-class shopping.

catch a glimpse of the Industrial Revolution at Paterson

Plus, Liberty Science Center—an edutainment must-do.



GROUPS TODAY Nov e mber/ D ecember 2 02 3

Photo © Collette

Great Falls National Historical Park or stroll a preser ved 19t h-centur y hamlet at Historic Cold Spring Village. In addition, groups can pay their respects to those we lost at the Empty Sky 9/11 Memorial. BEYOND A DOZEN PL ACES TO MAKE THEIR HEARTS RACE At la nt ic Cit y ’s c a si nos a re a jack pot for ga mblers, food ie s a nd f a n s. Favor ite s i nc lude Caesa r ’s, Ha rd Rock, Tropicana, Harrah’s and Borgata. Fur t her nor t h, Meadowlands Racing showcases t he excitement of live harness racing and more. ONE CULINARY “WOW” AFTER ANOTHER For authentic international options, New Jersey delivers de l ic iou s l y w it h It a l i a n , Ja p a ne s e, I nd i a n , C u b a n , Portuguese and fusion restaurants. Of course, the Garden State’s farm-to-fork cuisine and diner culture are not to be missed, either! PL AN THEIR “WOW” … RIGHT NOW!


W het her you want to hit it big in At lant ic Cit y, ma ke spirits bright w it h Christ mas in Cape May, offer a fresh ta ke on ag r itour ism or breeze into sum mer days dow n

For re s ident s of t he U. S ., t h i s nor t her n

t he shore, t his is t he t ime to a r ra nge your g roup tour.

neighbor is an easily accessible and excitingly

New Jersey offers a w ide range of accommodations w it h

d i f ferent cou nt r y to ex plore—a nd t here a re

competitive rates that beat its big-cit y neighbors.

perk s in not hav ing to f ly across an ocean or cross too many time zones. For travelers from overseas mak ing the most of their journey, it’s possible to pack in back-to-back tours w ithin the U.S. and Canada to experience t wo countries in one long holiday. Let’s look at some Collette tours of Canada, which highlight t he countr y’s distinct regions and feature many seasonal attractions. The Best of Eastern Canada Running from late April to October, this exciting nine-day tour takes groups into t he prov inces of Quebec and Ontario, w ith metropolitan cit y stays i n Quebec Cit y, Mont rea l, Ot tawa a nd Toronto. Forget the snow—this tour is ideal for t hose who wa nt to ex per ience Quebec Cit y ’s

For exper t assis tance in wowing your group,

European-like charm in the summer! It all k icks

head to

off w it h a big, t hunderous att ract ion: Niagara

groups-resources .

Falls. Especially in t he summer mont hs, it’s a

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thrill to feel the spray from the falls as a cruise boat takes you close to the base. Western Canada’s Rockies, Lakes & Wine Country


The frozen scene around the Canadian Rock y Mou nt a i n la kes t y pic a l ly melt s

Photo © Rockefeller Center

away by early to mid-June, ma k ing way for gorgeous sightseeing along turquoiseblue glacial waters. Before June, chances are t hey’ll st ill be frozen—but beaut if ul all t he same. Upon t haw ing, t he unique blue hues of La ke Louise w i l l blow you away, as w ill your stay on its banks at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Maritimes Coastal Wonders Per fect for t he m idst of su m mer i nto early fa ll, Canada’s marit ime prov inces boast coasta l cha r m beyond compa re. T h i s 10 -d ay tou r t a ke s g roups a long unbelievable coast lines and into idyllic coastal tow ns. Imagine a picnic lunch in Cape Breton H ig h la nds Nat iona l Pa rk,

Come visit Rockefeller Center for the classic and iconic New York

t he r ug ged beaut y a long t he At la nt ic

Cit y holiday ex perience, including t he t imeless w inter t radit ion

on t he Cabot Tra i l, a nd ex plor i ng t he

of ice skat ing on t he historic rink at Rockefeller Center! Groups

reg ion’s Acad ia n, M i’k maq a nd Gael ic

cou ld ex perience t he mag ic of gliding across t he ice under t he

cultures. W hether you prefer the summer

iconic Christmas tree while mak ing lasting memories w ith their

at mosphere or aut u m n’s wa r m colors,

friends and family. Wit h over 85 years of histor y, it’s a tradition

t his reg ion’s beaut y is best seen before

that’s become as familiar as “ho, ho, ho!”

w inter’s freeze.

The Rink also offers special events and lessons for all, from those

Throughout Canada, so many treasures

look ing to learn t he basics to skaters who want to perfect t heir

a w a it . W hen de c id i n g w hen t o v i s it

sk ills. W hether you’re a beginner or a pro, the Rink has something

Ca nada, keep i n m i nd a few seasona l

for ever yone. Don’t forget to ta ke advantage of t he bag storage

c on s ider at ion s s o you k now w h at to

included w ith your ticket! W hile skate rental is not included, feel

ex pec t. No mat ter i f you catch cooler

free to bring your ow n skates!

temps and some semi-frozen lakes or go

After you’ve finished ice skating, venture inside 30 Rockefeller

when summer is in f ull sw ing, t he w ild

Center and take time to admire the stunning, shimmering Swarovski

scener y and diverse cultura l inf luences

chandelier on your way to the mezzanine level. Here, groups will

that make up Canada w ill captivate you.

find an ex hibit featuring historic artifacts and a short film about Rockefeller Center’s construction during the Great Depression. Nex t, take t he less t han one-minute ride on t he Sk y Shutt le 850

To learn the advantage of booking


feet up to Top of t he Rock for t he best v iews in t he cit y! Believe t he hy pe. Nest led at t he pinnacle of 30 Rockefeller Plaza’s 70 f loors,

your nex t group with Collette,

Top of t he Rock’s t hree levels of indoor and outdoor obser vat ion

visit .

decks deliver spectacular, unobst r ucted v iews of t he cit y sk yline

GROUPS TODAY Nov e m ber/ D ec em ber 2 02 3

and landmarks including Cent ral Park, t he Empire State Building, One World Trade Center and dow ntow n Manhattan. Wit h terraces facing all direct ions, Top of t he Rock’s panoramic sights make it t he ult imate obser vat ion deck in N YC. Ex plore 9,500 square feet of unobst r ucted outdoor v iew ing space, t he most of any New York obser vator y. Soaring 70 f loors above Rockefeller Center, it’s one of t he top t hings to do in New York Cit y. Coming soon, don’t miss Top of the Rock’s premier new attraction: The Beam. Be lifted 12 feet into the air to recreate the iconic 1932 “Lunch Atop a Sk yscraper” photo of 11 ironworkers precariously eating lunch upon a steel beam while 30 Rockefeller Plaza was under construction. The experience w ill include a rotating beam-like structure where guests w ill be securely seated and raised more than 69 stories above Manhattan to recreate the legendar y photo and relive a quintessential moment in New York Cit y’s histor y. We can’t wait to welcome you to Rockefeller Center for the most magical time of the year!

Make this winter season one to remember with a visit to Rockefeller Center: .


Fly My Group are a dedicated team of passionate industr y professionals who are committed to sav ing you big bucks on airfare while providing around-the-clock ser vice, access to deals not available to the public, and the best itinerar y options based on your group’s travel needs. By working with your friends at Fly My Group, you receive: »

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Fly My Group Account—a group airfare dashboard that enables you to manage your group air, generate custom branded e-ticket receipts, itineraries and more!

Contact Fly My Group at , call 866 . 374 . 504 3 , or visit to experience the dif ference today!

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SPOTLIGHT Photos © St. Landr y Parish Tourist Commission


Wit h t wo communit ies over t hree c e n t u r i e s o l d , t h e r e ’s n o w h e r e i n L ou i s i a n a t h a t c on n e c t s y ou to t he pa st qu ite l i ke St . L a nd r y Pa r i s h . O pelou s a s, k now n a s t he Equine Capital of Louisiana and the bi r t hplace of z ydeco music, is one of t hese communit ies where histor y and the present collide. T he St . L a nd r y Pa r i s h C lerk of

Cou r t, located i n Opelousas’ beaut i f u l Cou r t house Squa re, has proper t y and wedding records dating back to the late 1700s, some of the oldest in the countr y. These primar y resources are invaluable for those ready to begin their genealog ical journey. Even w it hout a familial connect ion, being able to see these historic documents w ith your ow n eyes allows you to feel the weight of the years they describe. After tak ing in your fill of histor y, you can head to one of the three cafés surrounding the square to process what you’ve learned over a cup of locally roasted coffee. You can do more than simply research your ow n histor y here. One of the newest ways to experience the past is at the Opelousas Museum & Interpretive Center’s ex hibit, Still Rising: Free People of Color. Black Creole residents had immense cultural and societal sway during a time when slaver y still formed a large part of t he landscape of Louisiana. Their undeniable inf luence is showcased in a f loor-to-ceiling t imeline denot ing impor tant historical moments t hat add valuable context to any narrative of the time. Those who make their way to Opelousas may also find they have ties to the Louisiana Orphan Train R iders. Bet ween 1873 and 1929 over 2,000 orphan children came to Louisiana from the New York Foundling Hospital, traversing the country to find new homes in Acadiana. The volunteer-led museum collects the sometimes tragic, sometimes hopeful stories of these riders and their families. They even help those interested in researching those family connections.

See more things to do in St. Landr y Parish at .


GROUPS TODAY Nov e mber/ D ecember 2 02 3


ADVERTISER Black Hills & Badlands Tourism Association



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Navigating Tomorrow:



The travel

1. RISE OF HYPER-PERSONALIZATION | In 2024, group travel w ill no longer mean

landscape has

a one-size-f its-a l l approach. Tou r operators a nd t ravel adv isors w i l l need to leverage

undoubtedly evolved

advanced data analy t ics and A I as a tool for craf t ing hy per-personalized it ineraries for

rapidly, inf luenced

each group, considering their unique interests, preferences and demographics. This trend

by technological

w ill elevate the travel experience, mak ing trips more meaningful and memorable.

advancements, changing consumer


preferences and

prev iews of t heir dest inat ions before embark ing on t heir journeys. Group t ravel leaders

global events. As we

can present potential itineraries using V R (v irtual realit y), allow ing participants to get a

approach 2024, the

taste of landmarks, accommodations and activities ahead of time, fostering excitement and

group travel market

informed decision-mak ing.


Travelers w ill enjoy immersive v ir t ua l rea lit y

continues to adapt to transformative shifts


that redefine how

intensif y, group travel in 2024 w ill unsurprisingly prioritize sustainabilit y. Eco-friendly

we explore the world

accom modat ions, ca rbon-of fset opt ions a nd com mu n it y-focused ex per iences w i l l be


integral to travel packages. This shift aligns w ith grow ing traveler demand for ethical and

From innovative


As env ironmental concerns

responsible tourism practices.

experiences to sustainabilit y

4. TECH-INFUSED GUIDED TOURS | Guided tours w ill undergo a tech transformation,

considerations, here

i nteg rat i ng aug mented rea l it y (A R) a nd wea rable dev ices. T hese en ha ncement s w i l l

are 10 predictions

prov ide real-time information, historical context and interactive elements, enriching the

for the group travel

educational value of group excursions.

market in the upcoming year.

5. WELLNESS RETREATS FOR TEAMS | Businesses w ill increasingly invest in wellness ret reats for t hei r tea ms. T hese g roup t r ips w i l l blend professiona l development w it h wellness activ ities like meditation workshops, team-building exercises and mindfulness training, fostering employee wellbeing and cohesion.


GROUPS TODAY Nov e mber/ D ecember 2 02 3




t ravel i n 202 4 w i l l c ater to mu lt i-generat iona l fa m i l ies seek i ng bonding opportunities. Group travel professionals w ill want to curate experiences that engage diverse age groups, ensuring ever yone from children to grandparents can participate in activities tailored to their interests and physical abilities. 7. CUSTOMIZED CULINARY JOURNEYS | Food has always been an essential part of travel, and 2024 is no exception, w ith group travelers look ing to indu lge in customized cu linar y journeys. From cook ing classes w it h loca l chefs to cu rated food tou rs, t hese ex per iences w ill allow groups to savor authentic f lavors while learning about the cultural significance of regional cuisine. 8. RISE OF REMOTE WORK RETREATS


Blurring t he lines

bet ween work a nd leisu re, look for remote work ret reat s to ga i n traction in 2024. Groups w ill travel to picturesque locations equipped w ith all the necessar y facilities for work, net work ing and rela xation, combining business objectives w ith leisurely experiences. 9. CULTUR AL EXCHANGE IMMERSIONS


Cultural exchange

programs w ill evolve beyond traditional student exchanges. In 2024, g roups of a l l ages w i l l engage i n i m mersive cu lt u ra l ex per iences, staying w ith local families, participating in communit y activities and gaining a deeper understanding of different ways of life. 10. ACCESSIBLE TR AVEL FOR ALL


A s i nclusiv it y ga i ns

moment u m, t he g roup t ravel ma rket w i l l cont i nue to foc u s on accessibilit y in 2024. Group travel professionals w ill work to ensure that destinations, accommodations, and activ ities cater to the needs of t ravelers w it h disabilit ies, mak ing group t ravel experiences more inclusive, diverse and enjoyable for all. 2024 prom ises to be a n excit ing a nd t ra nsfor mat ive t ime for t he g roup t ravel market, t han k s in par t to t he integ rat ion of advanced technolog y, a heightened focus on sustainabilit y and an emphasis on personalized experiences. And, while we can only speculate on what the future may bring, one t hing’s for certain: Group t ravel professionals can look for ward to a new era of exploration, connection and enrichment as they embark on unforgettable journeys w ith their groups. Stephen Ekstrom is the Chief Strategist at The Tourism Academy. In addition to holding leadership roles within the tourism industr y, he’s been profiled by the New York Times, lectured at leading universities, appeared on numerou s televi sion and radio prog ram s, and been published by trade media around the globe.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Publication Title: Groups Today Publication No.: 023-682 Filing Date: September 15, 2023 Issue Frequency: Bi-Monthly No. of Issues Published Annually: 6 Annual Subscription Price: Free Complete Mailing Address of Known Office of Publication: Serendipity Media, LLC, 535 Cascade West Parkway SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546 8. Complete Mailing Address of Headquarters or General Business Office of Publisher: 535 Cascade West Parkway SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546 9. Full Names and Complete Mailing Addresses of Publisher, Editor: Publisher: Kasie Smith, Serendipity Media, LLC, 535 Cascade West Parkway SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546; Editorial Manager: Sarah Suydam, Serendipity Media, LLC, 535 Cascade West Parkway SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546 10. Owner: Kasie Smith, Serendipity Media, LLC, 535 Cascade West Parkway SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546 11. Known Bondholders, Mortgagees, and Other Security Holders Owning or Holding 1 Percent or More of Total Amount of Bonds, Mortgages, or Other Securities: NONE 12. Tax Status Has Not Changed During Preceding 12 Months 13. Publication Title: Groups Today 14. Issue Date for Circulation Data Below: September/October 2023 15. Extent and Nature of Circulation: Group Travel Publication

Average No. Copies Average No. Copies Each Issue During Single Issue Published Preceding 12 Months Nearest Filing Date

a. Total No. Copies (Net Press Run) 9,920 9,920 b. Paid and/or Requested Circulation 1. Paid/Requested Outside-County mail Subscriptions Stated on Form 3541. (Include advertiser’s proof and exchange copies) 5,661 6,179 2. Paid In-County Subscriptions (Include advertiser’s proof and exchange copies) 27 36 3. Sales Through Dealers and Carriers, street Vendors, counter Sales, and Other Non-USPS Paid Distribution 0 0 4. Other Classes Mailed Through the USPS 0 0 c. Total Paid and/or Requested Circulation (Sum of 15b(1), 15b(2), 15b(3) and 15b(4)) 5,688 6,215 d. Free Distribution by Mail (Samples, Complimentary, and other Free) 1. Outside-County as Stated on Form 3541 4,203 3,679 2. In-County as Stated on Form 3541 18 16 3. Other Classes Mailed Through the USPS 0 0 4. Free or Nominal Rate Outside the Mail 0 0 e. Total Free or Nominal Rate Distribution (Sum of 15d (1), (2), (3) and (4)) 4,221 3,695 f. Total Distribution (Sum of 15c and 15e) 9,909 9,910 g. Copies Not Distributed 50 50 h. Total (Sum of 15f and g) 9,959 9,960 i. Percent Paid (15c divided by 15f times 100) 57% 62% 16. This Statement of Ownership will be printed in the November/ December 2023 issue of this publication. 17. Signature and Title of Editor, Publisher, Business Manager, or Owner: I certify that all information furnished on this form is true and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading information on this form or who omits material or information requested on the form may be subject to criminal sanctions (including fines and imprisonment) and/or civil sanctions (including multiple damages and civil penalties). Kasie Smith, Publisher; September 15, 2023 w w s to



Photo © St. Law rence Cr uise Lines


Daniel Beals

I’m certain that if I was in a different corner of the industr y, I'd be talk ing about the automation of book ing/reser vations or the role of digital marketing to sell cruises. However, St. Law rence Cruise Lines is small, and the majorit y of our passengers are ret irees, so we st ill do business in ver y old fashioned ways compared to other travel companies. We prefer to speak directly w ith our passengers during the reser vation process and book directly over the phone. For marketing, we still use newspaper and magazine ads to reach our audience

Marketing & Human Resources

because our target audience is still using those outlets to get news and travel

St. Lawrence Cruise Lines

there are changes to border restrictions bet ween the U.S. and Canada—prior

Edited by Sarah Suydam

information. The most impact f ul changes we’ve seen on t he t ravel landscape are when to 2001, there were barely any. This has become more onerous over time and the border was closed for the most part during the pandemic. Thank fully, there appears to be a fresh effort to make travel bet ween the t wo countries easy and worr y-free once again. ON OPPORTUNITIES Perhaps I’m biased towards our core travel market, but I believe t here are huge opportunities to ser ve the Baby Boomer generation as they continue to leave the work force and have opportunities to travel and experience the world in new ways. This is a generation that has worked their whole lives and earned t he opportunit y to see t he world. Additionally, many retirees were forced to stay home during the pandemic to safeguard their health, leading to a pent up desire to travel and sample new experiences (meaning fresh opportunities for tour operators and travel companies).


Having worked in the small ship cruising industr y since 1999, Daniel B eal s ha s s e en p l ent y of developments and changes over the years . He got his start as a deckhand aboard St . L awrence Cruise Lines’ 6 4 -passenger riverboat, Canadian Emp re s s . Sin ce then, Beals has worked for the company in a variety of role s , including as supply of ficer, operations assistant, m a r k e t i n g c o o r d i n a t o r, and mos t recently, human resources manager.


GROUPS TODAY Nov e mber/ D ec em ber 2 02 3

ON ST. L AWRENCE CRUISE LINES BEING AN UNFORGET TABLE EXPERIENCE St. Law rence Cruise Lines offers a small ship river cruising experience that’s rela xed, int imate and unique. Now in our 43rd year of cruising, we have an unmatched fa m i lia r it y a nd com for t w it h sha r ing Ca nada’s r ivers w it h our passengers. The Canadian Empress is a one-of-a-k ind vessel originally built as a replica Victorian steamboat, but has since been modernized to showcase t he sights and sounds of the St. Law rence River. It’s a warm, comfortable ship that’s small enough to stop at many of the small river communities along the St. Law rence and Ottawa Rivers. These ports are normally not visited by larger vessels, so it’s rare for travelers to experience firsthand the histor y and culture of the region. The size of the ship also gives our hospitalit y staff a chance to provide one-onone ser v ice to our passengers, and even contributes to greater opportunities for travelers to get to k now one another and form new friendships. Now booking for 2024, St. Lawrence Cruise Lines has added more cruises to their schedule and are working to develop new and unique itineraries. Visit


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GROUPS TODAY Nov e m ber/ D ec em ber 2 02 3

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