Tours Reimagined: Open Discussion on Rebuilding Your Tour Business

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The U.S. is starting to open. Attractions, national parks, restaurant, hotels and more. Are you ready to create signature tours again for your customers? We are seeing a transformation in what customers are looking for in their tours. Join us to learn from industry peers and hear best practices that will get you on the road to recovery.

Speaker Information

Panelists
Kate Scopetti, Mid Atlantic Receptive Services

Kate graduated from Florida State University, Tallahassee with a Bachelor of Arts degree and immediately began, what would become, her lifetime career within the Travel Industry working in the hotel business. Kate worked her way up through a variety of service positions, including Food & Beverage Manager, Sales Manager, and Director of Sales.  Within two years, she was promoted to Vice-President of Marketing, responsible for all aspects of sales and marketing for eight (8) hotels located throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. These hotels operated independently and under a variety of franchise flags.

In 1992 Kate began a hotel marketing strategy of packaging tours to the Tour & Travel Industry. A year later, due to the unprecedented success of the campaign, Kate started an affiliate tour company for the parent hotel company. This company grew to produce nearly two-million dollars in revenue by 1996 so in 1997, Kate’s accomplishments and expertise in the Tour & Travel Industry naturally led to forming her own company, Mid-Atlantic Receptive Services, (MARS) as a Wholesale Tour Operator featuring destinations within the Mid-Atlantic region and catering to the service needs of the Tour & Travel Industry.

In 2001, SoccerTours.net was born from a partnership between Kate and Mark Franchi; and in 2005, Kate formed a partnership with Travel Alliance Partners, (TAP) a network of industry leaders promoting global travel.  In subsequent years, the company has grown to be a proud member of several industry organizations, including Spotlight Travel Network, of which she is a co-partner with Free Spirit Vacations.

Since the beginning, Kate has remained aggressively focused on groundbreaking product development and raising the industry standard.

Today, the company’s reputation for high standards, top-notch service & support, and aggressively priced products combine to add an incomparable intrinsic value to its customers around the world. MARS now operates over 400 tours annually all over the world with a 98% client retention rate in partnerships within the Travel Trade.  MARS’ has expanded to include a family of brands based on Kate’s belief that in order to maintain the same value and level of care she implemented as a small business, the company would need to grow smaller as it grew larger. The result was subdivisions under the MARS umbrella to cater to a specific area and demographic within the travel industry.  Go Student Tours, Go Sports Tours, SoccerTours.net, Go Performing, and My Tour Reservation.com have all experienced the same warm welcome, rapid growth, and positive client response as the original Mid Atlantic Receptive Services and are a happy inclusion into the MARS Family of Brands.

Mid-Atlantic Tours & Receptive Services’ tour planning and operations headquarters is located in historic Stephens City, Virginia, less than two hours' drive from Washington, DC through the beautiful Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains.

Bob Cline, US Tours

My early years in hospitality were spent on the Restaurant side of the industry.  In 1981 I accepted a job at Park Tours here in Parkersburg, WV and managed a retail tour program with a few Pre-formed groups until 1996.  I then created U.S. Tours, a Wholesale Travel Co. specializing in custom, self-escorted group tour packages.

Over the next two decades I acquired a Uniglobe Travel to serve as U.S. Tours Air & Cruise Dept.  Created Destination Marketing an advertising agency specific to the group tour industry, it operated the Great American Road Show a buyer-seller marketplace.

I also acquired both Steve Ellis Tours and East Coast Touring Co. Then divided our products onto three separate websites U S Tours America, Voyages by U S Tours and Select World Travel.

We also build and manage U S Tours Spectacular Events.

Last year our newest innovation was the creation of a Receptive Tour Co known as TourSmokies.com which has just expanded across that State and is now known as Tour Tennessee.

Doug Anderson, Anderson Coach & Travel

Doug Anderson is a 1981 graduate of Edinboro University where he holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. In 1990 he was named President of Anderson in Greenville, PA. Along with being President of a nationally recognized motorcoach business, he is past chairman and current member of the American Bus Association, the International Motorcoach Group, and the American Bus Association Foundation Board of Governors, which awards scholarships to future leaders in the travel industry and funds research in the tour and travel industry. He is also active in the Pennsylvania Bus Association and the Pennsylvania School Bus Association.

Anderson has participated in numerous industry safety meetings including Bus Industry Safety Council and the IMG Maintenance and Safety meetings. various other associations including: the National Tour Association and Cruise Lines International Association In 2005, Doug started consulting with Glaval Manufaturing on the production of a new product. This 41-passenger vehicle was introduced into the market place in 2007.

Locally, Doug is a member of the St. Paul’s Board of Directors and has served as a member and is a past chair of the United Way and Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce. He has received the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Boy Scouts of America and is a member of the Masonic Lodge and a Zem Zem Temple Shriner.

Moderator
Peter Pantuso, CTIS, American Bus Association

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