For Immediate Release
Contacts: Ashley Sytsma
Rick Steves Encourages "Travel Virgins" to Venture Abroad by Paying for their Passports
Edmonds, WA (January 20, 2011) — Rick Steves, the European Travel Expert, thinks he can persuade more Americans to travel abroad with his new No Passport? No Problem! program. Beginning now he will pay for any American's first-time passport if they sign up for one of his 2011 European tours. Interested travelers can learn more at www.ricksteves.com/passport.
For thirty years Steves, through his guidebooks and public television and radio shows, has preached a "Back Door-style" travel that brings travelers closer to the people and cultures they go so far to visit. Steves argues that when Americans learn about the world through the pleasurable act of travel, they return ready to embrace the diversity on the planet rather than fear it. The life-changing value of this kind of travel is most beneficial to those who've never ventured beyond our borders. Steves designed No Passport? No Problem! to get these "travel virgins" abroad.
"Every year I take 10,000 happy travelers to Europe through my tour program," said Steves. "Our travelers get out of their comfort zones...and come home with a broader perspective. They may return home thankful to be Americans, but they also see themselves as better citizens of the planet. There's so much fear in our society these days and those who travel are less fearful. I find the flip side of fear is understanding, and travel brings understanding. Too many Americans stay home and miss out on the fun. Well, it's motivation time."
Rick Steves' tour company is not a classic tour business. He shapes each trip to his travel philosophy by adhering to a few simple — yet unique in the industry — standards.
- Groups are small (and getting smaller). This year 50% of Steves' itinerates will set sail with only 20-24 travelers, down from the already low 24-28 capacity. Small groups = more contact with locals.
- Guides are paid handsomely so tipping and shopping kick-backs are strictly prohibited. Guides are paid to be teachers — not tacky-tourist ringleaders.
- All sightseeing is included. There is no "up-selling" of excursions and day trips.
- Cultural and people-to-people interaction is the primary focus. Since the travelers aren't concerned with finding their hotel or getting on the correct train, more time is spent experiencing Europe's splendors.
Launching on January 20th, Steves will pay for any "travel virgin's" $135 passport fees when they register for a 2011 Rick Steves tour. For complete details on this program and Steves' tour company, please visit http://tours.ricksteves.com. This offer is valid for any of Steves' 36 itineraries and hundreds of departure dates.
For more information or for press opportunities with Rick Steves, please contact Ashley Sytsma, Public Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-608-4293.
About Rick Steves
Rick Steves grew up in Edmonds, Washington and studied at the University of Washington where he received degrees in Business Administration and European History. But his real education came in Europe — since 1973 he's spent 120 days a year in Europe. Today he employs 80 people at his Europe Through the Back Door headquarters where he produces over 50 guidebooks on European travel, the most popular travel series in America on public television, a weekly hour-long national public radio show, and a weekly column syndicated by the Chicago Tribune.