Hi from Rick: Bringing you more of Europe, not less
|These lads can't wait to welcome you to their home town — one of the new 2009 tour destinations we'll announce next month.|
Over the Thanksgiving weekend I took time to reflect on our work, and our blessings. The economy may be wobbly and the road ahead uncertain, but there's no place we'd rather be.
Wars and recessions don't kill travel, but they do separate travelers into two camps: those who decide to wait another year, and those who press on regardless (after all, it's a big part of their lifestyle). So in 2009 we're expecting to see a much bigger share of repeat-customers on our tours, followed by a pent-up wave of 'newbies' the minute the economy bounces back. The challenge for me as a businessman is to handle these inevitable ups and downs with a steady hand, and to not compromise quality.
Unlike most tour companies out there, we have always been independent and 100% debt-free. It makes a big difference. We've recently seen other companies eliminate itineraries (even entire countries) from their lineups. That's their bankers talking. Not only are we already offering more destinations than last year, but in a few weeks we'll announce three brand-new 2009 tours at our busy Test Drive a Tour Guide event here in Edmonds.
No, business isn't booming. We'll probably sell 25% fewer seats next year. But through good stewardship of every dollar we've ever earned, we are poised and ready to help travelers take full advantage of every opportunity to learn and experience our world in 2009. Our expert guides are thankful for the work, hoteliers will be happier than ever to see us, and — as always — our tour members will be delighted they came along.
Whether you're ready to start packing, or just want to give your travel dreams a little tune-up, I hope you'll enjoy this month's Tour News, featuring England, Scotland and Ireland.
As always, thanks for being part of our traveling family.