Destination Directory

Profiles

Our writers share an in-depth look at the "who's who" of group travel leaders, business owners and suppliers.

Managing Maxima Tours is a family affair. Brothers Jason Allan and Damon Allan began working at the family business in 2009 and have transformed the tour company. Their family values affect the way they conduct business and communicate with their clients.

Groups Today is proud to introduce a selection of people with an impressive creative spirit and entrepreneurial nature.

Bill Shepler is the CEO of Shepler's Mackinac Ferry, a family-owned business that recently celebrated 70 years in operation. Shepler's father introduced him to the charter boating industry;  later, he recognized the need for high-speed boats, thus beginning their specialized service on the Great Lakes. 

Robin Parker has spent nearly three decades in the student travel industry. When she graduated college in 1977, there were few jobs in her health and physical education major—just one opening for every 500 applicants. She was making $6,000 a year, working full time for a Catholic school, when a college friend mentiond his job as a tour director for a Pennsylvania company. He thought it would be a good fit for Parker; she needed other work to help survive.

Roger Dudley, CTA, Senior Tourism Sales Manager at Experience Columbus, was recently named Ohio Travel Association's Emerging Leader. Roger, who has been with Experience Columbus since 2013, shared with Groups Today how he got involved in the group tour industry, and how he's grown his career since graduating from Bowling Green State University in 2006.

Recent Blogs

This Wouldn't Look Better as a Lake

"Wouldn't this look better as a lake?"

I was staring out into Yosemite Valley. Half Dome and El Capitan loomed in the distance—two natural landmarks accomplishing what I thought impossible: Make the giant sequoias gathered below look small.

"What?" I turned to the man standing next to me.

"A joke," he said. "Someone once thought this valley would make a great lake."

Get Your Kicks on ... Route 50?

Route 66 sure gets a lot of hype, but have you sent groups along U.S. Route 50 lately? Probably not. In July 1986, Life magazine dubbed the Nevada portion, "The Loneliest Road in America." And yet, from rural mountain ranges to desolate deserts and miles upon miles of rich farmland, Route 50 stretches across 3,073 miles from Ocean City, Maryland to Sacramento, California. It spans 12 states and links four state capitals—offering the most complete cross-sectional journey along the United States midriff.

OMG Experiences (a.k.a. Millennial Travel Trends)

Millennials are one of the largest generations in history (larger, even, than the baby boomers)—and they're entering their prime spending years. Born between 1982 and 1999, millennials were raised on the Internet, fostering a global awareness and an inherent interest in travel. But what are these young travelers looking for? The Millennial Traveler Report conducted by Expedia and Future Foundation discovered a few key generational characteristics.