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

What's on the Horizon? Generation Z Travel Trends

Millennials better make some room in that plane, train or automobile: Generation Z is beginning to enter the travel scene. Consisting of people born in the late 1990s to 2010s, they have grown up in a connected and instantaneous environment. They're adaptive and technologically savvy global citizens with aspirations to change the world.

And they want to see the world, too.

Natural Disasters and Tourism

The recent hurricanes in the United States and the Caribbean, the earthquake in Mexico, and floods occurring in parts of Europe ought to serve once again to remind us that much of the tourism industry is dependent on Mother Nature. Although we tend to focus tourism security more on human actions such as terrorism or crime, these acts of nature are as or often even more deadly than acts perpetrated by humans.

It’s Getting Hot in Here: Brand Activism in Diverse Political Climates

West Michigan was unseasonably warm last month.

I was beginning to think sweating was my new way of life.

The weather certainly seems to be symbolic of where we are as a country right now—chaotic, confused and heated.