Destination Directory

Profiles

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

Prior to opening his company in 1980, Doug Ellison spent fourteen years in high school education. As a teacher, he organized school tours that took place during breaks—tours that sparked his interest in travel. Ellison Travel & Tours was established with two employees and student group travel in mind. Today, the family-run, Exeter, Ontario-based company has three locations.

Hank Phillips, Deputy Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Travel & Tourism, highlights the Bluegrass State's must-see locations.

Denise George, Receptively Yours co-owner, began her travel industry career twenty years ago, as director of youth sales at Planet Hollywood. Denise has served on committees for organizations including National Tour Association and American Bus Association, and on the Student & Youth Travel Association board of directors and the SYTA Youth Foundation (SYF) board of trustees. Here, she talks about fifteen years of SYF and its role in enhancing student travel.

Debra Asberry, founder and president of Women Traveling Together, talks about how she got involved in the women's travel market and what has kept her business going strong for seventeen years.

Groups Today is pleased to present The 14 Most Influential Women in Group Travel. Group travel comprises myriad businesses, and these women represent many facets of the industry.

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My wife is one of the most polite people you could ever meet. Whether this is due to her upbringing, an aspect of her demeanor, or just her go-to behavior, she is polite to a fault. This materializes itself in often unexpected places: She lets the neighborhood kids have first go at the biggest, ripest blackberries that grow on our fence; she feels compelled to listen to the full pitch when eating the food samples at our local price club; she turns shades of blush if anyone in our party offers criticism of a winery's offerings in front of the person pouring. After all, if you don't have something nice to say ...