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Everyone has that one person in their circle; that trusted individual you can go to for informed guidance, sage advice, valuable experience and more. That person who never fails to bring fresh ideas to the table and challenges what has always been in order to build something better.

In the group travel industry, these are the leaders who have risen to the surface as folks who are always willing to try new things, bolster innovation within the industry, drive others in a positive direction, and are recognizable among group travel professionals as someone who can be relied upon.

We asked our readers to share who among their industry peers should be recognized for their efforts in this realm. Those who were selected to be among the 2022 Influencers of Group Travel were featured in a recent issue of Groups Today. Keep reading to get to know them!

 


 

Bob Cline
President | U.S. Tours

After working in hospitality at the beach following college, Bob Cline officially started in the travel industry in 1978 managing the tour department at Park Tours, a motorcoach company in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Cline went on to launch U.S. Tours in 1996 and has remained a recognizable figure in the group travel industry ever since. And though he's honored to be recognized as an influencer in group travel, Cline stresses that his efforts are truly team driven.

"My abilities alone are not what has brought recognition to U.S. Tours.," Cline said. "It's the team I've assembled that has made this little company stand apart. Most of my staff have been here for more than 10 years; my operations manager has been here over 20."

According to Cline, the world has experienced three BC eras: Before Christ, Before Computers and Before COVID.

"Today, we are trying to help our customers navigate in the group tour industry after a volcanic moment in time," Cline said. "My team and I are helping several companies find efficiencies and rebuild revenue streams they used to have by providing new products and services. I encourage everyone to look for opportunity—it's out there."

Cline emphasized how everyone in the industry must find a way to make their product or service better than before, including encouraging industry newcomers to get innovative while delivering old fashioned service.

"Look at what you do and find a way to enhance it. You might even be able to charge more money and get more business!" he said. "If that thought doesn't make you smile, get a new job. The world just changed. What you did before COVID isn't going to get you to the mountaintop."

To read more about the rest of the 2022 Influencers of Group Travel, click here.

Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor of Groups Today.

 

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