Although Burrell may be seeing a dip in some international travel, Carolyn Cobb, with Planters Bank in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, sees it growing.
“They’re filling up faster than domestic trips,” Cobb said. “For a little more money, you can go abroad, in many cases.”
Planters Bank, with 14 branches in western Kentucky and Clarksville, Tennessee, operates the Passport 50 club, open to people at least 50 years old with a checking account of any type or amount.
“We like new customers,” said Cobb, who enjoys traveling with those customers. “I’m the escort, the bank representative. They don’t go without me.”
Club members do two- to three-day domestic trips to Branson, Missouri, or French Lick, Indiana. International trips include European river cruises on the Rhine and Moselle rivers. They’ve visited Switzerland, Germany, France, the Netherlands and more.
“We’re promoting London and Paris,” Cobb said. “We had a slide show meeting recently, and 35 people came. About 23 booked for next April.”
Cobb has a domestic trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and the Badlands and Mount Rushmore in South Dakota called Cowboy Country, but it didn’t sell as well because the price wasn’t much different than that of a trip to Paris.
Cobb has spotted another upward trend. Group travel is returning.
“When the economy wasn’t good, our numbers went down,” Cobb said. “We always saw traveler numbers in the high 40s. During the recession it dropped but now has risen. A recent river cruise had 53 travelers.”