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The Group Travel Leader Small Market Meetings Going on Faith

Linking banks and tourism

Courtesy Cunard Cruise Line

MORTON, Pennsylvania — Grand American Tours, a new BankTravel Conference sponsor and exhibitor in Milwaukee, came away very impressed with the bank travel market and has announced a number of cruise offerings for bank program directors to consider in the coming year.

Based in Morton, Pennsylvania, Grand American Tours has been offering cruises with Princess and Cunard for more than 15 years.

“We were very impressed with the banker delegation in Milwaukee,” said Nancy Magee of Grand American Tours. “Judy Bliss, my copresenter from Princess and Cunard, and I both felt like our Marketplace Kickoff session was time well spent in introducing ourselves to this distinguished group. And we know that many banks are fond of cruises for their members, so we are very interested in this market,” she said.

Courtesy Princess Cruises

“Next year, we will be escorting an Alaska cruise tour that offers six nights on land, including the beautiful Kenai Peninsula,” said Magee. “We will begin our tour in Fairbanks and continue to Denali National Park by domed rail car.

“We will also spend a night at the McKinley Princess Lodge before traveling on to the Kenai Peninsula. From there, we’ll travel to Whittier and cruise south, stopping in Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway and Vancouver. We’ll be choosing a date near the end of June as soon as the Princess deployment is announced.

“Our Cunard cruise will be a Mediterranean cruise in November 2011 on the Queen Victoria,” said Magee. “November is a wonderful time to cruise the Mediterranean as the air rates are reduced, and the crowds are gone. This 12-night cruise will offer two nights in Venice and include the Greek Isles, Sicily, Rome, Florence, Marseille and Barcelona.”

According to Magee, Grand American prides itself on an extra level of service, which includes an exclusive group leader welcome reception and an additional cocktail party with a roving photographer taking complimentary photos of bank leaders and their groups. Grand American provides certified cruise counselors as escorts so that bank directors can spend most of their time entertaining their group and building client relationships.

“Judy and I have worked together for more than 15 years, helping groups plan cruises,” said Magee. “I believer our combined experience and longtime partnership provides peace of mind knowing that experts are overseeing a bank group’s reservations from beginning to end.

“That’s the message we delivered at our kickoff session in Milwaukee, and we hope some of these dynamic bank groups will join us next year on one of these fabulous cruises.”

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