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The Group Travel Leader Small Market Meetings Going on Faith

Planners Talk Back: November 2018

Select Traveler asked these group travel planners, “Does your group enjoy holiday tours?” Check out their responses.

Tammy Browning, Emerald Club Director

Central Bank, Spirit Lake, Iowa

“I think our members really get into the holiday spirit by traveling during the holiday season. We like to alternate our holiday tours by doing a day trip one year and a multiday trip the next year. This year, we are taking a group to LeMars, Iowa, to see the Brown family’s ‘Christmas in Our Hometown.’ It is less than two hours away, a comfortable motorcoach ride for a day trip. This trip features a Christmas musical, along with lunch and an appetizer cooking class taught by Michaela Brown.”

Kate Sanders, Director for Alumni Programs and Alumni Group Travel

Oregon State University Alumni Association, Corvallis, Oregon

“Typically, for our educational group travel program, the specific destination is more of a draw, as opposed to the time of year. Tours designed for a specific international celebration, such as the 75th anniversary of D-Day or the Oberammergau Passion Play, are more popular than, say, a generalized European holiday markets shopping trip.”

Randy Calaguas, Travel Officer

First Citizens Bank, Mason City, Iowa

“Traditionally, we like to offer a holiday trip to somewhere close by, as well as an extended holiday trip. In past years, our day trips have visited decorated homes, holiday shows or holiday shopping destinations. Our longer holiday tours have included Branson, Missouri; New Orleans; the Rose Parade; New York City; and Chicago.”

Marianne Virgili, President and CEO, Retired

Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, Glenwood Springs, Colorado

“We have traditionally traveled in the fall to avoid Christmas holidays. Easter break does work for us, however, for spring travel. Usually we are on a tour on Halloween and have held Halloween parties in China, Ireland, Greece and the Danube River. Attendees are told to make a costume from what they brought with them or what they can pick up in their hotel room. It is really fun and some of our foreign tour guides have joined in. We got to introduce an American holiday tradition.”

Lacey Biffle, Vice President

Quail Creek Bank, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

“We have had a few holiday tours. We had two successful Christmas tours in New York City. We planned a Germany Christmas markets tour in December 2019, so only time will tell.”