Shapiro // © 2015 TravelAge West
This issue’s cover story, “Tauck Stays True,” profiles one of the oldest and most respected travel companies. In particular, the story focuses on Tauck’s river cruise product, which has become a staple of the industry by using the same approach that has made the company successful in other areas of travel for more than 90 years.
The ability to adapt is one of the characteristics I most admire about Tauck. When I think of companies that have lasted for nearly a century — and there are not many — I often picture a stodgy corporate culture that yearns for the “good old days.” Tauck, however, remains innovative and unafraid to change with the times. Whether it’s investing in a multigenerational travel division, inventing a new class of river cruise staterooms or partnering with film director Ken Burns and others, the company has shown itself to be careful yet bold. In fact, when Tauck first got into river cruising, some people wondered why a successful tour company would suddenly fancy itself a “cruise line” as well. Of course, the move turned out to be a major success and a model for other companies to follow.
Today, after the despicable terrorist attacks in Paris, Tauck’s cautious yet innovative approach is especially relevant. Just imagine all the trials and tribulations the company has seen in its 90-plus years. Some politicians have reacted hastily to this latest crisis — making statements that put international travel as a whole at risk and threatening to destroy the gains our industry has made in bringing people from different cultures together. We should hold our politicians to the same standard that we see at companies such as Tauck and insist on combining bold ideas with well-thought-out strategies.
On a lighter note, it’s once again time for our annual Readers Photo Contest, where travel agents can win cash prizes and have their photos published in an upcoming issue of TravelAge West. Email entries to Letters@TravelAgeWest.com, with the subject line “Photo Contest.” The deadline for submissions is Dec. 4. Visit TravelAgeWest.com/Travel/Trending for more information.