Tour Operator News for January 2007

*Brendan’s Murphy Honored by USTOA
*Austin-Lehman Adds Chiapas

Brendan’s Murphy Honored by USTOA

USTOA recently named Jimmy Murphy, a founder of Brendan Worldwide Vacations, a Life Member an honor granted to USTOA members who have made a remarkable contribution to the association over their professional lifetime.

“Jim Murphy’s guidance and wisdom have been invaluable. He has been a mentor to many USTOA members and he has been a driving force in USTOA’s support of the travel agent distribution system for tour operators,” said Bob Whitley, USTOA president.

As one of the founding members of USTOA, Murphy served as the association’s first president in 1972, and in 1992 again served as chairman for two more years, becoming the only person to have served twice as the organization’s chair.


Austin-Lehman Adds Chiapas

Austin-Lehman Adventures and its Mexico-based partner, Journey Mexico, announce the addition of Chiapas to their 2007 portfolio.

The new trip explores the remote Lacandon rainforest ruins and highland Maya villages of Chiapas. The eight-day, seven-night program will run April 15-22, Sept. 23-30, Oct. 28-Nov. 4 (Day of the Dead) and Dec. 23-30. All meals (except for one dinner), accommodations, ground transportation, guides and equipment and park entrance fees are included.

“As far as we know, we’re the only folks doing such in depth cultural journeys into Chiapas,” said Dan Austin, co-founder and director of operations for Austin-Lehman Adventures.

He said the state, dubbed “Mexico’s Last Frontier,” is one of the least-visited regions in Mexico but among its richest in terms of culture, history and indigenous people.

This multi-sport trip includes boating, biking and hiking, as well as visits to cobblestone villages and archaeological ruins. Lodgings include a five-star hotel, a jungle eco-resort and a restored 17th-century hacienda.