Vermont-based travel company offering world-wide tours confirmed as active member of national association focused on improving industry standards, integrity and consumer advocacy in the American tourism industry
BRISTOL, VT—VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations has announced it has joined the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) as an active member. “We are delighted to welcome VBT to our membership,” said Terry Dale, president and CEO of the USTOA. “Adventure tourism is a growing market, as many of today’s travelers are seeking physical activity, nature-based and cultural experiences as a part of their journeys. VBT brings to USTOA a deep expertise in this area.”
“We are truly honored to join such an excellent industry association,” VBT’s President Gregg Marston said. “The USTOA’s continued advocacy and consumer protection initiatives have directly impacted the quality and stability of the American tourism industry, which falls in line with VBT’s core mission of bringing excellent quality and unsurpassed value to our travelers.”
The USTOA is a professional association that represents tour operators in the United States and works to maintain a high level of integrity and trust in the industry. The association’s goals are to educate the travel industry, government agencies, and the public about tours, vacation packages and tour operators while fostering increased travel on a worldwide scale. “We are looking forward to our new relationship with USTOA where we can leverage the organization’s knowledge and advocacy in regards to government compliance in operating tour programs worldwide,” said Ray Hourani, VBT’s Director of Worldwide Operations.
The member companies of the USTOA are held to the industry’s highest standards and must meet a number of ethical and financial criteria. Members must participate in the USTOA’s Travelers Assistance Program, which demands fiscal responsibility and accountability to consumers if the company goes out of business. “There is an air of prestige about you when you are a member of such a high level organization in our industry,” VBT Director of Marketing, Paul Williams said. “At VBT we know that this relationship will provide an added assurance to our marketing efforts and validate the trust we have with our customers.” A core principle of the association is Truth in Advertising, ensuring all member companies provide accurate, factual information when promoting their tours and vacation packages.
Joining the USTOA is a natural step for VBT with its roots as a small Vermont company that provided America’s first organized bike tours that has grown into a highly regarded and awarded world-wide tour operator, while still holding its original values close. These include a reverence for the great outdoors, a tradition of neighborliness (extended around the world), and a commitment to unbeatable value and quality.
Founded in 1971 by a Middlebury College professor, VBT offers deluxe, small group bicycling, walking and cross-country ski tours worldwide, including destinations in Europe, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Vietnam, Thailand, Peru, Argentina, Canada and the United States. Each trip includes all accommodations, many meals, two expert, local Trip Leaders, unique sightseeing and cultural activities, and full vehicle support. Unlike other companies, VBT also includes roundtrip international airfare from over 30 U.S. cities for all overseas vacations.
Log on to the company’s website at www.vbt.com to view detailed itineraries or to sign-up for the latest full catalog of all of VBT’s active vacations. VBT’s Tour Consultants can be reached at 800-245-3868 Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm EST.