Tauck celebrates 2022 milestones as entire company reunites

Staff from all corners of the world gather in Connecticut last week

US-based luxury touring company, Tauck, brought together its office and support staff from across America and around the world in Connecticut last week for the first time in three years to celebrate the company’s successes in 2022, and its robust return from the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 300 Tauck office employees from 27 states and seven countries descended on Tauck’s headquarters in Wilton, Connecticut for a series of departmental meetings, evening social events, and an off-site “all-company” keynote address and celebration.

“Our industry has achieved something really special – it’s truly the accomplishment of a lifetime – and I hope all of our advisor-partners and supplier-partners feel the same sense of pride that we do,” said Dan Mahar CEO, Tauck.

“It’s the people that power our industry and they came together to make dreams come true for so many,” he said.

“Our travel advisors and partner-suppliers were critical to our success this year, and our exceptional restart wouldn’t have been possible without them. Once again we are able to be a positive force for good in our world and we are so appreciative of all the people who played a role in making this happen.”

Jennifer Tombaugh, Tauck President and Dan Mahar, Tauck CEO

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Speaking to Tauck’s employees, board directors and other Tauck family members during the keynote, Mahar shared a string of remarkable metrics highlighting the company’s dramatic rebound from COVID. During its 2022 operating season, Mahar noted that Tauck:

  • Hosted guests in 61 different countries and on all seven continents
  • Operated within 5% of 2019 levels on its North America, Europe, Bridges and river cruising itineraries, combined
  • Earned guest satisfaction scores in line with 2019 levels
  • Achieved near record-high advanced bookings for the coming year

Along the way, Mahar added, the company also found the time and bandwidth to launch several new tour itineraries, with more currently in development. And for the 25th consecutive year, he noted, Tauck was honored in Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best Awards” when it was voted by the magazine’s readers to both the “World’s Best River Cruise Lines” and “World’s Best Tour Operators” lists.

A Tauck Bridges' family group at Le Double Fond in Paris in mid-2022.

Guest satisfaction on par with record levels

In thanking and recognising Tauck’s staff for the year’s amazing results, Mahar put the company’s success in perspective.

“Few companies operated with the depth and breadth we did this year,” Mahar said, “and incredibly – and despite significant challenges facing our industry – we were able to scale our operations while keeping our guest satisfaction scores on par with our very high, pre-COVID standards.”

When taking the stage at the start of the event, and prior to speaking to the assembled crowd, Mahar lit a ceremonial “porchlight” and displayed it prominently for all to see. The gesture was a powerful indicator of how far Tauck has come. When Tauck first announced it was suspending all of its tour and cruise operations in the spring of 2020, Mahar began authoring a series of “Porchlight” emails that were sent to the company’s guests, travel advisors and partner-suppliers.

Dan Mahar, CEO Tauck and the symbolic torchlight

“The porchlight represented a symbol of home and a beacon to inspire our industry to remain optimistic for a return ‘home’ to travel again,” said Mahar. Although the Porchlight emails addressed a variety of topics, they all underscored that Tauck was hard at work preparing to welcome guests back just as soon as travel could resume.

Mahar said Tauck is well-positioned for continued success in the coming year, with near-record pre-season bookings and continued strong interest from past guests and new-to-Tauck travellers.

“Restarting operations from a complete shutdown was a daunting challenge, but our staged restart in 2021 paved the way for this year’s success, and in turn, this year’s success has given us the experience, resources and momentum to continue moving forward in 2023. There are always challenges, and we’ve faced many over the past 97 years, but we’re very optimistic for the future.”

In addition to last week’s meeting of Tauck’s office and support staff, a pre-operating season gathering of the company’s 400+ Tauck Director guides is scheduled for February 2023.

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