DESTINATION EXPERTS CREATING UNIQUE TRAVEL EXPERIENCES

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Timeline

1993

Anderson Tours and Charters Founded by Dave and Lorraine Anderson in Strathcona County, Alberta Canada. 6 Tours were run in their first year for the 50+ Traveler. The idea at the time was to provide their motor coaches with incremental business by developing a touring program.

Pauline Marshall named as the first ever employee of Anderson Tours. Day to day operations are done out of the home of Dave and Lorraine Anderson.

Marshall Anderson Tours Ltd, owned by Pauline and Jim Marshall purchase Anderson Tours and Charters from Dave and Lorraine Anderson. Company runs 8 overnight multi day tours and 10 individual day tours this year geared at the local market.

Focusing on customer service and the Edmonton Senior market, Anderson Tours and Charters grows to operate 15 overnight multi day tours and 15 day tours this year. Open their first office location just off of 17th Avenue in East Edmonton. Marshall’s decide to continue to operate a Charter Brokerage Firm, to service existing charter clientele for their motor coach needs.

Marshall Anderson Tours Ltd, owned by Pauline and Jim Marshall purchase Anderson Tours and Charters from Dave and Lorraine Anderson. Company runs 8 overnight multi day tours and 10 individual day tours this year geared at the local market.

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Office relocation in Edmonton to Sherwood Park for more square footage, and staff increases to 4 Tour Directors, and 4 full time office staff. Company growth maintains.

In an effort to diversify, Anderson Tours and Charters, under Corey Marshalls guidance, launches Explore the Spirit of Edmonton and Beyond marketing program, the company’s first attempt to attract inbound groups to use them as a receptive tour company. The events of September 11th mitigate success, but any growth over a baseline of zero is growth, and the company surges ahead. Market share on coach tours maintains consistent growth pattern from Edmonton Capital Region. New office location opens in Sherwood Park.

Continuing to grow the Inbound Group Program, Anderson launches Explore the Spirit of Alberta and Beyond, a marketing platform designed to attract more groups to Alberta through retail and wholesale partners. Anderson also focuses on next domestic destination to increase market share for their motor coach tour programs, and discuss the opportunity that presents itself in Calgary. Charter brokerage business remains steady.

Anderson opens first Calgary office, geared to increase market share on domestic Outbound Tours, and serve as a hub for the Inbound Group Tour programs. Research done on the potential of a third product line, and probable gaps in the market for Custom Canada vacations business unit. Charter business grows steadily as more customers look to Anderson to “broker” their motor coach needs.

Anderson moves Calgary office to 17th Avenue, and hires first employee in Southern Alberta. The focus of the Calgary office changes to implement a Customized Canadian Vacation Independent travel program, complete with online technology, retail distribution and their first product catalogue. Anderson sees strength in aligning with travel agents as key partners in the sale process. Gaps in the market present themselves and preferred agreement discussed with key retail chains for distribution of this new product line. All this while maintaining more inbound business then ever before, and an outbound group tour program that is gaining provincial market share across the province of Alberta.

The Perfect FIT (Fully Independent Travel) program launches, and the support of travel agents including Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Co Op Travel, and independent agencies across Canada is tremendous. This increases growth in all divisions of the corporation as agents not only sell custom Canada programs through Anderson but also their Coach Touring range. There is a surge in NTA and ABA operators purchasing tour programs through Anderson as a receptive operator, and the staff grows to 9 office staff. Corey Marshall is fortunate enough through the travel industry, to meet Karen McCardle from New Zealand and asks her to join him in life and business. Karen moves to Canada and joins the Anderson team as Director of Product for the organization. With this diversification of product offerings and services offered, Anderson Tours and Charters rebrands to Anderson Vacations.ca to be seen visually not just as an escorted touring company but as The One Stop Canada Travel Solution.

Marshall Anderson Tours Ltd is purchased outright by Corey Marshall and Karen McCardle, from Jim and Pauline, and the business is passed on to the next generation of Marshall entrepreneur's. The Anderson FIT program triples in size in year 2, Inbound group division surges forward with the election to the Travel Alliance Partners Ltd operating group, Jim Marshall is appointed Director of Charters and with this appointment new found success is found brokering transportation service and monitoring logistics, and in late December Anderson Vacations launches SIMPLE Res, an online housing platform designed to provide reporting and infrastructure, as well as full online booking capability for Conference planners and their delegates and the corresponding hotel partners. Alberta Volleyball contract Anderson to look after all regional housing. Destination Marketing Organizations across North America show interest in the program for their city wide events.

The independent travel business grows into the company’s number one product line in only its third year, and spurs new retail distribution contracts with Sears Travel and CAA South Central Ontario, as well as Vacation.com USA and Canada. SIMPLE Res is a great success operating 6 major conferences housing contracts in year 1 including the Calgary Stampede, AAMDC Fall Conference, AOSSM Summer Meeting, and The North American Outgames.
Anderson Logistics (Charter brokering business) lands a large logistical contract transporting Oil and Gas workers in Fort McMurray and the Inbound Group business surges with over 100% growth, Corey Marshall is elected to the NTA Board of Directors, as well as the Travel Alliance Partners Ltd. Board. Anderson now maintains its head office in Calgary with regional offices in Edmonton and London, Ontario. A staff of over 30 travel professionals ensures we are THE ONE STOP CANADA TRAVEL SOLUTION.

The independent travel business continues to grow, SIMPLE Res operates and has solidified contracts for the year including Alberta Volleyball, Calgary Stampede, AAMDC Fall Conference, AOSSM Summer Meeting, AAMDC Spring Convention, Rendezvous Canada 2009 and World Skills 2009 in Calgary. Anderson Logistics (Charter brokering business) continues to work transporting Oil and Gas workers in Fort McMurray and the Inbound Group business grows due to strategic alliance with Travel Alliance Partner Ltd.

Market research begins and Anderson begins to get ready to roll out their new division, providing customized vacations to Australia, New Zealand & The South Pacific Islands.

By forging relationships with major airline partners, as well as a technology platform provided to the Canadian retail agents at their desk top, Anderson is bringing to the Canadian retail market South Pacific travel in a real time way that it has never been able to be booked or researched before. With 60% of the Anderson call centre and executive team (including owner Karen McCardle) being from the South Pacific it was a perfect fit, as the destination knowledge Anderson is able to pass on will add further expertise to the new venture. Anderson launches Australia, New Zealand & The South Pacific Islands as a destination.

In addition to having won the tender in 2008 to provide all package registration and accommodation for World Skills Calgary, Anderson took it on resilience, exceptional service, and a custom built technology platform. They were able to 100% accurately provide registration to over 3500 delegates, filling over 33,000 hotel room nights in the City of Calgary, creating the banner year in the organization’s history.

Anderson received many accolades in 2009 including an award for being the 110th Fastest Growing Company in Canada along with Corey Marshall being named one of the Top 40 Under 40 in Calgary by Avenue Magazine!

With five very distinct product lines Anderson continues through their diversification to maintain corporate growth and continued agent and operator interest to work with them. Anderson signs new preferred distribution relationships with CAA Manitoba, Advantage Travel and Travelsavers USA and Canada. Anderson now has access to over 5000 retail agents across North America. Canada Traveller begins selling Canada across New Zealand for the company.

Custom Canada Vacations continue to grow as more and more baby boomers look for more than a traditional coach tour. An increase in awareness of Anderson as a South Pacific provider continues and they experience 100% growth in this business unit.

Demand for Canada and Alaska increasing out of the US market both on custom group programs and our guaranteed tour departures.

The convention and housing business continues with our contracts with the AVA (Alberta Volley Ball Association), AAPG and Air and Waste Management. One of the most exciting things during the 2010 year is all of the new preferred retail relationships that Anderson has signed on. These include relationships with CAA Manitoba, Advantage Travel, and Travelsavers. Distribution increased by over 5000 travel agencies across North America.

Anderson continues to operate fine tune and grow their product line up in their Custom Canada, Custom Australia & New Zealand, Custom Group and Scheduled Departure product lines.

Anderson offers multiple FAM tour programs for their agent partners understanding the importance of providing destination experiences for top retail agents. These included Cook Islands, Canadian Rockies, Toronto, Quebec, Newfoundland, Manitoba (Polar Bears) and others.

An exclusive agreement with Grand Pacific Tours is signed bringing their New Zealand coach touring product to North America while they also wrap the AAT Kings Catalogue to give North American agents access to Australia Coach Touring product as well.

Anderson signs agreement with Canuckiwi Ltd (an Auckland, New Zealand based representation firm) to expand their product offering and distribution across Australia & New Zealand, while at the same time offering their clients travelling in destination piece of mind that their arrangements are looked after and they have 24 hour access to someone local to help if emergencies arise.

Custom Group and Scheduled tour numbers have never been higher. Volleyball Alberta maintains its relationship with Anderson’s conference division. Anderson Logistics continues to operate their charter brokering service. Marshall named Leader of Tomorrow by Business in Calgary.

Anderson launches inaugural edition of the Downunder Destination Planner, a 164 page coffee table planning book to the North American retail market, followed shortly after by their Canada & Alaska Destination Planner. This brings the Anderson arsenal of product catalogues to be the best in the North American market, a quality that aligns with their brand, for the destinations they sell and include:

Canada & Alaska Destination Planner
Downunder Destination Planner
Escorted Touring North America
Escorted Touring New Zealand with GPT
Escorted Touring Australia & New Zealand AAT Kings
Guaranteed Departures
In addition 2013 continued to see Anderson operate their charger brokerage service with Anderson Logistics, increased capacity of their scheduled touring programs and enhanced distribution with new preferred retail agreements.

Anderson rounded out the year by being named the Tourism Industry Association of Canada’s Business of the Year.

Andersons second editions of the Destination Planner Series are even better with the Downunder Destination Planner growing to a 180 page coffee table publication while Canada & Alaska to 137 pages. These two brochures continue to push boundaries in quality and product giving North American retail agents access to a point of sale catalogue for their clients that is second to none.

These catalogues are supported by a growing team of Destination Experts who Create Customised Travel experiences as the Anderson Operations team grows in size to keep up with demand.

This team signs an agreement with a new content management team and work begins on a new CRM system for the company, which will allow them to deploy their first ever Agent Loyalty program. “Anderson points” are begun to be awarded as of February 15th, 2015 for agent bookings. Agents can use these points towards their own personal travel and/or gift rewards.

In addition, the company will completely re-launch their website in 2015 providing a far more user friendly system to search for itineraries and packages offered by the destination they want to travel to, or by the way they would like to travel. This new website will align the content of the destination planners, with comprehensive itineraries bringing more and more information to their agent's and client's desktops through a well thought out and creatively designed site.

Anderson continues to operate Anderson Logistics (Charter Brokerage), grow their Scheduled Tour line up, enhance their custom groups team with consultants in both Canada and New Zealand to be able to be accessible for up to 18 hours and grows market share. Expedia CruiseShipCenters and WESTA sign preferred agreements with Anderson.

Effective the start of 2016, Anderson Vacations has been acquired by a major western Canadian travel industry partner, the BC based Adventures Abroad Worldwide Travel group. Anderson Vacations will continue to operate as a separate and independent company based out of Calgary exactly as at present. The talented Anderson Vacations staff including all of our divisional managers will continue to deliver the same high quality tours and packages for which the company has rightfully earned an industry reputation. Tour operators, travel agents and independent travellers across North America and overseas rely upon the Anderson Vacations team to plan and operate their Canadian, Alaska, Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific Islands travel package year after year; that will continue as at present.

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