2017 was our best year ever at Rick Steves’ Europe Tours. We took 24,000 travelers on about 1,000 tours. My favorite statistic: 45 percent of those were return travelers — alums who were coming back for more.
Every January, we invite everyone who traveled with us in the previous year to a huge bash in my hometown of Edmonds, WA. We rent out the biggest space in town — my old junior high school gym — and throw five parties over two days. And, to make it even more fun, we fly guides in from all over Europe and the USA. This year, 140 of our guides joined us.
In this clip, you can experience one of the parties with me. I’m taking just a minute to sit in the bleachers and soak up the fun and joyful energy — so many happy travelers, reconnecting with their tour buddies and their guides…sharing scrapbooks, tour memories, and future travel dreams. In a moment, I’ll call the party to order and introduce six of our tour guides for an entertaining welcome from different countries around Europe. Then, I’ll give out prizes for the travelers who’ve taken the most of our tours. (Winners typically have traveled with us more than 15 times. With our unique cumulative tour alum discount, we finished making any money off of them long ago!) And later, I’ll see buddies from the two tours I joined last year: the Best of Sicily Tour and the Best of Ireland Tour.
Thanks to all who traveled with us on a 2017 Rick Steves tour!
BTW, I’m addicted to these tours. I just can’t help myself. Every year, I page through our tour catalog and sign up for at least one under a pseudonym. (It’s fun — I get letters from myself.) And then, I surprise the group at our welcome meeting on the first day. This year, I’m taking one of our Portugal tours.)