RYE, N.Y. - More than 500 world travelers from the greater Westchester area journeyed to the Rye Town Hilton on Wednesday morning for a celebration of travel and story swapping over breakfast. The breakfast was sponsored by Grand Circle Travel, a referral-based travel agency for people over 50.
"We want to let our customers know we appreciate them," Grand Circle Travel Presenter Danny Tyrell said. "We are a 100% renewal business, so it's all about getting them to come back, and we we want them to feel valued."
Grand Circle Travel was started back in the 1950's by AARP founder and retired educator Ethel Andrus as part of her "vision of helping Americans lead more vital, challenging, and politically active lives."
Sixty years later the company has evolved into one of the largest referral based travel agencies offering over fifty different travel packages to every corner of the globe. Grand Circle veterans and experienced travelers Mike and Cherie Langley from Brewster, have visited more than 52 countries through the use of Grand Circle and other travel organizations.
"You experience an unusually unique travel experience with Grand Circle," Mike said. "The quality of the program guides and the level of immersion sets them apart."
The Langleys singled out one particular area of the world as their favorite.
"Tibet, Mongolia, Nepal," Cherie said nodding. "Those are our favorites. The culture, the geography, the people, you feel like you are on top of the world."
In addition to Grand Circle's quality program, the Langleys said that it's the company's foundation work that really sets them apart. Tyrell said that the revenue portion of every trip goes toward helping the communities Grand Circle visits and that since 1992 the company has raised more than $91 million. Tyrell added that Grand Circle supports 100 schools in more than 60 countries.
"Grand Circle really contributes to the well being of the community," Langley said. "You don't just take as a traveler, you give back."