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Tauck Inducted Into Hall of Fame

Family, friends and industry colleagues gathered at The Westin New York at Times Square on May 29 to induct Arthur C. Tauck, Jr., chairman of Tauck World Discovery and Tauck Holdings, Inc., into the National Tourism Foundation Hall of Fame. The event celebrated Tauck’s outstanding commitment to the Foundation and his continuous support of education and research. The ceremony, sponsored by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and the Canadian Friends of the Foundation, also provided an opportunity to honor previous inductees and raise awareness for the Foundation’s mission. A special silent auction held during the dinner raised approximately $14,000 for Foundation programs. “What an honor it is to join the ranks of the 10 other Hall of Fame inductees,” said Tauck. “For so many years, I have watched the organization donate more than 400 scholarships to deserving students. I am thrilled to continue to play a role in fostering the education of these and other future industry leaders.” Colleagues expressed their gratitude to Tauck throughout the night and spoke of his gentle yet determined style of leadership, his willingness to take risks and his commitment to giving back to his community. “There is absolutely no one more revered in our industry than Arthur Tauck,” said Jim Host, chairman of HOST Communications, Inc. Tauck has been a pioneer in the packaged travel industry for 50 years. At the age of 18, he joined his father’s business, Tauck Tours, as a tour director. Eight years later, he became the company’s president. At the time, the organization offered six destinations along the East Coast and served approximately 2,000 customers per year. Arthur Tauck’s innovative business savvy led him to continually develop new ideas. In the late 1950s, he combined air travel and motor tours. He offered the first chartered air packages to Nova Scotia. Then he began taking travelers from the Eastern United States to visit national parks in the West. In 1965, he became the first tour operator to arrange helicopter sightseeing in Hawaii. A decade later, he introduced “Heli-Hiking,” a combination hike and helicopter tour, as a new way to see the Canadian Rockies. Today, Tauck World Discovery offers an unsurpassed variety of itineraries covering all seven continents. Tauck has also served the industry on a volunteer basis. He is a past president of both the National Tour Association and the United States Tour Operators Association. He currently chairs the Travelers Conservation Foundation as well as the Tauck Foundation, the family’s philanthropic entity. Sen. Hillary Clinton, founding chair of Save America’s Treasures, Inc., expressed her best wishes during the ceremony via videotape. She praised Tauck and his family for their role in restoring national landmarks such as the Old North Church in Boston and Valley Forge National Historical Park. “The Tauck Foundation not only raises resources,” said Sen. Clinton. “It raises awareness of our country’s need to preserve America’s cultural and historical legacies.” Robin Tauck, current president of Tauck World Discovery, characterized her father as a humble man. “He’s really just like everybody else’s dad,” she said, “yet he’s become a powerful instrument of change.” She described him as a dynamic businessman with a strong commitment to historical preservation and education and a “heart for humanity.” She gave the Old North Church in Boston as an example: As America’s bicentennial approached, the church called for individual donations to help restore the steeple. Arthur Tauck offered to fund the entire project. More impressively, he did not mention his good deed to anyone. His family learned about the generous act 20 years later. Tauck’s daughter also cited his contributions to education and his support of 25 scholarships at Lehigh University. “He knows that when students are passionate and led by education, they will become the change,” she said. She continued by addressing her father directly, saying, “You have taught us to care and to give back and to build a better future, and that’s the greatest gift of all.” Upon induction, Arthur Tauck paid tribute to his family and peers for their many gifts. “The knowledge that I have gained during my lifetime in this industry really came from other people,” he said. “Thank you for helping me share your wisdom.” Following Tauck’s example, his family and staff donated $11,000 to the Foundation in his honor. Their contributions will help fund the educational pursuits of recipients who will be known as Tauck Scholars and who will hopefully continue the admirable legacy that Arthur Tauck has created.