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Velma Tollison

Travel Leaders Tyler, TX 903-581-2000
Travel Specialist
Tyler, TX Travel Agent
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Group and Incentive Travel Specialist

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My training as a travel agent started in the wholesale side of the business. I planned, coordinated and sold trips to Hawaii, Hong Kong, China and Europe to retail agencies all over America. I designed one, two and three island itineraries to Hawaii with stays from one week up to 2 weeks. My department was also responsible for planning special itineraries for company incentive trips. One of my most memorable groups included an orchid drop from a helicopter over a luau which was held on the beach in Kapalua.

I also escorted large groups to Hawaii and China. In 1986 and 1988, I coordinated the Society of Petroleum Engineers meeting in Beijing and Tianjin, China. There were over 4,000 attendees at each event and my department handled the hotel reservations, all of the China visas, special meetings, dinners and most of the air reservations. I traveled to China for the events and worked in the Expo Center for two weeks each time. While there, I coordinated special sightseeing for the attendees. I feel so lucky that I could see all the fabulous and wondrous sights such as The Great Wall, Tiananmen Square,
Forbidden City, Ming Tombs and the beautiful Summer Palace. It was on my last trip in 1986 that I had the most interesting flight ever. I was on a China Air flight from Tianjin to Hong Kong. We took off and as the plane lifted, the stewardesses noticed that they had not closed the doors. Ha! They came around and gave everyone a men's tie tack for being so brave and not fainting in the aisles.

In 1990, I started selling travel for a retail agency and discovered that it's much more fun to work directly with the traveler in planning their vacation or business trip. I especially enjoy working with groups; corporate and leisure. One of my recent corporate projects was a large cruise give-away. A grocery company in our area wanted to give away cruises to 1,000 of their lucky customers. I helped coordinate the promotion and am still helping the lucky winners book their Carnival cruise. It's safe to say that this was my largest cruise sale ever!

And speaking of cruises....I LOVE TO CRUISE! I have sailed to the most popular and scenic ports in the world. I've cruised in the Caribbean and Europe and seen the most amazing and beautiful cities. My favorite cruise, however, is right here at home...Alaska! I've cruised in Alaska 4 times now and would go again if time and budget permitted. If you have not cruised in Alaska, please add that to your "must do" list very soon. I would love to help you plan the most amazing and memorable trip of your life!