Each year, I have the pleasure of writing our “Year in Review” post! Before we turn the calendar page to a new year, here is a quick recap of ATA’s fast-paced 2017!
At ATA, we design theme-based travel experiences that go beyond destination, and get travelers past the guidebooks. For example, we arrange cooking classes with talented chefs, studio visits with local artists, or rehearsal visits with choir directors. We also celebrate the everyday experiences that animate local life—shopping in markets, riding public transportation, or sharing a meal with a family in their home. The new themes we explored in 2017—Yoga in India, Music in Mongolia, Porcelain in Germany, Art Collections in Scandinavia, and Jewish Cooking in France—took their place alongside some of our enduring favorites, including D-Day, Oxford, New York City Theater, Science at CERN, and Cooking in Sicily.
It was our utmost pleasure to serve several new partners this year: The Daughters of the American Revolution, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, National Museum of American History, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The American Institute of Architects, and The Ogden Museum of Southern Art. We also helped The Los Angeles Times launch its new travel program, the Los Angeles Times Expeditions! Our Reservations Center welcomed Martin Randall Travel, a prestigious, UK-based tour company, and Pandaw Cruises, an innovative cruise company, to its roster of companies for whom we provide high-touch, pre-trip service.
CET ‘s rapid expansion continued in 2017! An exciting series of pre-college programs for high school students was launched this year, in addition to a new strategic partnership with Howard University. Professionals Abroad delegates again flocked to Cuba, where meaningful exchange among surgeons, professionals, gerontologists and scientists deeply impacted all who participated.
We welcomed a great group of new team members in every part of the company this year; they are dedicated, enthusiastic, and hard-working!
We are also experiencing the largest “baby boom” the company has ever had: four babies were born this year, and four are on the way! Our new mothers and fathers are taking advantage of ATA’s eight weeks of paid parental leave as they adjust to their new roles!
One of the pillars of ATA’s mission is to “contribute meaningfully to our world, our field and our community.” Many staff and colleagues increased access to study abroad by supporting the important work of the Fund for Education Abroad. A group of staff flew to Toronto with Tourism Cares to work at The Black Creek Community Farm. We also lobbied our Congressional representatives on the critical issues facing us, such as National Parks fees, the visa waiver program, airport modernization, and expanding opportunities to travel to Cuba.
We are so grateful for the travelers who count on us to enrich their lives through innovative, educational trips; for the colleges and universities who entrust us to shape their students into global problem-solvers, and to the professional associations who ask us to help advance research across borders.
PS: We shot a new video this year. Our goal was to “tell the whole story,” as ATA’s identity is complex. We hope you enjoy it.