Mitchell Mack, business development manager for Collette, addresses a group at Willow Bend Country Club Thursday evening about the upcoming British landscapes tour. (DHI Media/Sherry Missler)
Mitchell Mack, business development manager for Collette, addresses a group at Willow Bend Country Club Thursday evening about the upcoming British landscapes tour. (DHI Media/Sherry Missler)

By SHERRY MISSLER

Times Bulletin Staff Writer

smissler@timesbulletin.com

VAN WERT — Over two dozen people gathered at Willow Bend Country Club Thursday evening to learn the details of a Chamber-sponsored British landscapes tour coming next year.

Brandy Leiber of the Chamber explained that the trip was available to anyone interested. "It's not just open to members of the Chamber of Commerce. It's open to everyone in the community and even outside of the community." She noted that anyone can get more information and even register. "They can call me or come see me at the Chamber and we can get them registered right away," she said. Leiber said the Chamber made special efforts to accommodate people who wanted to see Stonehenge. The Stonehenge visit was originally on the tour but had been taken off. "We really had to push to get it put back on and now we're the only tour that's doing it."

Mark Verville said, "I believe this is our fifth trip with Collette." He mentioned that about three quarters of the people who attended the seminar had previously traveled with Collette before. He said, "It's a good partnership. They do a good job or people would not come back."

Mitchell Mack, business development manager for Collette, was on hand to speak to those assembled about the trip. "In terms of my time with Collette, I've had the opportunity to travel to 31 different countries. We as reps we say that 'we know because we go.' We can go and actually experience these destinations and be able to talk about them with a little bit more professionalism rather than just pretending that we know what we are talking about. We have first-hand experience."

Mack stressed that Collette had a great deal of experience in the travel industry. "This is our 101st year in business. We are an American-owned and operated country. We got our start back in 1918 and now we take people all over the world to give them these extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime experiences."

Mack added, "We're excited to get to work with Brandy, Mark, and the Chamber again to offer this British landscapes itinerary." He went on to say that the tour was an escorted tour, what he called "thoughtless travel" because those on the tour did not have a lot of decisions to make. "I don't want to have to deal with that especially on a trip that I've been saving up and dreaming about my entire life. I want to sit back and relax," he said.

He encouraged anyone interested in visiting the British isles to consider this trip. "Collette is known for having some of the finest tour managers in the industry. We get a lot of repeat passengers." He noted that those who want to go should sign up soon. "We've got 26 total seats that are held for the Chamber. We've got a couple of people who have submitted their deposits already." He said they fully expected the trip to be a sell-out. "This is one that we think is going to be a hit. It's going to be a bucket list trip. It's an area of the world that everyone is dying to see."