Tourism Cares chief Bruce Beckham to retire in 2013

By Michelle Baran

TOURISM CARES BRUCE BECKHAMBruce Beckham, CEO of the travel industry nonprofit organization Tourism Cares, has announced his retirement, effective June 30. A search is under way for a successor.

Beckham has been with Tourism Cares for more than 12 years, and in the coming months will work with the organization's executive committee and board to provide a seamless transition.

Under Beckham's leadership, Tourism Cares partnered with industry organizations including the U.S. Tour Operators Association, the National Tour Association and ASTA and has brought more than 3,500 tourism industry volunteers to more than 20 sites across the U.S. for restoration projects. This year, the organization launched its Global Outreach educational and preservation program in Cuzco, Peru.

Additionally, more than $500,000 in scholarships has been awarded to students studying travel and tourism and more than $2 million in grants has been given to tourism-related sites in 42 states and 31 countries.

"Bruce's leadership has mobilized the travel industry to recognize the need for conservation and preservation of our treasured sites and the education of our future workforce," Dan Sullivan Jr., president of Collette Vacations and the chairman of Tourism Cares, said in a statement.

Arthur C. Tauck Jr., chairman of Tauck and a co-founder of Tourism Cares, recalled in a statement that he has worked with Beckham "since the fledgling days of the Travelers Conservation Foundation, now Tourism Cares. Little did we know then that he was the man who would devote himself tirelessly to take an idea from its embryonic stage and develop it into an organization that has become synonymous with philanthropy across the travel industry."

Follow Michelle Baran on Twitter @mbtravelweekly. 

Photo of Bruce Beckham on home page by Steve Hockstein. 

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