WESTPORT, Conn. -- When young Arthur Taucknitz painted "Taucknitz
Tours" on the side of a bus back in 1925, he didn't like the look
of it. He changed the name to Tauck Tours. From then on, the family
name was Tauck.
In June, in commemoration of its 75th anniversary, Tauck Tours
changed its name again, this time to Tauck World Discovery. Now in
its third generation of family management, one of the companies
that most defined the modern tour industry has redefined
Armed with an eighth-grade education and an innovative spirit,
the senior Arthur Tauck started his career as a bank clerk. After a
disastrous spill as he carried coins in cigar boxes to the vault,
Tauck was fired.
Tauck went home and invented an aluminum coin tray that wouldn't
break like the cigar boxes the banks used. It also eliminated the
need for counting.
When he took the tray to the bank, he was offered his job back.
But soon the spirit of enterprise got under his skin, and he
decided to try selling his new coin tray to other banks. Tauck's
coin trays caught on, and are still used in banks today. But that
was not to be his legacy.
As a traveling salesman, he soon realized other travelers were
missing a great deal by not knowing the country.
He ran a classified ad in the newspaper offering an inclusive
guided tour of New England. "All I want is a congenial party," it
said, "no grouches." At first he planned only one tour. But word
spread, and a new business was born.
Tauck Tours was instrumental in laying the foundations of the
tour industry as it exists today.
When an examiner of the Interstate Commerce Commission declared
that "this whole industry is illegal" because of restrictions on
interstate bus travel, Tauck took the case to the U.S. Supreme
He joined with other operators in the fight, forming the
National Tour Brokers Association, which became the National Tour
Association. Eventually, they won the right to take passengers
across state lines.
In the early 1970s, Tauck Tours became one of the founding
members of the U.S. Tour Operators Association (USTOA).
With its air tour to Nova Scotia in 1958, Tauck was the first
American tour operator to marry air travel with motorcoach
The company is always in search of new ways to experience
destinations. A prime example is its series of heli-hiking tours,
which fly clients to the peaks of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
Tauck's small-ship cruising program offers travelers a more
intimate cruising experience than do traditional cruises.
In the 1990s, Tauck Tours grew from a domestic operator to a
world tour operator with extensive programs overseas. In 1999,
Tauck introduced its first Antarctica programs, and in 2000, Africa
became its seventh continent.
Tauck's new Africa program includes one itinerary in South
Africa and one in Kenya and Tanzania. Also new for 2001 are three
new adventure tours in North America and four new itineraries in
the Yellow Roads of Europe series.
The new name was determined after two years of market research,
which included trying different names on travel agent and consumer
The word "tour," the Tauks found, no longer represented their
style of experiential travel or their varied modes of
"World Discovery" is a name they think they can live with for
the company's next three-quarters of a century.
Operator: Tauck World Discovery
Product line: Premium travel programs in all seven
Chairman: Arthur Tauck Jr.
Co-presidents: Peter Tauck and Robin Tauck
Managing director of international new tour
development: Scott Supernaw
VP of sales and marketing: Dan Mahar
Director of agency sales: Marc Kazlauskas
Director of special agency accounts: Rick
VP of guest relations/information systems: Randy
Manager, groups: Gail Mutusky
Phone: (203) 226-6911
Reservations: (800) 468-2825
Fax: (203) 221-6828