Mike Clark’s ECE Travel and Robin Deisenhammer’s PDM Tourism Group are on a mission to re- energize the People to People student travel brand by creating new, unique cultural and interpersonal travel experiences.
Earlier this year, their joint venture, ECE International, was awarded the worldwide license to market adult and student travel programs from People to People International, the nonprofit organization founded by President Eisenhower to foster international understanding.
People to People has a tradition stretching back 60 years. Described as “travel with purpose,” it has sent more than half a million people abroad to explore the world since inception. Its stated mission is to connect student travelers to new cultures and friendships by introducing them to life-changing, worldwide experiences that expand their minds. Its aim is for every person worldwide to accept and understand each other’s cultural differences.
The refreshed People to People travel program offers a unique degree of engagement with local communities. For example, its travelers will:
- Learn to sail with experienced sailors at the home of sailing at Cowes, Isle of Wight
- Meet a Swiss Guard and learn about what happens behind the scenes in the Vatican City
- Stay in the outback and experience life as a farmhand
- Meet a former Member of Parliament at Westminster and learn about the political and constitutional differences between the U.K. and other nations
- Learn to surf with a pro on Australia’s Sunshine Coast
- Learn about English history firsthand by enjoying a medieval encampment and re-enactment at Warwick Castle
- Experience a traditional family meal as part of a home-stay in Japan
The appointment of ECE International has resulted in a new series of 19 programs for the 2018 season. “We’re delighted with the response we have had to the new business,” Mike Clark said. “Former travelers have been keen to re-engage and the network of teacher leaders have remained incredibly loyal. Clearly, we have much to do to bring the business back to former levels, but we are encouraged by the early reactions from our clientele. Our aim is to grow the People to People network by recruiting new partners in different parts of the world to operate local travel programs consistent with our vision and to create a truly international flavor to our existing programs by recruiting travelers from their markets to join these departures.”
Mike and Robin have a clear vision to extend the People to People travel programs, with the focus very much set on incorporating as many unique moments across the globe as possible. It means the search is on for fresh ideas and outstanding new partners.
Mike continued: “We’re now looking for new, dynamic travel companies in different parts of the globe who are keen to embrace PTPI’s unique proposition. We aim to create an international travel culture full of exclusive access to people, places and events that our clients will be burning to describe on social media.”
Robin Deisenhammer concluded: “The heritage of People to People is student programs, but those students grow up. ECE International’s aspiration is to rekindle the enthusiasm of former clients to travel again as adults, offering a higher standard of comfort and new destinations but continuing to ensure our guests meet fascinating and inspiring people wherever they go.”