The Educational Travel Conference is underway in Baltimore, and the Associated Press is carrying a story from there today:
The article quotes a cross-section of industry people, many of whom will be familiar to alumni professionals, and summarizes the rationale for universities and tour companies this way:
For universities, alumni travel programs offer another method of fundraising and a means of tightening bonds with their alumni and encouraging future donations. For travel companies, extra features like lectures from scholars help sign up customers for group travel, especially sophisticated baby boomers and people who have ever more options for booking discounted flights and hotels online.
It's interesting that they don't point out one of the most obvious features of the tours themselves: they are educational programs. Maybe that's implicit in the article, but I think it warrants being highlighted.
Meanwhile, the links beneath the article are limited to two prominent (non-alumni) non-profits, the Travel Conference homepage, and another organization that sponsors volunteerism-focused opportunities. Should there be a clearinghouse on the web for all alumni association travel program web pages?