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Vol. 13, No. 48 Week of November 30, 2008
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

AK-WA Connection 2008: USTravel sells services from Alaska to Lower 48

USTravel says the travel industry presents many challenges, often somewhat bizarre, that have to be managed to a successful conclusion.

The key to the success of the Anchorage-based travel assistance company in this unusual environment is the expertise and knowledge of its travel team, coupled with state-of-the-art technologies and a proactive approach towards client and supplier relationships, the company said.

USTravel began business as Century Travel in 1947, and over the decades changed its name to USTravel as it is known today. The company was acquired in 1997 by current owner, Mark Eliason, and has grown to establish regional headquarters in Seattle and Des Moines, Iowa.

For more than 60 years, the firm has focused on delivering service excellence that sets it apart in the travel industry.

USTravel officials said the best business advice that they have ever received is to always expect the unexpected; particularly in Alaska, where the lack of road infrastructure; the unique terrain, and harsh climate challenge their travel team on a daily basis.

“This is what makes USTravel truly unique,” they said.

USTravel cites a humorous incident to illustrate its capabilities.

The travel agency was asked to ship a whale from London, England, to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, but the travel agent initially thought it was a joke. Once the customer made it clear that it was actually a serious request, USTravel packed the whale in ice and had it flown, accompanied by a veterinarian, safely to its destination.

Said USTravel: “All ended well, but shipping livestock is so much more complicated than passenger travel!”

—Alaska-Washington Connection



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