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National Tour Association Honors Two Industry Icons

February 5, 2008



Sara Morton




Feb. 5, 2008


National Tour Association Honors Two Industry Icons

Kirk Lanterman and Arthur C. Tauck Jr. to receive NTA Pioneer Award


LEXINGTON, Ky. The National Tour Association Board of Directors has selected Kirk Lanterman and Arthur C. Tauck Jr. as the recipients of the 2008 Pioneer Award. Established by the NTA Board in 2005, this award honors individuals whose accomplishments have resulted in a significant change in the travel industry from which NTA and its members have benefited.


The awards will be presented Friday, April 4, at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, during the NTA Tour Operator Spring Meet.


Lanterman led Holland America Line to become one of the world’s leading cruise lines. He oversaw the growth of the company from a three-ship operation to one of the most successful and innovative cruise companies in the world with bookings of more than $1 billion annually.


For more than 50 years, Arthur Tauck Jr. has been a true visionary for the travel industry. He grew his father’s small tour business from a company offering six itineraries on the East Coast to Tauck World Discovery, which moves tens-of-thousands of travelers to more than 60 countries worldwide every year. 


 "These two industry icons exemplify the spirit of NTA," said NTA Chairman and CEO Bob Hoelscher, CTP. "They are progressive, creative, and dynamic individuals who have kept their fingers on the pulse of this changing industry and that has made them into the visionaries they are. NTA is proud to recognize them for their contributions to the association, the industry, and travelers everywhere."


Lanterman spent most of his career pioneering the cruise industry. In 1970, he joined Westours as vice president of finance. He quickly advanced in the company and became president in 1983 and when Holland America Line consolidated its operations. He assumed chief executive responsibilities when the company was purchased by Carnival Corporation and was named chairman and CEO of Holland America Line in 1997.


Lanterman was one of the original founders of the North West CruiseShip Association and has served on the Board of Directors since its inception. He also has served two terms as chairman of the Cruise Lines International Association, president of the Alaska Visitors Association, and vice chairman of the International Council of Cruise Lines. He served on the board of directors of Carnival Corporation from 1992 to 2007.


In 2003, Lanterman was honored by Her Royal Majesty, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. He was made an Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau, the Netherlands’ highest civilian honor, in recognition of his outstanding achievements in his field of work and for his service to the people of the Netherlands and its Royal Family.


Tauck is truly an industry innovator. In the late 1950s, when most of the industry was still relying on rail, Tauck was the first to combine motorcoach tours with air travel. He also can be credited as the first to offer international charter air tour packages to Nova Scotia and one of the first to bring East Coast travelers to the western National Parks. Additionally, Tauck was the first to use helicopter sightseeing in Hawaii and to combine helicopters with trekking by introducing "Heli-Hiking" as a new concept for seeing the Canadian Rockies.


Tauck is a past president of NTA and USTOA and a past trustee and vice chairman of the Institute of Certified Travel Agents. He is a member of the Tourism Cares Hall of Fame, the American Society of Travel Agents Hall of Fame, the Travel Industry Association Hall of Leaders, and was awarded the New School’s "Travel Industry Award of the Year." He has received the "L in Life" top award from Lehigh University; and in 2002, Tauck accepted the Atlas Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Travel Marketing Executives.


In 2006 Tauck received the nation’s highest honor for historic preservation, the Preserve America Presidential Award, presented by President Bush in a White House ceremony.  The award honored Tauck World Discovery’s guest-volunteer program in Yellowstone National Park, which has facilitated volunteer opportunities for nearly 10,000 guests visiting Yellowstone on the company’s tours. He is currently chairman of Tourism Cares, NTA’s official philanthropy, as well as the Tauck Foundation, the family’s philanthropic entity. 


For more information on the NTA Tour Operator Spring Meet, please visit


The National Tour Association has a global membership of tourism professionals involved in the growth and development of the packaged travel industry. Its membership includes 600 tour operator companies – group, independent, inbound and outbound – and the destinations and suppliers that partner with them. The association is committed to providing business results and information to its members, while offering a collaborative, caring environment in which to build relationships. For more information, please visit



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