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The National Tourism Foundation Hall of Fame Inducts William E. La Macchia

June 18, 2004

The National Tourism Foundation Hall of Fame Inducts William E. La Macchia
June 18, 2004 – (LEXINGTON, Ky.) – The National Tourism Foundation inducted William E. La Macchia into the National Tourism Foundation Hall of Fame at the Westin Chicago River North on June 10, 2004. The event was a great success with nearly 300 family members, friends and industry colleagues in attendance. To mark the occasion, the La Macchia family offered a generous donation to the Foundation. This contribution will be used to fund a new La Macchia Family Scholarship to be awarded for the first time in 2005.

La Macchia is the founder of the Mark Travel Corporation, which includes 16 leading vacation companies and is recognized as one of the largest and most diversified leisure travel companies in the United States. The company has been in business for 30 years and, in addition to managing its own private label brands such as Funjet Vacations, prides itself on being the company that other leading airlines and hotels trust to manage their vacation brands.

Gordon "Butch" Stewart, chairman of Sandals and Beaches Resorts, echoed the sentiments of many by congratulating La Macchia on his great success and admiring him for his modesty. "I always think of you as the gentleman of the travel industry. The things that you have done in this industry few people have ever done. You’ve developed an organization that has helped so many people throughout the world – in the Caribbean, in Mexico and in the United States, [yet] you still stick to your roots. You’re an inspiration to us all."

The family’s donation, combined with individual contributions and money raised through a silent auction totaled approximately $120,000 in gross revenue. These funds will aid the Foundation in achieving its mission of benefiting society through the support of education and research contributing to the values of travel and tourism.

Upon induction, La Macchia said, "I am humbled and honored by this award, which is really due to the support of so many others – my family, our dedicated employees, and the airlines, hotels and other suppliers who believed in our vision 30 years ago. This business has been and still is all about relationships and working with others to achieve more together than you could alone. So I am deeply honored to share this good fortune with others and help create opportunities for the next generation."

The National Tourism Foundation Hall of Fame was created in 1998 as a means of recognizing individuals who are committed to furthering the Foundation’s mission. Past Hall of Fame inductees include Eric Freidheim, Travel Agent Magazine and Arthur C. Tauck, Jr., Tauck World Discovery. Foundation Chairman, Roland Kreps said, "The Foundation is honored to welcome Bill La Macchia into the Hall of Fame. His success, benevolent contributions and humility make him a true role model for students and industry colleagues alike."

The National Tourism Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports research and education in travel and tourism. Since 1982, the National Tourism Foundation has awarded more than $1.5 million to travel and tourism students in the form of grants, scholarships and awards. For more information, contact the Foundation at 800-682-8886 or visit

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