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USTOA Promotes Travel as Discovery

August 30, 2010 By: George Dooley

The legacies of ancient Egypt, Italy’s culinary arts, and South Africa’s recent history are some of the discoveries travelers can make on three distinctive programs from companies belonging to the U.S. Tour Operators Association (USTOA), the association reports. 

“Each program provides inside intelligence that come from the experience and knowledge of professionals whose business it is to help travelers discover insights that they might otherwise find difficult to get on their own,” says John Stachnik, USTOA Chairman.

The USTOA’s ‘insider’ recommendations include:

The Eurochocolate Festival In Italy

The rich world of Italian cuisine and chocolate awaits on an eight-night, 10-day “A Taste of Tuscany & Umbria - the Eurochocolate festival in Perugia,” with Go Ahead Tours. Depending on space available, the program includes a private, small group cooking class where participants learn how to make Tuscan regional specialties and then sit down to enjoy the meal together, in turn gaining insight into the Tuscan way of life and the role of wine and cuisine in local culture.  Available October 13, 2010 and October 15, 2011 the $3,099 per person price includes air fare from New York, entrance to and a tour of the Eurochocolate festival in Perugia, three regional wine tastings, a private Tuscan cooking class and dinner, plus 4 gourmet dinners featuring local specialties. For reservations and more information, phone 1-888-GO-AHEAD or 1-888-462-4323 or visit

South Africa's Freedom Fight

Learn about South Africa’s fight for freedom, the era of Apartheid and subsequent abolishment from the people who lived it.  African Travel Inc.’s locally hosted tour,  “In the Footsteps of Mandela” provides an opportunity to meet with guides from the area who were involved in the fight for freedom as they escort you into modern ethnic suburbs, to the prison site that once incarcerated Nelson Mandela.... and to the famous township of Soweto.  The guides will often take travelers into their own homes, shebeens (pubs) and churches, introducing them to friends and family.  The 10-day/seven-night package must be booked by December 10 for travel by December 31.  Priced from $2495 per person, land, share, twin, the package also provides more insights with a home hosted dinner in Capetown.  For reservations and more information phone 800-421-8907; or visit

Ancient Egypt Comes Alive

Inside intelligence can be about saving money and discovering the secrets of an ancient civilization at the same time.  SITA World Tours’ nine-night/10-day “Land of the Pharaohs” vacation package features international air, deluxe hotels, meals, transfers, Cairo sightseeing, tours of the Pyramids, Memphis and Sakkara, as well as a four-night Nile cruise on the MS Amarante.  Priced from $2,615 per person, the package is available for departures on November 30 and December 31, saving travelers hundreds of dollars over booking it separately, according to SITA.  For reservations and more information,  phone 800.421.5643, or visit

All prices are based on double occupancy.  Selected meals are included on all above itineraries.  Prices may vary by date.  Restrictions and additional fees, departure and local taxes and fees may apply.

For a complete list of USTOA companies offering special interest and other types of vacation arrangements, agents can visit the USTOA website or

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