Kay Berke

Kay Berke
Royal Travel & Tours
Winnetka, IL

Kay Berke is an industry pioneer and a 45-year veteran who has traveled and sold every inch of this globe, all while overseeing the growth and management of multiple agency locations over four decades alongside her husband and business partner, Larry. In 2016, the Berkes handed the reins of the agency over to their daughter, Kendra Thornton, who now serves as agency president. 

Berke, however, continues to service her longtime clients and, says Thornton, “[Royal Travel & Tours’] longstanding success and growth would not have been possible without her hard work, client dedication and love for this industry.”

One example of that dedication was a 50th wedding anniversary trip with a six figure budget. The clients were parents who took their four grown children plus spouses for two weeks through Italy. The trip included Rome, Florence, Venice and the Amalfi Coast. The family stayed in luxury hotels and toured in a private motor coach with their own guide traveling with them at all times. The parents wanted detailed excursions and activities planned for every single day, so Berke had to ensure that every detail was mapped out well in advance — including a private tour of the Vatican.

Fluent in Spanish, Berke is a big seller of Latin American countries, especially her beloved Argentina where she lived in her 20s. Berke also enjoys crafting thoughtful itineraries for clients interested in travel all over Europe, especially England and Scandinavia, as well as Africa and India.

A former president and board member of Midwest PATA, Berke has also been actively involved in Midwest ASTA for more than 30 years, including 25 consecutive years of attending ASTA World Travel Congress conferences. She is also the proud recipient of the Athena award for mentoring and promoting women in the workplace.

Kay Berke

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