Ritz Celebrates 30 Years in Tour Business


Pictured left to right: Fred Ruggiero, Cathay Pacific; Judy McDaniel, USTOA; Martin Chan, Owner of Ritz Tours; and Andy Bhatia, Kingfisher Airlines

This year, Ritz Tours is celebrating its 30th anniversary as a U.S.-based operator of escorted tours to China, bringing thousands of visitors to the region and introducing travelers to the exoticism and intrigue of Asia's 5,000 years of culture and history with more than 20 Premiere, Deluxe and Asia Series tours.

Bringing its formula for success to Europe in 2009, the company introduced deluxe programs departing from the U.S., bringing travelers to the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Switzerland.

Despite the state of the economy, Ritz Tours continues to see growth and expansion as a company.  "I am very proud that despite the difficult economic times that the travel industry has been facing during this global economic crisis over the past 24 months, Ritz Tours has continued to invest in our operation and expansion of both our product line and our offices worldwide to serve the needs of our clients," said Martin Chan, owner of Ritz Tours.

Founded in 1980, Ritz Tours began as a retail travel agency selling vacation packages to the local Los Angeles community. As the company began to develop its business, Chan embarked on the challenge of expanding Ritz Tours into a wholesale tour operation with a specialized line of escorted journeys highlighting the exoticism, culture and charm of Asia and, most recently, Europe.

"In the past decade, we have effectively grown our tour offerings beyond China to include Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and India so the next natural step in our development was to venture into Europe," said Chan.

All Ritz Tours offices are now linked by a new multi-protocol reservations and communications system developed in Germany, which gives the tour operator better functionality to respond to travel agent requests.

In addition to its anniversary, the company also celebrated the opening of its new, larger Manhattan office in the Diplomat Centre building at 820 Second Ave.