Cultural Tour Consultants was founded upon the principle that larger is not better. The three founders of the company – Cathy Skinner, Melissa Reed, and Nancy Mettlen – know the quality of customer service is often times inversely related to the size of the company. When you contact Cultural Tour Consultants, you won’t be passed from the sales representative to a host of other employees handling various aspects of tour planning. One person at Cultural Tour Consultants – an expert in the part of the world you plan to tour, who possesses 20 or more years’ experience in the tourism industry – will remain with you from start to finish. This and the quality of the services provided are perhaps the primary reasons our clients travel with Cultural Tour Consultants again and again. Ask for our reference list and contact our clients directly!
- “Each time I run a CTC tour, I feel confident that all the ground work and due diligence has been done and that I, as Tour Director, can get on with the important part of my job, which is imparting knowledge and making sure each individual traveler gets the most out of his or her trip. Hotel accommodation and food is always of an excellent standard and the itineraries are always with insight, creativity and professionalism. CTC, as far as I am concerned, is leaps and bounds ahead of other companies, both in the service they give and the end product they provide.” – Manni (4 year working relationship)
- “How to describe Cultural Tour Consultants? An idea, unlimited experience, tailor-made, perfection, personal approach and dedication with one major goal; Going beyond the clients expectations. For me it’s a great pleasure and honour to represent Cultural Tour Consultants and I´m looking forward to guide you on a unforgettable tour in Europe.” – Johan (8 year working relationship)
- “CTC is for me: friendship, eye for the smallest detail, flexibility, reliability, professionalism, top service, enthusiasm, responsibility… I know I can contact the office any time. I can not say it better than the following: “do anything that will make our client happy.” (even if the result sometimes is, that I have to make extra cost.) Where else can I find such a team and company to work for and work with? I love to do the tours for CTC because they “work”!” – Yvonne (15 year working relationship)
- “What is my experience working with CTC? I like very much that your clients are interested in culture – in music, in fine arts, in culture of gastronomy and living, in cultural traditions. And I really appreciate the common interests which always brings a good atmosphere during the tour. I think the structure of the tours is always perfectly done and also considers the age of the clients, always tailored according to the clients´ interest. It’s obvious that you meet the clients in advance and listen to their wishes. I love working with CTC!” – Olga (10 year working relationship)
- “It is difficult to remember all of the Great moments I have had working with Cultural Tour Consultants. The way the tours are customized and the very special personal care given by Nancy, Melissa, and Cathy make these tours truly handmade works of art. Add to this the fantastic energy of the travelers themselves with their music and youthful spirit and you have the best moments of my professional life. I feel very, very fortunate to be able to share in all of this happiness.” – Oriol (15 year working relationship)
Cathy Skinner firstname.lastname@example.org
Areas of Expertise:
Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, Puerto Rico and Argentina
I have been a tour operator for most of my working career. After graduating from Western Michigan University, I took a job with a company that specialized in performance tours and was hooked! I had found my niche. Over the years I’ve organized group tours to countries all around the world. The many years of experience in all aspects of tour planning, from negotiating contracts with suppliers, planning concerts and logistics, to sales and marketing, ultimately led to a management situation for many years. Now here at Cultural Tour Consultants, I feel I have refined all these experiences into a perfect situation, where I can express myself through the tours we plan and enjoy my passion for travel. My business partners, Melissa and Nancy, will probably agree.
People often ask me what my favorite place is. I honestly don’t think I’ve been anywhere I did not like. I think the places that hold the most appeal for me are those where I have engaged in contact with the local people. I especially love the warmth and humor of the Irish, the music and food of New Orleans, the Latin American music and mix of European and indigenous cultures, and every single morsel of food and drink I’ve enjoyed in all the European countries.
My specific areas of expertise include performance tours and religious heritage tours to Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, Puerto Rico and Argentina.
Melissa Reed email@example.com
Areas of Expertise:
Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Italy, Scandinavia, and South Africa
People ask me all the time how I got started in such a cool business. My answer; follow what you love to do and somehow it all works out in the end. I’ve spent my whole life traveling, exploring and seeking out places that I love. I was lucky enough to have parents that instilled in me a love of history and culture. They took me on my first European trip at age 14, that was the beginning of my lifelong love of travel. After school, I crewed on a charter yacht to the Bahamas and Caribbean for a few years before entering the airline industry, spending most of the 10 years as Customer Service Director (Purser), on flights to Europe and the South Pacific. After spending a few years outside of the travel industry, it was apparent that that was not the life for me! I started my career as a tour operator in 1996. Since then I’ve been writing itineraries and proposals, coordinating and leading tours in the US, Europe, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand.
My areas of expertise include Central and Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and South Africa. Sustainable tourism, environmental issues, wildlife, history and cultural heritage are some of my special interests. I travel frequently attending travel shows, doing site inspections and leading tours. I hold specialist certificates for Germany, Austria, European Quartet (Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic) and South Africa.
I love hearing someone’s ideas and passion and turning those into a tour, customized specifically for them. I walk each footstep of every tour during the coordination and treat the tour as if this will be each travelers one and only international experience. It’s my goal to insure that each one of our clients comes home with wonderful, life long memories and is eager to explore the next new destination.
Nancy Mettlen firstname.lastname@example.org
Areas of Expertise:
The Mediterranean including France, Italy, Spain, Croatia, Greece and Turkey
My life-long passion has been the study of world cultures. I obtained a Master’s Degree in International Administration with an emphasis on cultural anthropology. For several years I worked in the field of cultural exchange, while living in France and Greece, organizing homestays with local families for foreign visitors and administering a Study Abroad program.
I find that cultural diversity renders the world an incredible kaleidoscope, just waiting to be discovered. My tours always include opportunities for American travelers to experience the culture of the country being visited. I jump at the opportunity to travel and often stay for extended periods in my favorite countries of France and Turkey. I am fluent in French and am learning Turkish. The long‐lasting friendships that I have developed with choir directors, hotel owners, and directors of tourism offices over the years often translate into an especially warm welcome for our touring groups.
Travel and the discovery of world cultures permeates every aspect of my personal and professional life. This passion has been passed along to my children. My son speaks four languages and is married to a young woman from Malaysia. My daughter first traveled abroad when she was fifteen years old. She lived with a family near Mumbai, India, and caught the travel bug! Now in her early twenties, she has traveled to Columbia, Morocco, Turkey, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, and, of course across Europe. This experience as a parent dealing with children traveling abroad has been very helpful to me when putting together tours for young student groups. And I am always ready to speak to parents about any concerns they might have.
Portraits taken by Tom Brayne Photography