Even the most experienced pastors planning a religious tour rely on professional tour operators, especially for overseas journeys. While there are hundreds of tour companies serving the faith travel market, here are a lucky seven that get it, listed in alphabetical order.
Industry veteran Jim Adair has a long and storied history in the Catholic market, first as principal of Regina Tours, and for the last 10 years as the president of The Catholic tour. Adair has led over 60 pilgrimages to Fatima and helped over 100,000 pilgrims visit shrines and other religious icons in Europe and the Holy Land. The company features over 30 pilgrimages and Europe religious trips, with a growing list of alternate destinations such as Costa Rica and the Canadian Rockies.
Catholic Travel Centre
In business since 1991, Catholic Travel Centre works with over 400 archdiocese, national organizations, religious orders and church choirs on pilgrimages and spiritual vacations. It has an impressive line-up of sample tour packages covering worldwide destinations and specialty tours like the 2016 World Youth Day in Poland, already on sale.
Celebrating 40 years in business, Educational Opportunities is a Holy Land specialist, boasting quality Christian travel programs at affordable prices. This Florida-based operator has shipped over 350,000 travelers in its history. The firm has an active group leader program, including a $500 “share the ministry” stipend for referring fellow group leaders, and a co-host program that helps new religious group leaders fill their trip with the help of another church.
One of the most recognized and trusted brands in the tour industry, Globus has a dedicated faith-based division that works with churches worldwide on developing spiritual journeys for their congregations. Massive buying power and worldwide destinations and distribution make Globus a formidable competitor in this market.
Founders Nick Mancino and Ray Masillo began their ministry in travel in the 1960s, joining forces in 1990 when they formed Journeys Unlimited. The firm features a full array of European and Holy Land tours. Journeys is part of Group IST which also operates Regina Tours, a leading provider of pilgrimages and cultural tours for the Catholic travel groups.
The Perillo name has been synonymous with Italian vacations for over 85 years. The firm’s Italian Shrines and Ultimate Vatican Experience tours allow it to flex its muscles for Christian travel groups eager to have a religious-themed vacation coupled with the beauty and history of Italy.
This family-run tour operation based in the St. Louis area is dedicated to encouraging believers through church history-inspired travel. Reformation prides itself on a relaxed paced, history-inspired, fellowship infused European vacation.