Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - 12

FAST LANE | OPERATOR PROFILE | Behind the scenes of the most successful operators

Chomping at the Bit
Timi's Tours gets back on the road with 10-person tours and a whole lot more

I

f you've ever been on a bus trip with
Timi's Tours, there's a good chance
you've received a card from the
company's president and founder,
Timi Kaufman. For Kaufman, who started
the Illinois-based company 15 years ago,
customer relations has always been a top
priority, and sending get-well, sympathy, or
thinking-of-you cards is a way to let them
know she cares-at a level beyond the typical customer/company relationship.
"Our customers are like family in many
ways," says Kaufman's son, Jack, who has
been working at the company since he was
12 and currently serves as vice president.
"And their satisfaction and safety are our
top concerns."
Whether they are onboard for a fall
foliage trip to New England, a dude ranch
adventure in Arizona, or Timi's Tours'
popular seven-day sightseeing tour of New
York City, groups know they are going
to get a premium experience on a luxury
motorcoach. "Our customers deserve
the best product possible, so we spare no
expense," says Jack, who books only the
best seats at shows and restaurants, and
stays at Marriott, Hilton, and other upscale
properties. "You might find a cheaper trip
to New York City, but you won't be staying
a block from Times Square, seeing two
Broadway shows, and visiting more than 12
classic New York City sights with a professional tour guide."
As a result, it's not surprising that most
Timi's Tours clients are repeat customers-
several of whom go on as many as 20 trips
a year. "Quality over quantity," says Jack,
which means that not only are tours exceptional experiences, but also that each of the
company's four 52-seat, late-model MCI
J4500 luxury motorcoaches is inspected
regularly and equipped for emergency
situations. All have automatic external
defibrillators and undergo thorough cleaning procedures-measures that have been
enhanced due to the COVID-19 pandemic,
which forced many businesses to change
the way they operate. An electrostatic

12

DESTINATIONS

/SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2020

PROSPECTUS

Timi's Tours is
celebrating its
15th anniversary
this year and
joined hundreds
of motorcoach
operators at the
Motorcoaches
Rolling for
Awareness rally
in Washington,
D.C., in May.

Operator
Timi's Tours
Location
Moweaqua, Ill.
Services
Motorcoach charter and tours
Website
timistours.com
Phone
(800) 768-3531

sprayer and adherence to the Centers for
Disease Control's safety guidelines help
alleviate customers' qualms about travel.
In May, Timi's Tours decided the best
way to help people overcome their fears
was to get them back on the road, so the
company developed "Ten-Person Tours"
designed for social distancing. For Jack,
who drove the first tour to a southern
Illinois winery, it was an emotional day
when he welcomed passengers after nearly
three months of the buses sitting idle.
To serve the new niche market of
smaller groups due to the pandemic, the
company added a Mercedes Executive
Sprinter to its fleet. Booked for several
weekends before it even arrived, the bus

will also allow the company to compete in
corporate and wedding markets, as well as
airport shuttle service.
Timi Kaufman saw a need in Central
Illinois for a premium tour product and
advertised her first trip in the local newspaper in 2006. When it sold out immediately,
she knew she was onto something big.
"From there, it's basically been 15 years
of life on the road, learning as we go and
loving every aspect of this business," says
Jack. "The future of our industry might
be a little uncertain right now, but we are
resilient. We're going to pivot where we
need to pivot, make the changes we need to
make, and we'll come out stronger for it."
-Pamela Brossman


http://www.timistours.com

Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020

Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - Cover1
Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - Cover2
Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - 1
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Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - Insert 1
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