November 30, 2021


The travel folks

In Memoriam: Thomas M. Keesling, Sr., CTC

4 min read

Thomas M. Keesling, Sr., CTC, a travel counselor for a lot more than 50 years has died peacefully at the relatives dwelling just outside the house of Denver. He was 88 decades old.

Keesling was ideal acknowledged as a journey agency business advocate and a proponent of environmentally audio tourism. He served as president of the American Culture of Journey Brokers (ASTA) pursuing earlier positions as officer in charge of air issues, market relations, conventions, and particular instruction chairman of the Finance Committee and secretary and president of the Rocky Mountain Chapter. He also chaired the ASTA Environmental Committee and the ASTA/Smithsonian Institution Awards Committee the place he formulated ASTA’s Ten Commandments on Eco-Tourism.  

In addition, for a period of time of 10 many years, he judged the British AirwaysTourism for Tomorrow Awards” in London for eco-pleasant tourism initiatives.

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Keesling established Journey Associates in 1960 and operated the agency till its sale to a South African corporation in 2001. He was also nicely-acknowledged for his escort competencies in developing continents such as Africa and Asia, where by vacationers desired specialist guidance. Pursuing a handful of a long time of retirement, Keesling re-entered the travel small business in 2004 to start an independent journey company, Tom Keesling Vacation, based in Denver, CO and affiliated with Journey Professionals Host Company.

He preferred to convey to every person, according to Travel Industry experts: “Tom Keesling Travel’s do the job begins when the airplane stops.” His son Frank noted, “The passing was extremely tranquil and with out ache early Sunday early morning. It was a lovely bluebird day below in Colorado with a light-weight new coat of snow on the floor.”

Susan Ferrell, owner and president of Vacation Experts mentioned in a push assertion, “Tom Keesling lived a large and varied existence. We’ve dropped one particular of the industry’s icons and a actually attractive and humble male.”

Keesling traveled all above the planet, as evidenced by his membership in the Vacationers Century Club, constrained to those people who have frequented at the very least 100 international locations. He much more than doubled that possessing frequented 200-additionally countries.

As one particular of the main advocates for travel and tourism, he was appointed by President Richard Nixon to the Countrywide Tourism Methods Critique Commission. During that time, Keesling served on the Division of Commerce activity force to evaluate the likely of overseas tourism in the U.S.  

Among the some of his other achievements incorporated remaining normal chairman of the 37th Earth Vacation Congress in Athens, Greece, serving as the agent of the U.S. and Canada to the Universal Federation of Travel Agent Associations and staying appointed to the Progress Authority Council of the Pacific Region Travel Association (PATA) exactly where he labored on the tourism in Pacific Basin countries.

Keesling also was a guide to China Worldwide Vacation Services from 1973 to 1990, and opened Tibet and the western provinces of China to tourism. When Raffles Lodge in Singapore undertook a $190 million renovation, he consulted on the task. He ongoing to operate with Raffles as its North American advertising and reservations representative.  

As a extended-time vacation market guide, Keesling worked with a assortment of corporations. He was a consultant on throughout the world travel applications for Abercrombie & Kent International, a member of the first President’s Advisory Board of Seabourn Cruise Line and a board member of the International Institute of Instruction

Thomas Keesling has been embellished by the governments of Lebanon with its Order of Cedars of Lebanon and the rank of Knighthood, and by France, which awarded him La-Medaille de Reconnaissance. He also served as honorary consul to the Republic of Rwanda from 1987 until eventually 1992.

Keesling is survived by his 3 sons, Tom M. Jr., James H. and Frank M., alongside with his wife, Vivian, and seven grandchildren, Brian, Jackie, Kevin, Fowler, Logan, Lauren and Audrey Keesling

The loved ones requests that in lieu of bouquets, contributions in his memory can be produced to family’s longtime non-profit, Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund c/o Ruth Keesling Wildlife Well being and Study Middle ( Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, solutions are to be established at this time. Make sure you e-mail Frank Keesling at [email protected] for even further updates when they arrive obtainable.  

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