Our Story - the History of the Educational Travel Industry

OUR STORY

An experienced tour provider, with a storied history. The people behind passports have been in the educational travel industry since Day 1!


EARLY 1960s
A CONCEPT IS BORN

It all started at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. Dr. Gil Markle, a philosophy professor there, was legendary for his interactive teaching style. One summer, he brought a group of his students on a tour of Europe (what is now Passports’ The Grand Tour). The trip was so well-received by the students that he continued the trend — eventually organizing over 20 groups a year — and the concept of outbound educational travel was born.

1965-1988
START OF AN INDUSTRY

In 1965, Dr. Markle established the American Leadership Study Groups (ALSG). ALSG’s headquarters were at the Worcester Airport, where over 50 people worked night and day to ensure the company’s success. The company was the first of its kind, and came to be known for its educational resources, expert travel professionals and high-quality services. It grew to have a nationwide impact, sending thousands of American students overseas to experience the world.

1992-TODAY
THE PASSPORTS ERA

In 1992, Dr. Markle started Passports Educational Travel. At the time, he owned a world-class recording studio in North Brookfield, which saw the likes of The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Cat Stevens and others. It was for this reason that he chose nearby Spencer, Massachusetts as the site for his new company. Many passports employees were former ALSG staff members with decades of travel experience. Other ALSG employees went on to create or influence other companies in the industry, like ACIS, NETC (now WorldStrides) and EF Tours.

THE LEGACY CONTINUES

passports is currently led by Dr. Markle’s son, David Markle. David runs the company in the spirit of his father, keeping in line with his original vision and ideals. passports continues to provide the highest quality overseas services, including centrally-located 3- and 4-star hotels, fine local cuisine and the most experienced tour directors in the industry — all at affordable prices. We look forward to serving you and America’s traveling youth for another 50 years!

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passports Educational Group Travel partners with teachers across the United States to provide high-quality educational travel experiences to their students. Educational tours visit destinations around the world - primarily France, Italy, England, Spain and Costa Rica - at low, guaranteed prices.


Passports, Inc., ToursOperators & Promoters, Spencer, MA

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passports
7 Midstate Drive Suite 102
Auburn, MA 01501

1-800-332-7277
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