For those looking to find the ultimate dream vacation, they need look no further than Eric Shuman. As a travel professional, Shuman has dedicated a large portion of his life to make your dream vacations not just a reality but an affordable reality.
With more than 21 years of time spent in the Travel Business and Timeshare Industry Eric has an expertise and passion for his customers ultimate vacations.
Like all good things which must come to an end, the Eric Shuman vacation experience has drawn to a close. According to his Travel Center, in September of 2012, Eric sold off his Travel Club. The sale was to a group of private investors in the amount of 36 million dollars.
Eric is a Philadelphia native and he grew up with his eye set on traveling the world. Still his humble upbringing attempted to squash his dream. “Only rich people travel” was a thing he would hear time and again. Eric’s solution was to reject that metric out of hand. In doing so he changed the travel industry.
Over the course of the last 13 years, Eric opened Travel Club offices in over 20 different cities. Fresno, Valencia, San Francisco and Napa, all in California. As well offices reside in Las Vegas, Miami Beach, Scottsdale, Austin, and even in his former stomping grounds of Philadelphia.
It may be that you have never heard of a Travel Club before and that’s okay. This is a fairly new concept which hasn’t broken into the consciousness yet, even though it’s one that’s been around for over a decade. Travel Clubs don’t typically advertise in mainstream media. You won’t hear about Travel Club in newspaper, magazines, and television. They reach their marketplace inviting guests to a 90 minute presentation offering “travel gifts” as compensation.
Eric says, “We use the best gifts in the industry but they have restrictions. People don’t like that they’re not going to show up and just get two airline tickets to fly anywhere. But after 9/11, that’s just not going to happen. And we could give them a stack of movie tickets or a new television, but we’re looking to attract people who like to travel and take vacations.”
Working against the fates of honorable groups like Travel Club are the unscrupulous companies which have given the travel industry a bad name. Eric’s goal has always been to try and change that reputation. It’s his desire to show the world the possibility to run a group that’s both reputable and profitable. Eric says, “Even timeshare, at some of the best resorts, have left a bad taste with many consumers. I like to think we’re the next generation of timeshare. We’ve kept all the positive aspects of timeshare, and removed all the negatives.”
With more than 100,000 members Eric Shuman’s Travel Club Destination Vacations International, Del Rey Travel has been a rampant success. Members receive amazing discounts on any and all travel, save airfare. The problem with discounting air travel is the crowding of the space. Airline margins are so small; there’s just not a lot of savings to get.
“We’re a full service travel agent. We’ll do all the research, book you an amazing vacation, and save you a ton of money,” Eric says. “I like to think we’re old school. Remember when all the travel agents were in the malls? They were professionals we’d all look up to with respect. Now everyone thinks they can do it themselves, on the internet. Unfortunately, they end up with lousy vacations, spending way too much on their accommodations, and have no money left over to have fun, go out to nice restaurants, and buy something fun to remember their trip. But not our members, they’re spoiled, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Eric began this business with thoughts hearkening back to his youth; too many kids are growing up without ever going on a vacation. Many people just can’t afford them. But that’s not how it should be for young people; they should get as much experience to open their minds and expand their worldview as possible. Eric went on to say, “Some of my best memories in life were going on vacation with my parents. I’ll never forget them as long as I live. And yet I hear too many people say that they just quit vacationing, that it’s a luxury that they just can’t afford. After I heard that, that’s when I said, I want to do something about it.”
DVI Travel Club members pay an initial membership fee, one- time registration fee, and nominal annual payment. With that comes a full service travel agent finding the deals for you, booking all travel at-cost. DVI assistance covers hotels, cruises, all-inclusive excursions, and just about anything and everything else travel related.
Eric smiles, “I sell fun. I think it’s important for families to have some quality time together. And I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like to vacation, do you?” But now it’s time for Eric to pass the torch. “It’s been a great run, but it’s time to move on.”
For those who are DVI Members, nothing changes in regards to your Membership. Despite the name change, the new company is even keeping many of the same employees that you have grown to get to know and appreciate.