About Us – Wilcox Travel
About: Wilcox Travel was started by Glenn W. Wilcox, Sr. and his father, Herman Wallace Wilcox, in 1953 in Boone, NC. Mr. Wilcox was a bus driver for Queen City Trailways and wanted to get into air travel and vacation planning. In 1965, he moved the family to Asheville, NC and incorporated the travel agency with offices on the 3rd floor of the Northwestern Bank Building, currently the BB&T Bank building, in downtown Asheville, NC.
Over the years, the company grew from a small travel agency to the region’s largest Travel Agency, selling air tickets, rental car and hotel bookings to corporate accounts and individuals, leisure cruises, tours, and custom packages. In 1967 we were invited to join American Express and become one of their first 50 charter Travel Service Representatives in the world. Currently we’re the last of the original 50 charter representatives.
About Us – Holy Land Tours
About: Our Holy Land Tours started in 1968, after the ’67 war in Israel, we began handling tours to the region. We began locally and soon expanded Nationwide, sending over 5,000 Christians annually to the Holy Land. We started a relationship with Near East Tours (NET) in the 70’s and still use them today for our Holy Land and Lands of the Bible Tours. Our network of pastors at the time were mainly in the south (Southern Baptist) and expanded to other Baptist organizations and churches, Presbyterian, Methodist, Catholic, Episcopalian, Messianic Jews, and non-denominational churches. As the years went by, we opened many new destinations to the Southeastern United States. Our Journeys of Paul Tours feature cities and countries visited during Paul’s journeys as outlined in the Bible. Our Heritage European Tours feature many Christian destinations throughout Europe from a variety of denominations. In the 70’s we ran over 20 charters each summer out of the Southeast to Hawaii, helping many first time travelers see our 50th state. In the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s we handled Christian Conferences for organizations such as, The Baptist World Alliance (World Baptist Youth Conferences and Baptist World Alliance General Council Meetings), The World Methodist Council (Meetings that are held every 5 years to destinations around the world), and Dr. Billy Graham’s Conferences for World Evangelization (ICIE) (1983, 1986 and 2000 in Amsterdam Holland and 1992 in Louisville KY for North American Evangelists). Also in the 80’s we chartered Caribbean cruises for gospel groups called “Singing at Sea”. In the early 90’s, we started the International Choir Festivals for USA church choirs to travel and perform in the United Kingdom and Europe.
Since June 1966, we have handled travel for Dr. Billy Graham, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Franklin Graham’s World Medical Missions and Samaritan’s Purse. In 1982 we got more involved with missionary and humanitarian aid travel as we were assigned special discounted airline contracts with over 20 airlines for travel all around the world. As the industry changed during the 90’s we changed along with it, branching out using electronic communications via the internet allowing our clients to book online, and communicate via e-mail.
Today, we have several divisions specializing in various aspects of travel related services.
Our Retail Department handles corporate travel arrangements, leisure cruises, tours and custom packages for individuals utilizing the American Express Network of negotiated specials. Our leisure agents specialize in Weddingmoons and honeymoons to the Sandals and Beaches Resorts in the Caribbean, cruises to destinations around the world and African safaris.
Our Missions Department specializes in providing services for our missionary and humanitarian aid accounts. With over 15 special contracts with airlines around the world just for this market, we assist these organizations with special airfare discounts, excess luggage allotments, adoptions and passport and visa services. The requirements to enter into some countries around the world make it important you have a travel specialist who understands your purpose and can counsel you as to the best way to travel, pack and prepare for your trip.
Our Group Division manages Conferences, Incentives, and our ever growing group of Tour Hosts. Our Tour Hosts are mostly made up of Pastors/Ministers, Christian TV & Radio Evangelists, Professors, Choir Directors and other individuals that have people that will travel with them on trips to destinations around the world. The areas of the world that we send the majority of our accounts to are Middle East, United Kingdom, Europe, Eastern Europe, Africa, Central and South America and Asia. As volunteerism has become a buzz word for volunteers who want to assist others during their vacations, we have added Hawaii to our lists of destinations.
Our Information Services Division, TAIS, Technology Advantage Information Services, specializes in Network Services, Web Design, Web Hosting, Telephone Services for us, other travel agencies, local businesses in Asheville NC, businesses who have found us through the internet and tenants in the BBT Building in downtown Asheville NC. Their services can be found at www.taisweb.com.