Rhonda Moss’ parents started Extra Touch Tours 25 years ago in Sioux City, Iowa. Eight years ago, Rhonda and her husband Todd started helping them lead tours on a part-time basis. In May 2017, Todd retired from his 34-year architecture career, so the couple could work in the tour business full-time. Rhonda was previously a home-based travel agent, so it was a natural transition for her. Rhonda’s parents recently retired. Managing editor David Hoekman talked with Rhonda and Todd about the company.
Q. What sets Extra Touch Tours apart?
A. We’re a relationship business. We don’t send you on vacation, we take you. We escort trips whether it’s a group of eight or 80. We love the friendships we’ve built, and people appreciate you being there to help with every detail.
Q. What’s the biggest challenge the company is facing and how are you addressing that challenge?
A. Staying small. There are only two of us and we go on every trip. We don’t want to build a big business, we just want to see the world with great people. I think that philosophy is very popular with our travelers and we must resist the pressure to do more, take on employees, etc.
Q. What is your best tip for fellow tour professionals?
A. Many of our group travelers are in the age range of 50 to 75 — people that have the time and resources to travel. Don’t underestimate their ability to use social media, it’s been hugely successful in marketing for us. Also, don’t underestimate their willingness and ability to pay for a trip you might find costly. Don’t judge their budget by yours.
Q. What is the next big thing for Extra Touch Tours?
A. Trips like Alaska, Panama Canal, and a Rhine River Cruise fill up every year. We also need to find some newer, more exotic destinations for our frequent travelers who have been everywhere. Domestic coach trips were always part of the business, but with the retirement of Rhonda’s parents and only two of us in the business, we’ll be planning far fewer of those planning time-intensive trips. Croatia, Israel, Jordan, Russia, Machu Picchu and Sicily are all on the shortlist as we plan our 2020 trips.
Extra Touch Tours