RMC Travel, New York, USA
We began as a one-man travel agency in 1948. At that time, Jules Cortell, its founder, already had 20 years of experience to his credit. Today, he is remembered as one of the pioneers in the field of tourism, a world-recognized ambassador of travel goodwill.
Mr. Cortell was a founder and an officer of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) and served on the Boards of the World Association of Travel Agents (WATA), The Pacific Area Travel Association (PATA) and the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA). All of these honors illustrate the respect with which the travel industry viewed him and the organization that bore his name.
By 1964, the sales volume of the original Cortell Group company, Atlantic-Pacific Travel, had grown to a million dollars. That same year, Mr. Cortell along with his son Raymond who joined the company after graduating from NYU, launched what was to be the first of a group of successful wholesale tour divisions, AtPac Tours.
A major expansion into the wholesale travel business occurred two years later with the formation of Europacar Tours. The originator of the European Fly/Drive Holiday concept, Europacar Tours quickly gained recognition as one of America’s most innovative tour operators. Later that same year, the company originated the London Theater tour. Within a few years, the company was the acknowledged leader in the domestic and European travel markets.
Between 1966 and 1983 several new wholesale and retail companies were added to the Cortell travel organization. To establish the relationship between the various companies and to create a strong, cohesive marketing image for the entire organization, the name, “The Cortell Group”, was adopted and introduced to the travel industry in the fall of 1976.
Over the next ten-year period The Cortell Group expanded into many new travel sectors. It was one of the first companies to “private label” tour programs for major airlines like Lufthansa, Pan Am, Braniff and others. New divisions like the Ministry of Christian Tours addressed the religious travel market. Trek Adventures saw the growth in the river rafting and hiking market and Body Mind Spirit Journeys set its sights on the New Age traveler. We continue to grow in the new millennium with the newly created African American Heritage Tours focusing on this emerging travel market.
RMC Travel Center was one of the first companies on the web and in 1986 with Prodigy, RMC Travel positioned itself on what has become the World Wide Web.
In 1984 when Mr. Cortell passed away, the Presidency was assumed by his son, Raymond. In 1985, the company launched “private label” travel products allowing airlines to produce in-house tour products marketed under their own names, but operated by The Cortell Group.
After two years of tremendous growth and diversification, The Cortell Group was sold to World Com.Net, a California travel Software Company. During the next year, 1988, Raymond created R.M. Cortell, Inc. and launched a new series of companies specializing in niche market travel, incentives and consumer programs under the RMC Travel banner.
RMC recently created Body Mind Spirit Journeys to offer tours to sacred places, as well as a new offshoot promoting Voluntourism, world travel experiences that include elements of charitable work.
Today, RMC continues its further development and operation of world-wide tours. The high standards set by Jules Cortell in 1948 for dedication, leadership, and personal oversight continue today to make RMC one of the most respected names in the travel industry.
by Raymond Cortell