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In Memoriam: Thomas M. Keesling, Sr., CTC

Thomas M. Keesling, Sr., CTC, a vacation counselor for a lot more than 50 several years has died peacefully at the family home just outside the house of Denver. He was 88 several years previous.

Keesling was very best identified as a travel company marketplace advocate and a proponent of environmentally audio tourism. He served as president of the American Society of Vacation Brokers (ASTA) next before positions as officer in charge of air matters, industry relations, conventions, and particular training chairman of the Finance Committee and secretary and president of the Rocky Mountain Chapter. He also chaired the ASTA Environmental Committee and the ASTA/Smithsonian Establishment Awards Committee where by he formulated ASTA’s 10 Commandments on Eco-Tourism.  

In addition, for a time period of 10 many years, he judged the British AirwaysTourism for Tomorrow Awards” in London for eco-friendly tourism tasks.

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Keesling launched Travel Associates in 1960 and operated the agency until its sale to a South African corporation in 2001. He was also well-recognized for his escort techniques in creating continents this sort of as Africa and Asia, the place vacationers wanted skilled aid. Subsequent a couple of several years of retirement, Keesling re-entered the journey business in 2004 to start an unbiased vacation company, Tom Keesling Travel, based in Denver, CO and affiliated with Vacation Authorities Host Agency.

He favored to notify absolutely everyone, in accordance to Journey Professionals: “Tom Keesling Travel’s perform starts when the airplane stops.” His son Frank observed, “The passing was very peaceful and without soreness early Sunday early morning. It was a attractive bluebird day in this article in Colorado with a mild new coat of snow on the floor.”

Susan Ferrell, proprietor and president of Travel Gurus stated in a push statement, “Tom Keesling lived a enormous and assorted lifestyle. We’ve lost one particular of the industry’s icons and a definitely lovely and humble person.”

Keesling traveled all over the earth, as evidenced by his membership in the Travelers Century Club, confined to all those who have visited at least 100 nations. He a lot more than doubled that owning visited 200-as well as nations around the world.

As a person of the leading advocates for vacation and tourism, he was appointed by President Richard Nixon to the Countrywide Tourism Assets Evaluation Commission. During that time, Keesling served on the Section of Commerce endeavor power to evaluate the prospective of overseas tourism in the U.S.  

Amongst some of his other accomplishments included staying standard chairman of the 37th Environment Journey Congress in Athens, Greece, serving as the consultant of the U.S. and Canada to the Common Federation of Journey Agent Associations and staying appointed to the Advancement Authority Council of the Pacific Location Vacation Affiliation (PATA) exactly where he worked on the tourism in Pacific Basin nations around the world.

Keesling also was a specialist to China International Travel Support from 1973 to 1990, and opened Tibet and the western provinces of China to tourism. When Raffles Hotel in Singapore undertook a $190 million renovation, he consulted on the task. He continued to get the job done with Raffles as its North American promoting and reservations agent.  

As a extended-time journey business expert, Keesling labored with a wide variety of providers. He was a consultant on throughout the world journey applications for Abercrombie & Kent Worldwide, a member of the first President’s Advisory Board of Seabourn Cruise Line and a board member of the Global Institute of Instruction

Thomas Keesling has been adorned by the governments of Lebanon with its Buy of Cedars of Lebanon and the rank of Knighthood, and by France, which awarded him La-Medaille de Reconnaissance. He also served as honorary consul to the Republic of Rwanda from 1987 right until 1992.

Keesling is survived by his three sons, Tom M. Jr., James H. and Frank M., alongside with his spouse, Vivian, and seven grandchildren, Brian, Jackie, Kevin, Fowler, Logan, Lauren and Audrey Keesling

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory can be built to family’s longtime non-revenue, Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund c/o Ruth Keesling Wildlife Overall health and Exploration Center ( Because of to the COVID-19 pandemic, companies are to be identified at this time. You should electronic mail Frank Keesling at [email protected] for further updates when they appear accessible.  

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