When you walk in to Beyond Borders Travel & Tours, you can’t help but surrender to the cheery atmosphere and positive attitudes. It’s neither an accident nor a fluke. The office is ripe with the small touches that make you feel instantly at home. The colours are soothing and the people are warm. This is no accident. That positive energy is weaved right into the very fabric of the business and it was placed there lovingly by its owner, Maureen Forbes. A strong believer in the “personal touch”, Maureen has incorporated the needs of her clientele in everything she does from the tours she creates and oversees to the personal notes written on invoices. She is a shining example of the entrepreneurial spirit and how following a dream can lead to great success.
After 26 years of employment with the same company, Maureen found herself in the position that so many people face- downsized. She returned to Lambton College to study Hospitality and Tourism and started in a new direction. Faced with the daunting task of deciding her next move, she was in a position to think about what her dream employment might be, and like many others, self-employment was the answer she arrived at. She knew that she had a passion for travel. Even more, she had a passion for bringing travel and new experiences to others and she found a way to put all of those wishes into one wonderful idea. After graduation she sought the support of the Sarnia-Lambton Business Development Corporation and was able to create a business plan and receive the business counselling needed to bring it to fruition.
Beyond Borders Travel & Tours is a full service travel agency who has primarily made their mark by offering “First Class Tours With First Class Style” in addition to booking the traditional all-inclusive vacations and travel tickets. The business opened in 2004 when the building that houses it was purchased, gutted and renovated by Maureen’s husband. Upon that foundation, Maureen began to build her customer base and learned to perfect the travel side of the business. In 2005, they took the leap and began to build the tours side of the business. Tours are a real passion for the team at Beyond Borders Travel & Tours. They oversee all aspects, from the creation of itinerary to staffing the tours. They are with the client from the moment they book until they debark from the bus filled with memories and new experiences. Tours include everything from day trips to Toronto for theatre, to their highly sought “Tours of Distinction” where clients can expect to go anywhere from New Orleans to a European River Cruise. Whatever your dream destination, Maureen has already thought it through. They service clients from all over South Western Ontario and are known for their active tours which attract active travelers. You won’t be sitting on the bus taking window pictures, but you may find yourself on a walking tour of Germany’s medieval cities. Part of the great joy that emerges from this successful business is being able to make someone’s day or experience just a little brighter.
Beyond Borders Travel & Tours has lead Maureen and her team exactly where she had hoped. She started out small, built a strong foundation that includes a team of four who also put their hearts into the business’ success. Her advice to other entrepreneurs is the same advice she received from the Sarnia-Lambton Business Development Corp. “Think it through, be realistic and seek the perspective of others who can help guide you”. The other piece of advice she followed early on? “Surround yourself with positive people and positive attitudes. Don’t let anyone bring you down with negativity”, a sentiment which rings true the moment you walk-in the door.
Beyond Borders Travel & Tours is located at 149 Mitton Street N. Information regarding travel and tours can be found on their website www.beyondborderstravel.ca , their Facebook page, or by calling 519-339-1000.