Meet Our President
The Go Next Story
Starting with a foundation of “Guest First.”
The formula for long-running success, it turns out, is one part putting people first and one part ingenuity.
When our founder Ron Weeks saw an opportunity to use his airline industry know-how to strike out on his own back in 1972, he never would have guessed the changes the industry would undergo. His start-up company offered chartered flights to groups, including corporate travel clubs. But early on, he recognized that people wanted, as he put it, “more than just an airplane ride.” He listened to what travelers wanted and did the legwork to make new travel experiences happen. The company’s subsequent expansion into land tours and cruises was just the beginning of a tradition of trusted relationships and travel product ingenuity that would become Go Next’s cornerstone.
Building trusted relationships.
Over the next 30 years, Ron and his team made it a point to build a reputation for trustworthiness. Back then, as now, our company’s success hinged on a simple but effective proposition: seek out the best suppliers, keep our promises to them, and in so doing, create the ability to offer reliable travel to guests at good value. We distinguished ourselves with reliability. But we broke out from the pack with our continued responsiveness—putting our guests first. By the time Ron’s son John joined the company in 2001, we had a strong foundation of bringing knowledge of our guests’ every need to our suppliers to build unforgettable travel programs. A good reputation is good business, Ron recalls. “You do well by people, and they come back.”
Growing with innovation and agility.
Here at Go Next we’ve seen a whirlwind of innovation and change since those early days. The Go Next team found success in catering to new travel niches, including college and university alumni travel. Land tours gave way to the popularity of cruises. And we officially adopted the name “Go Next.”
Our growing company leveraged our reputation, signing exclusive agreements with prestigious partners. Choice offerings from Oceania Cruises, Scenic Cruise Lines, and American Queen Steamboat Company proved to be popular with our guests. In addition to these new developments, we were proud to be among the first tour operators in the U.S. to offer people-to-people land tours in Cuba. There, our hard-working experts not only went the extra mile to handle complicated government paperwork and compliance, but they also blazed the trail to find and contract the best hotels and tour guides in Cuba well ahead of others in the business.
This determination and agility have helped us to give our guests an ever-changing variety of experiences—and this year, we launched some exciting new adventures to Antarctica and Egypt. What a ride it’s been!
Cultivating travel expertise.
And of course, none of it would have been possible without years spent building an expert and dedicated “Dream Team” of Go Next employees and on-location Program Managers who keep each trip running smoothly for our guests. It’s a solid crew. Our Program Managers hail from all corners of the globe—England, Ireland, Austria, Italy, Croatia, Brazil, and Serbia, to name a few—and they speak many languages. They have degrees in tourist business management, geography, international studies, sociology, and even advanced degrees in international tourism. They have important insights from their work experience in hotel management, cruise line hospitality, and tour operations. They have cultivated a caring and responsive approach to each guest’s needs—and we are fortunate that they choose to make our guests’ happiness their life’s work.
For nearly 50 years, building trusted relationships, responding to guest needs with new travel experiences, and cultivating a dedicated expert staff have helped us help you see the world. It’s a joy to do what we do, and we can’t wait to bring you new adventures. Where will you Go Next?