My name is John Dunphy and I am co-founder of Target Tours, along with my wife Lynn.
I grew up the second youngest in a family of 5 boys and one girl. My father was a general contractor/carpenter and I worked with him in the summers beginning at the young age of 8 working 3 days a week, when I wasn’t in school, and earning $1 per hour. At any point in time, there would be 3 to 4 siblings working in the business. We were taught how to work hard at an early age and to appreciate the value of a dollar.
I also developed a keen sense of humour growing up. My mother taught us not to take ourselves too seriously and to never feel superior to anyone else. Both mom and dad had a dry wit that they passed along to me. I enjoy making people laugh whether it’s telling a joke or poking fun in a good-natured way.
My 21-year career at The Travel Store taught me so much about business. Gary Rayner, the owner of The Travel Store, was a mentor to me and taught me about the travel industry and high-quality customer service. My position was Operations Manager. I worked with the managers and counselors across the Maritimes to help them in their day to day work. It was a challenging position but was also very rewarding.
As with most positions, there comes a point in time when change is needed. I was starting to feel burnt out and a little lost in my direction. In hindsight, I was outgrowing my position (but I don’t think I knew that yet). During my final few years at The Travel Store, I began developing group tours and leading some of these groups. These trips quickly became the highlight of my job. I loved working directly with the clients and getting out of the office was a welcomed change.
In 2006, while organizing a NASCAR Tour to New Hampshire, I decided to get my license to drive a motorcoach. This move proved prophetic and it was what some people call an “Aha!” moment. As I disembarked the bus after a great day of travelling, I reflected on all the smiling faces of the passengers who had just had a lifelong dream come true, or strangers who were now friends. It felt like a privilege to be part of this experience, let alone have it be my job. It didn’t take long for me to realize that group/bus travel is unlike any other type of travel and I wanted to share this passion with more and more people.
With that experience in mind, the support of my family, and a blind leap of faith, I started the company you see today, Target Tours, in 2009. Looking back on that time, the transition from an office job to starting a company was not always a smooth one. I learned a lot and sometimes the path to success felt more like a roller-coaster than a ladder but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Group travel allows like-minded people to discover a new destination, or a destination in a new way, together in the safety of a group. This enriches their lives and makes the world feel a little smaller. Most importantly, people need to laugh and have fun and group travel ensures both of those things.
To this day, the part about group tours that I love the most is learning about each and every person that joins us on a trip. Who you are, where you come from, and what your interests are. I try to make a connection and sometimes my Island way of life comes out and I try to see if we have any mutual acquaintances (“Who’s your father?”). In the process of learning about you, I hope to make you feel welcome and comfortable on our journey. This philosophy extends to our office staff and Tour Directors. We guarantee that same caring and friendly philosophy through every branch of Target Tours.
So next time you are on a Target Tours group tour please know that for the next few days, you are the most important person in our world. Together we are going to share a memorable journey you won’t soon forget.
What is a group tour?
A group tour is a trip that has been pre-planned by a Tour Operator. The Tour Operator has chosen the dates, the destinations, hotels, activities and more so that you don’t have to! When you meet the tour it will depart from a convenient location in the Maritimes. Your group, typically between 24 – 56 people, will be comprised of like-minded travellers that share your desire to have a memorable and relaxing vacation. You will also be accompanied by an experienced motorcoach driver and a professional Target Tours Tour Director. Your Tour Director will ensure that you have a fabulous time by looking after all the details and will provide entertainment and information along the way. It is truly the most hassle-free way of travelling. To top it all off, the Target Tours office staff do all the negotiating with hotels and attractions for you so you are guaranteed to pay less than if you were to plan the same trip yourself.
Once you have completed your first group tour you will find it hard to ever go back to planning your own trip!
Target Tours’ Values:
Target Tours’ Vision:
The vision of Target Tours is to deliver experiences for us to discover the world and for the world to discover us.
See our current tours by clicking HERE.
“Creating Memories, One Journey at a Time”