Camille Coleman, a retired French and African American history teacher, loves to travel. So much so, that she’s converted her personal passion into a full-time business operation, DeTours, Inc.
She’s diversified her business over time to include a wide variety of travel options from motor coach, sporting event and educational tours to casino and shopping junkets – – and everthing in between to schools, churches, senior and youth organizations, and individuals.
“I love showing the world to young people as well as adults, because travel offers a chance to be a lifelong learner. Group travel is becoming more popular because you’ve got experts in different places to maximize your time, so you can see the most important things and not miss them,” she says. “Group traveling has changed because it’s offering people time to do things on their own, as well. If you’re a single female you also have the security of knowing someone knows you’re there.”
Individuals interested in motor coach tours can form their own groups or join existing ones so they don’t have to travel alone. Groups choose to go to New York, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Disney World, Toronto, Hong Kong, Cancun or Coleman’s favorite city, Paris, where she has visited 28 times.
Cruises sail to Alaska, the Bahamas, Bermuda, the Eastern Caribbean, the south Caribbean, the western Caribbean, Europe, the Mexican Riviera or the North Atlantic.
When determining the best group travel trip for oneself, individual interests should be considered, Coleman says. Some may want to learn about the history of a destination, others might just want to shop or be adventurous and voyage through the rain forests of Costa Rica.
A bus will travel to Washington, D.C. at the end of July. Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church is going to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Museum of the Bible, the Martin Luther King Memorial and the National Harbor. Because it is so high-tech, young people are interested in the National Museum of the Bible more than they would have been if it were a regular museum, Coleman says. She says National Harbor is almost like a small city with hotels, an MGM Casino, rides, an outlet mall, boutiques and restaurants. The group will take a boat ride there at the close of the trip.
“As a black person it gives me pride to see how much we’ve accomplished when I go on these trips. We’ve come a long way because I’m from the age when we, as black people, could not go everywhere,” Coleman adds.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is a popular place for black churches to visit. Coleman has also scheduled tours for Metropolitan Baptist Church and Grace Emmanuel Baptist Church to go there. Coleman took her first group there three days after it opened.
Most of the people who travel to New York with DeTours want to shop and see a performance. So, a musical is typically included in a New York tour with the company.
“One of my favorite musicals is ‘Amazing Grace.’ Most people are familiar with the song ‘Amazing Grace,’ but the show shows the history of it,” she says. “I was really interested to learn about how that song came to be. We always have a city tour. We always go to Harlem,”
Coleman has planned tours for sixth-graders going on their annual class trips at the end of the year. Her most requested destinations for schools have been Toronto, New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
She took a group to each of President Barack Obama’s inaugurations, and a separate group to the opening of the Martin Luther King Memorial.
“I was the first to offer African American heritage tours in the state of Michigan in 1993,” she says.
Some of the more unusual group trips that have been offered by DeTours, Inc. included seeing the home of Mary, the mother of Jesus, in Turkey, walking on the glacier, whale-watching in Alaska and going all the way through the Panama Canal.
Coleman tries to make her group trips affordable and says her agency is available 24 hours a day. She offers incentives for larger groups.
DeTours, Inc. takes care of planning for transportation, accommodations, food and meals.
For more information call (810) 238-3200.