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Debbie Lloyd

Debbie

Owner and Founder - The Travel Broker Group Inc, Today's Woman Traveller

My passion for travel began over 38 years ago apprenticing in a travel agency. While organizing custom travel arrangements for missionaries all over the world, I gained valuable international knowledge, experience and expertise that would later allow me to run my own travel agency and build my own custom tours and individual travel programs.

In 1977, along with my husband Tony Rix, I opened The Travel Broker as a full service travel agency. By the early 1980's I began organizing small group custom tours for clients who were looking for a more in-depth travel experience. Those travel programs included many genres such as Food & Wine, River Boat & Barge Cruising, History & Art Appreciation and Literary & Garden Tours under the tour brand of Rhapsodie Tours, which was eventually re-branded to Travel Broker Tours in December 2008.

Always looking to stay ahead of the curve, I started offering escorted 'No-Fly' senior coach and cruise tours in 1995. From the beginning, seniors were offered a unique and exciting 'No Fly' cruise concept that included 'Home Pickup' and 'No Luggage Handling'. Clients would arrive a few days ahead of a scheduled sailing, giving them the opportunity to explore and discover the vibrant and always exciting port cities of New York City, Washington, New Orleans and Boston. Over the years clients have enjoyed hit broadway shows, unrivaled shopping and sightseeing before cruising to destinations such as the Caribbean, Bermuda, New England, Canada and the Panama Canal. 

Excited by new tour concepts, I was introduced to a retired Fine Arts professor by the name of Henry Vyfvinkel. In 1999, under the new tour brand of Paintbrush Holidays, I began designing small group custom painting tours for Henry to Italy, France and Spain. My clients loved learning, painting and travelling with an artist/instructor. In 2009, I expanded the painting concept to include other forms of creative arts and thereby Creative Arts Holidays (formally Paintbrush Holidays) was born.

While on tour in 1999, a passenger suggested that we create a tour brand that would specifically appeal to Canadian women. The concept was to allow women, whether single, married, widowed or divorced the camaraderie and security to travel and explore the world together. Canadian Woman Traveller was launched in 2002. In 2015, Canadian Woman Traveller was re-branded to Today's Woman Traveller and continues to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for women to share their experiences and adventures.

In 2010, after the death of my husband and business partner, I concentrated on the administration and management side of business. Now I've become comfortable in the lead role of The Travel Broker.

Things are humming along nicely and I'm returning to designing and running tours to great destinations all over the world.

"Debbie, I can't thank you enough for our amazing adventure. It was something that was so out of my comfort zone, but what an amazing experience. I so enjoyed meeting all of the women on the trip and every single one of them were amazing. I feel so fortunate to have travelled with all of you. Best trip ever!"  J.R., Kingston