About Tom

Tom leads from the front...

Tom Rockne leads the team...and adds any components needed to address your issue from his contacts across the industry.

Tom's background

 I began in the travel industry in 1977 as a frontline agent with Dayton's Travel in Roseville, MN.  Then in 1978 on to Sales Manager at First International Travel in my hometown of Fargo, ND.  In 1982 to Northwest Airlines Sales in Chicago and subsequently to Los Angeles in 1987 culminating in a position as Regional Vice President Sales.  I moved on to Vice President Sales Planning at MLT Inc., an NWA Company, in Minnetonka, MN in 1993.  In 2000, I accepted a position as President of Passageways Travel, a multi-branch Michigan retailer and served there through August of 2009.  

I founded Tom Rockne Travel Resources in late 2009.  My varied experiences and the ever-changing environment is a good fit.  This is a great time for you to be thinking about continuing to "weather the storm" of continued challenges in 2019, and beyond.  I'd love to help!

My industry experience noted above has delivered every challenge...and the combination of successes- and failures- have allowed me to build and arsenal of strategies and tactics to address the ever-changing roadblocks that you are facing alone today. 

I've also traveled to all 50 states, all seven continents- from a Chilean Antarctic base to Timbuktu to Dubai and across China.  I've worked for the United States Senate Sergeant-At-Arms Office, run as a presidential elector, and still occasionally substitute teach in history, geography and government.

My time is quite occupied at this point, but I have room to assist you.  So if you think you may need my help, now is the time to give me a call as I put together my continuing schedule.  I'd love to hear your challenge.   

The mission

Identify the issues inhibiting your success or growth...and work with you to overcome them.

I've helped tour companies with web content, sales organization, and sales handling.

I've worked with airports to address schedule challenges, operational performance, and pricing inequities.

Specific marketing campaigns for resorts, hotels, and CVBs as well.

And I've worked with retailers to improve staff knowledge and performance.

Pleased to talk with you about your specific challenge...  If I can help, we can get started today.

Happening now

Yes, stirring many pots...

I'm working on many fronts...not all listed here...to expand a number of businesses' reach.


2018...has proven to be a great year of challenge and change.  Whether it's stricter entry requirements to the US or alerts and warnings to US citizens traveling abroad, there were challenges.  And incidents aboard our major carriers- well documented and shared at this point- are generating strong response.  And there's more on tap...  How will the Trump administration impact travel further? The tightening of restrictions on travel to Cuba seems to impact harshly those entreprenuers that the administration wants to help- but you can still go...and I can help.  Bills are slowly, slowly moving through Congressional committees regarding the national ATC system and ongoing FAA funding.  And, of course, how about impact on your business?  It's time to put your plans into action, or if you are not yet set with your plan, to act quickly.  Time to get moving...  Oil prices still down.  Record airline profits...built on that and ever-increasing auxilary fees.  Ugly, random terror; a still growing market of baby-boomers, millenials, and more yearning to travel...and young tech-savvy travelers discovering that sometimes talking face-to-face with a professional who has already assisted thousands is wise.  It's a great time for you in your corner of the industry to think, plan, and implement.  Time to take stock...and act now.  2019 is only a couple months away...     

I remain busy with airports in the midst of working with carriers on tweaking schedules, competitive pricing, and performance issues... And working on putting travelers and operators together in support of travel to Cuba, Kenya and more of Africa, and some special high-end and unique destinations.  But I'll make time for you.

So, how about you?  If your travel industry related business is in for a challenging year...or a year of opportunity...and you need to solidify your plan, give me a call.  Whether a travel management company, mid-sized airport, tour operator, or resort...I can assist you. Maybe the plan still needs a little work or verification.  Together, it's time to talk about it..  What  you want to accomplish.  Let's formulate a plan to attain those goals, and start working to reach them.  Again, whether you're an Airport Director with the need to reach out to carriers, a resort owner looking to expand to new markets and enhance customer spend, a tour operator looking to penetrate new markets, or leading another area of the wide travel industry to gains in the marketplace...I have been there and can assist.  Yes, I've worked with CVBs and Chambers, airlines, and more. 

The market keeps moving up...and the recovering economy is now moving as well...let's assure your company is moving to take full advantage.  Let's look at that together.  It will be another year of change, of course.  Are you ready?  Are you set to approach new markets?  Are you ready to respond to unanticipated obstacles and opportunities?  I'm happy to be working with a number of clients who are focused on real growth.  I have room to work with only one or two more clients.
The sooner we talk, the sooner we can start the planning and implementing for success.
Contact me today.

A simple SWOT analysis is the place to start...  We can work on that together and them formulate a plan to help you navigate to renewed or greater success.  Again, now is the time.  My previous work in frontline sales and retail travel management, airline sales, management, and tour operator sales management, and now over five years of consulting with various travel entities has delivered a vast array of experience and insight that we can tap together.  I'll be upfront...  Some things I've learned through success...and some via failure.  And in this ever-changing environment, some challenges are entirely new.  That's what keeps me interested!
What can we do to navigate to profitability in spite of these convulsions in the marketplace?  I work on a retainer or project basis...and always with a simple letter of understanding and a 30 day out clause.  It's a small investment that can deliver substantial rewards.

I continue to do some sales outreach bringing the Acacia Holidays sales message to the agency community in Ohio and Michigan. The new brochure and enhanced website are here.  I was back in Uganda and Kenya last May and was able to experience firsthand the services of Acacia owner and Managing Director Joshua Nyiera, visit some wonderful lodge and camp facilities, and, of course, reacquaint with the unique cultures, dramatic vistas and diverse wildlife that only East Africa can deliver.  I never tire of being on safari...the anticipated...and the unexpected.  If you need help in planning a safari for clients, I'm ready to help plan it, market it, and sell it!  Visit www.AcaciaHolidays.com and contact me anytime to talk about  individual travels and taking a group to Africa.  It's among the very best travel experiences.  Acacia offers weekly departures and is expert at customization.  Recently I have set up departures for a multi-generational Kenya-Tanzania safari, another Kenya-Tanzania custom graduation adventure, and am working on a South Africa trip for a family from Cape Town to Durban, Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Nelspruit with side trips to Lesotho, Mozambique, and Zambia! 

Also continuing to boost the work of my friends at WANT (Wildlife And Nature Travel) Expeditions.  They have some of the most unique small group adventures available worldwide.  And they are committed to personal service and caring for the environment.  Please check it out at www.WANTExpeditions.com.  Socotra island off the coast of Yemen...  The depths of India...  The Mongolian steppe...  These are real close to nature adventures!

And also very much enjoying my sales work with Other Cuban Journeys .  Licensed by the U.S. Treasury and OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) , these People-to-People itineraries to Cuba are virtually all-inclusive from Miami.  OCJ is based in Flint, MI and Atlanta, GA.  I'm always very happy to share the latest on Cuba travel.  If you or a group you are affiliated with are thinking about a visit to Cuba, I'd be pleased to answer any questions and to help you connect with my friends at OCJ.  From my experience I can share some insights...and they can offer many more.   I can work with them to craft just the right itinerary.  Remember, in the wake of President Trump's recent changes, this is strictly a People-to-People opportunity and must be focused on cultural exchange and interaction with the Cuban people.  Marla and Miriam have vast experience and superb connections in Cuba!  Visit Other Cuban Journeys at www.othercubanjourneys.com. Cuba is opening, but it will be slower than everyone thinks,  The Cuban infrastructure is not ready for a flood of Americans. Demand remains constant...and it's time for you to go.  My heartfelt advice- go now. Book with someone who has been on the ground in Cuba for some time.  Both individual properties and the Cuban goverment-owned operators are overbooking...and that's going to deliver challenges that only those with contacts will overcome.

I was in Cuba again this spring...and updated myself on changes on the island. Today is the very best time to plan your visit....  From my perspective, there is no threat to American's visiting Cuba...from anyone.

Look forward to speaking with you soon!

The Latest Success

Have completed the initial assistance to a client to acquire a northwestern Michigan air provider.  2019 will see an increase in charter activity, hopefully, culminating in a scheduled charter service to expand business opportunities. 

What I can do for you


Actually, it's what I can do WITH you...

-Airline negotiations (service procurement or retention, fare competitiveness, on-time performance issues, etc.)
-Employment interviews
-Golf events and trips
-Newsletter articles and inquiry responses
-Product recommendations
-Promotional campaigns
-Representation of your product
-RFP responses
-Speaking engagements
-Staff incentive development
-Staff training- destination, geography, sales
-Travel Agency Review- Basically, what you can do at little or no cost to enhance your presentation...
-Vendor negotiations and issue resolution
-Writing...articles, BLOGS, speeches...

If you have a question, whether an agency, wholesaler, or other provider, I may have guidance to offer.  
I've worked with virtually every facet of the travel industry...and companies outside of the travel industry on some marketing ideas.  
Now is a good time to think about refocusing and reinvigorating!