Ethical Practices or Just Profit?

Posted by Jon Locke on Nov 5, 2018 10:34:30 AM

IMG_5848When Director’s Choice was founded in 1996, I was still an active music educator in the classroom at a high school in West Texas. My focus was on helping my students individually, as ensembles, and making the overall program better from one day to the next. I believed numerous performance opportunities and traveling as a group was vital to the overall advancement of the entire program. With our world getting increasingly smaller with technology and a voracious appetite for experiences out of their communities, students and families today demand to travel, learn, and perform abroad.

Director’s Choice was founded by and for music educators who recognize the need for expertise in the travel and performance portions of their job. A successful instructional strategy is certainly based on an effective combination of clinicians, relevant composition selections, well-planned rehearsals, score study, fundraising, fixed asset management, leadership training and so much more.

The selection of a tour and performance partner who is aligned ethically with the group leader is crucial to maintaining the integrity of the overall instructional strategy.

All companies are not equal. In the past 20+ years, I have observed many tour operators who have placed groups they serve in jeopardy both financially and regarding safety. Regrettably, the group leader, not the tour operator, faces the consequences of unethical travel practices. Therefore, I believe it is the responsibility of the group leader to select an ethical travel and performance partner who will support best practices and always operate ethically. Director’s Choice has a large and competent staff to incessantly provide extensive support to our clients by focusing on financial and student safety.


Director’s Choice has been an accredited member of the Student Youth Travel Association (SYTA) for many years. I am currently serving on the SYTA Board of Directors along with representatives of many industry-leading tour operators and suppliers. SYTA engages with international and domestic organizations to develop, promote and advocate for safe, professional, group student travel. At Director’s Choice, we strive to adhere and exceed SYTA’s Code of Ethics with our marketing, account management, selection of suppliers, and follow-up when a trip or performance has been completed.Screen Shot 2018-10-31 at 5.09.16 PM

0058Director’s Choice is committed to serving the students, parents, and educators as they experience the social and educational value of travel. We plan for every detail and will be there when the unexpected happens.

Whether you travel with us or not, we hope you will partner with an ethical and financially solvent company to protect your students, yourself and your district.




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Topics: Trip Safety, Safe Itinerary, ethics, Travel Finances, Overnight Travel, Student Travel