1. Level of Staff Knowledge
At Big Five, you are working with one of the most experienced groups in the travel industry. Our Destination Specialists receive 900+ hours of in-destination and in-office training annually; and have a combined average 17 years experience in travel.

2. Big Five is in the top one percent of luxury tour operators to place on Travel+Leisure’s A-List.
Big Five has three Destination Specialists on the 2012 A- List. This list validates the value of experience. This recognition is achieved by going through unbiased questioning and itinerary planning, and it is not based on voting by magazine subscribers.

WGS logo R copy3. White Glove Service® Guest Assistance
Big Five provides a personal experience that begins with a live person answering each call promptly during business hours. Our 24-hour White Glove Service® guest assistance desk is manned by a team of specialists available 365 days from anywhere in the world. WGS® is your:

  • Personal concierge service for anything from dinner reservations to hard-to-get special event tickets
  • Assistant to relay messages to family and friends, to help arrange private air charters and other details
  • Emergency specialist who is there to tackle any emergency situation from lost luggage to stolen passports to emergency medical assistance
  • Information kiosk for all the latest news, weather, airline delays; whatever information you need to make your journey run more smoothly
  • Organizer who can coordinate special events such as a birthday or anniversary dinner, flowers or gifts

4. Willingness to Customize
Our Destination Specialists combine creativity with their impressive knowledge to customize clients’ journeys to meet each guest’s interests, whether that is honeymoon couples, families or special interest groups.

5. A Sustainable Future
Big Five guests benefit from our partnerships with properties and suppliers who have strong sustainable ethics built into their operations, which assures each guest will experience the best a destination has to offer. As part of our commitment, we employ local professional guides and drivers in each destination; and we support local initiatives dedicated to cultural preservation and habitat conservation.

Toll Free USA: (800) 244 3483  |  Canada: (888) BIG FIVE (244 3483)

USA: Info@bigfive.com  |  Canada : info@bigfivetours.ca

We Don’t Tell Stories Better, We Tell Better Stories®


Meet some of your Destination Specialists at Big Five.


Colin in Indonesia  webColin Rose – Asia, the Orient, Africa, South Pacific
Colin has been in the tourism industry for 29 years, beginning in 1983 in Mumbai, India. He has a depth of knowledge that is hard to match. Colin served in a variety of capacities, from handling inbound tours from Europe and North America, to serving as an escort/guide, to sales and management. He joined Big Five in 1999.

Dashiell in Peru webDashiell Vázquez Vina – Latin America
A native of Cuba, Dashiell has more than 13 years of in the travel industry.  He studied marketing, tourism and English at the University of Havana. Dashiell worked in a variety of capacities, which included positions such as sales executive, program coordinator, and marketing director for several firms. Joining Big Five in 2008, Dashiell helped launch the Toronto office.

Gisela Polo – Latin America, Africa
Gisela in South Africa webGisela has worked in the travel hospitality industry for some 24 years, the first 12 in her native Peru.  She has a Bachelor’s degree in hospitality and management, and a Masters degree in tourism marketing in Peru. Gisela relocated to Miami with her husband and son about a dozen years ago and continued working in the industry.  She has been a member of the team since 2006.

Susie Gavlik – Latin America
Susie and family at Machu Picchu webSusie is from Pittsburgh, PA, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in East Asian studies. But it was South America that really captured her heart after her first trip to the Galapagos Islands in 2000. That trip changed her perspective on travel. It was different from anything that she had experienced before. With 14 years in travel industry, she has explored most corners of the continent, often with her son in tow. Susie’s sense of adventure and passion for travel led her to Big Five.

Tatiana in Indonesia webTatiana Johnston – Latin America, Africa, Orient
Tatiana was born and raised in Ecuador, and worked as a tour guide there for ten years. She earned an MBA and speaks four languages, both of which have helped her succeed in the travel business for more than 27 years.  In her travels, she has also grown to love Africa, and has a passion for the Orient, especially Japan. Gisela has been on Travel+Leisure magazine’s A-List of Agents in 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012. Tatiana joined us in 2008.

Volker  webVolker Altvater – Africa
Originally from Germany, Volker is another member of our gang who has an incredible depth of knowledge and experience with more than 26 years in the field of travel. He has long been drawn to Africa for the spectacular wildlife experience that cannot be duplicated anywhere else on the planet, and regularly returns to Africa to explore different areas.  Volker was ranked among Travel+Leisure magazine’s A-List of Agents in 2012 2013. He joined the Big Five team in 1999.