Dolphin Vacations

    Business Stats

  • Founded in 1995 in Grand Rapids when owner Marva Donovan purchased an existing business.
  • Grown from an agency of three to one of the largest in West Michigan.
  • Two brick-and-mortar agencies in Grand Rapids and Zeeland provide personalized service for corporate and personal travel by 16 experienced agents.
  • 32 home-based agents throughout Michigan, with half being former agency owners, operate under Dolphin Vacations or their own agency identity.
  • State-of-the-art technology combined with agent expertise provides the ultimate in corporate travel, meeting planning, and vacation arrangements.
  • One of the top suppliers of Apple Vacations, Delta Vacations, and other similar travel programs.
  • Marva, known as a risk-taker, is admired for going where others fear to “travel” in the industry.

Dolphin Vacations

When Marva Donovan purchased Dolphin Vacations 18 years ago, she had every intention of changing the name, until the owner explained dolphins are the protector of travel in Greek mythology. In honor of the family who previously owned it, Marva kept the name. Laughing, she says, “We sometimes have to explain this to clients who wonder where the water and dolphins are when they stop in!”

To expand their services, Dolphin Vacations teamed up with Professional Travel, Inc., one of the largest privately owned travel management companies in the nation. Their strong affiliation with Professional Travel lends them the ability to offer a variety of enhanced services to business travelers and corporate clients, while maintaining the local, personalized service their clients value so highly. Marva says, “60% of our business encompasses corporate and group travel and meeting planning while 40% of it is dedicated to leisure programs.”

According to Marva, “70% of my staff has worked with me in some capacity over the last 20 years. That’s quite a compliment! I am only as good as my staff and they really shine at what they do. We’re growing and we’re here to stay!”

In addition to leading the agency, Marva serves on the Board of Directors of Healing the Children – Michigan and Ohio Chapters, a national nonprofit organization that provides critical medical care to children. Dolphin Vacations helps arrange the travel for kids who come from around the world for surgery at leading medical facilities in Michigan and Ohio. They also make arrangements for surgery teams who travel the world to aid children in need. Dolphin Vacations also contributes to programs supporting several West Michigan nonprofits.

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