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Traveling on Holy Ground

As president of Pilgrim Tours, David Nyce spends his time making sure travelers to Israel and other Holy Land destinations have enriching spiritual experiences. And it makes sense because he started his career in travel with a spiritual experience of his own.

“I was a buyer for a chain of women’s stores, but I didn’t appreciate the lifestyle that I was living,” he said. “My brother was a man of faith, and I wanted to emulate his character qualities, so I went to work for him. He had recently purchased a bus company, and I thought it would be best for my own character to be in better surroundings.”

That was 1975. For the next 12 years, the Nyce brothers grew the bus company into a multifaceted travel business, expanding to become a tour operator and a travel agency. The company developed a specialty in long tours, running itineraries in Alaska and the western United States that lasted 30 to 45 days.

Then, in 1987, Nyce went on to found Pilgrim Tours, a company that specializes in taking Protestant Christians to the Holy Land and beyond. Half of the company’s business comes from preformed groups; the rest is retail tours marketed as a “Christian Bible Land” program that highlights Israel and the Middle East. Other popular destinations are Greece, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt and Europe.

“To go on an Israel tour is kind of the fire hose approach to learning,” Nyce said. “You have centuries of things being thrown at you while you’re there. Travel in general is an enriching experience, but a Bible Land program adds to the spirit and the character, and is a life-changing experience. You make heartfelt decisions that last a lifetime, and the learning is a big benefit to your spiritual life in the future.”