At the inception of this company, “Toto” referred to the small dog in the movie The Wizard of Oz, and our logo even included paw prints. The evolution of the gay community into a force that is now more visibly interwoven throughout society required a re-visioning of how best to graphically portray this new reality and our expanded mission. Our new logo, unveiled in early 2011, portrays a shift to the Latin definition of the word “Toto” – meaning “all-inclusive.” The rainbow colors of the gay flag weave through the word TOTO to symbolize our connections to each other, our communities, and the world. Welcome to the new Toto Tours, where gay men, lesbians, their close friends and adult family members are invited to travel together to discover all the delights this world has to offer – “in Toto.”
The world was a different place for gay men in 1990. Social pressures and restrictions gave rise to feelings that in order to “be ourselves” we needed to be “by ourselves.” Dan Ware founded, and has continually operated, Toto Tours to give gay men the opportunity to travel the world in protected, gay-exclusive groups. Toto Tours has been a member of IGLTA since 1991. Dan’s husband, Jonathan Lewis, has managed the company since 1995.
Two decades later, the gay community has made tremendous strides in social recognition and acceptance. We are less isolated and more personally connected to our communities. Our definition of “family” – those people with whom we can truly be ourselves – has expanded to include close friends and associates of both sexes, whether gay or straight. Our services expanded in 2010 to serve gay men, lesbians, their close friends and adult family members.
Toto Tours has the highest percentage of repeat travelers. Most often, roughly fifty percent of each tour group is made up of repeat travelers. They tell us they come back so they can travel with friends they met on previous trips, meet new people, and explore a different part of the world. We are constantly designing new adventures for sophisticated and experienced world travelers.