Rick Buecking … Farewell to a Travel Industry Luminary

With the passing of Rick Buecking on Nov. 23, 2023, the travel industry has lost an icon. A remarkable figure who impacted the lives of countless people, leaving behind a legacy of kindness, generosity and commitment to excellence.

Prior to founding TLC Travel Leisure Consultants in 1982, Rick spent 12 years developing his business, sales and marketing skills with CPAir, Philippine Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines.

One of his favourite activities was organizing and leading Familiarization Trips and building a network of travel agents, hoteliers and suppliers, many of who would become lifelong friends.

During the early ’80’s Rick’s business was booming with contracts to represent tourist boards in Canada. Amongst them were the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Macao Tourism and Cook Islands who looked to Rick to promote their destinations and offerings to Canadian Travel Professionals.

So many lifelong friendships made.

As a natural addition to the representation side of TLC, Rick promoted many hotels and resorts to his ever-growing network of Canadian Travel Professionals.  There were many memorable ‘fam-trips’ to The Phoenician Scottsdale, Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia, The Crown Beach Resort and Spa in Rarotonga, The Watermark in Osoyoos and The Fairmont Orchid on The Big Island.

Rick strongly believed in educating travel professionals and partnered with the South Pacific Tourism Organization, which brought dozens of South Pacific suppliers to sold-out travel agent audiences.

TLC’s Sunsational South Pacific Roadshows provided in-depth training sessions in Toronto, Victoria and Vancouver. In Western Canada, he organized similar events for The Big Island and Tourism Fiji Road Shows.

The impact he had on educating travel professionals, promoting destinations, and creating opportunities for connections through newsletters, Talk Travel radio show, and events like The Vancouver Wedding Show and the Mexico Golf Classic is truly commendable.

Rick was an active member of the Vancouver SKAL Club, a worldwide organization of travel professionals. Serving as its President for 1999 and 2000 showcases his leadership and dedication to the industry.

With a passion for golf, Rick led many travel industry golf tours and created the very popular and successful Mexico Golf Classic.

The heartfelt words from Cesar Mendoza underline Rick’s mentorship and the lasting impact he had on those fortunate enough to know him.

“My friend, my teacher, my colleague, my Skal sponsor, my Canadian father—Ricardo, you will be dearly missed by your family, friends, and colleagues in the travel industry. I will never forget your generous assistance when I was a fresh-faced industry rookie, striving to find my way in Vancouver. Your kindness and selfless devotion have left an indelible mark on my heart. The success of the Mexico Golf Classic, still fondly remembered by both the Canadian and Mexican travel industries, can be attributed to your invaluable contribution and your unique personal touch.”

Rick was a devoted husband to Ronda, a loving father to Richelle (Spencer) and Thomas, and a cherished brother to Peter and Tom.

He leaves behind numerous nieces, nephews, and many friends who will forever hold him in their hearts.

Rick’s loyalty, compassion, generosity, and unwavering optimism touched the lives of those around him. He leaves behind a legacy of love, laughter, and unforgettable moments.

May his legacy continue to inspire and resonate with those who were touched by his presence. Rest in Peace.

A celebration of life will be held, Tuesday, January 9, 2024, 11am to 2pm, at Speeds Pub in Delta BC

The family has requested, in lieu of flowers, a donation be made to the Nanaimo Heart Function Clinic. https://nanaimohospitalfoundation.com/2023/12/04/in-loving-memory-rick-buecking/

So, take a moment today and remember Rick Buecking … from all of us here at Baxter Media are thoughts go out to his family, friends and colleagues … he was definitely an industry icon … and he will be remembered …