November 4, 2005
Better Business is in Detroit
November 4, 2005 – The 2005 National Tour Association Annual Convention kicked off today with approximately 2,500 travel and tourism professionals in attendance. The five-day event features The Tour & Travel Exchange – the industry’s premier arena for buying and selling packaged travel – as well as relationship-building events and educational seminars delivering the latest market research and trends.
The Annual Convention is expected to bring an immediate economic impact of $3.5 million to Detroit this week as members from 17 nations convene. Countries including Argentina, Italy, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Scotland and Switzerland are in attendance.
Tonight delegates will enjoy the first-ever wine and cheese reception showcasing wines from various North American member destinations.
Some key highlights for the Convention include:
A 30-minute appointment scheduling session at the beginning of each Tour & Travel Exchange day that allows attendees to schedule even more additional appointments on site for the respective day. Member feedback shows that 80 percent of NTA Convention delegates pick up additional appointments on site that supplement their pre-scheduled appointments.
NTA will incorporate the concept of speed dating in a unique tour operator partnering session in which operators will have mini, three-minute meetings with each other. During each "appointment," both operators will have approximately 90 seconds to explain what new, different or unique ideas they have for packaging their product.
The Saturday Luncheon on Nov. 5 will be dedicated in part to those members impacted by the recent hurricanes along the Gulf Coast. During the luncheon, funds will be collected and donated to Tourism Cares for Tomorrow’s Gulf Coast Restoration Fund for an NTA-specified restoration project. On Monday afternoon, a special media forum on hurricane recovery will take place. Reporters are invited to speak with members as they discuss business in their area and the latest in the recovery process.
"Tourism Cares for the Gulf Coast" wristbands can be purchased at the Tourism Cares booth. Sales up to $35,000 will be matched by both Trip Mate Insurance and Tourism Cares. Michigan Rocks for Tomorrow at the Hard Rock Café will donate all revenues to benefit Tourism Cares. This night of fun and charity features The Sun Messenger. The multi-dimensional group is the resident band of the Detroit Pistons basketball team.
An Icebreaker Saturday night at Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers, where delegates will sample cuisine from the various cultures found around the Detroit area.
Featured speaker Mitch Albom, award-winning journalist and ESPN analyst, will be signing his best-selling book, "The Five People You Meet in Heaven," after the luncheon for those who purchase it on site.
The National Tour Association has a global membership of nearly 4,000 tourism professional members involved in the growth and development of the packaged travel industry. Its membership includes tour operators – group, independent, inbound and outbound – and the destinations and suppliers that partner with them. The association is committed to providing business results and information to its members, while offering a collaborative, caring environment in which to build relationships. For more information, please visit http://www.ntaonline.com/.
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