Create or retrieve your password by clicking here

NTA names its top young professionals and Distinguished Dozen

March 22, 2017

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 9, 2017) — The National Tour Association recognized two groups of outstanding members in St. Louis last week during Travel Exchange, the organization’s annual convention. Honored at a luncheon on March 2 was the inaugural class of NTA’s Top 5 Young Professionals. And at a luncheon earlier in the week, NTA President Pam Inman introduced the gold winners of Courier’s Distinguished Dozen.

“These members hold different roles in a variety of regions, but they all represent the best of NTA,” Inman said. “I’m pleased we can honor them. Each member has unique talents and contributions, and we are so fortunate to have these industry leaders involved in NTA.”

Top 5 Young Professionals

The association honored its first group of top young professionals: NTA members, 40 or under, who have shown extraordinary leadership and performance and have participated in NTA events. They are:

  • LouAnna Henton, tourism sales manager for the Nashville CVB
  • Lisa Itel, global sales manager for Travel Oregon
  • Fraser Neave, director of product development for Wells Gray Tours
  • Dave Nitkiewicz, specialty market sales manager for Experience Grand Rapids
  • Michelle Tupman, vice president of Great Canadian Holiday

Courier’s Distinguished Dozen

In the sixth year of the magazine’s award program, NTA tour operators voted on destinations and tour suppliers in 12 categories. Criteria include quality of tour product, level of customer service and dedication to relationship-building. The gold, silver and bronze winners in each category are as follows:

North American DMO Partner (City/Region)
: Travel Portland
Silver: NYC & Company
Bronze: Visit Savannah

North American DMO Partner (State/Province)
: Travel Oregon
Silver: New York State Division of Tourism
Bronze: Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

Overseas DMO Partner
: Jordan Tourism Board
Silver: China National Tourist Office
Bronze: VisitScotland

Group-friendly Restaurant
: Hard Rock International
Silver: Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
Bronze: Golden Corral

Casino/Gaming Property
: Mohegan Sun (Uncasville, Connecticut)
Silver: Beau Rivage by MGM Resorts (Biloxi, Mississippi)
Bronze: Tulalip Resort Casino (Tulalip, Washington)

Corporate Hotel Chain
: Hilton Worldwide
Silver: Drury Hotels
Bronze: Best Western Hotels & Resorts

Independent/Boutique Hotel Property
: Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Resort (Nashville, Tennessee)
Silver: The Biltmore Company (Asheville, North Carolina)
Bronze: Hilton Québec (Québec City)

Shopping Attraction
: Macy’s
Silver: Tanger Properties
Bronze: Tommy Hilfiger

Theater/Show Venue
: Broadway Inbound/The Shubert Organization
Silver: Blue Man Group
Bronze: Grand Ole Opry Entertainment Group

Museum for Groups
: Newseum (Washington, D.C.)
Silver: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City)
Bronze: Graceland (Memphis, Tennessee)

Big-ship or River Cruising Company
: Norwegian Cruise Line
Silver: American Queen Steamboat Company
Bronze: Holland America Line

Sightseeing Tours
: Entertainment Cruises
Silver: Boston Duck Tours
Bronze: Old Savannah Tours

At Travel Exchange, 1,000 travel and tourism professionals—tour operators and representatives of destinations and tour suppliers—gathered to conduct business appointments and partner on packaged tour itineraries.

About the National Tour Association: Founded in 1951, NTA is a global association of packaged-travel professionals who serve customers traveling to, from and within North America. For more information, visit

« »