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A Full Day of Business at MONTAGE

April 16, 2010

From left to right, Greg Takehara, CTP with The Berkely Group (board member), Jayne Lundberg with Western Discovery, LCC, Jay F. Smith with Sports Travel and Tours and Anne Davis, CTP with Cruises and Tours Worldwide (board member) at MONTAGE in Seville, Spain. (Mouse over photo for caption)

April 16, 2010: A full day of business, crackerbarrels and seminars connected MONTAGE attendees yesterday. In the morning, buyers and suppliers networked in an informal workshop in which they learned about each other’s companies and product. 

Newcomers to NTA, including Anne Huysman with Ontdek Kenya Ltd. based in Kenya, responded to the workshop’s warmth. "The NTA members have been absolutely welcoming," Huysman said. "I’ve met some nice people. I know if I went home today, I’m fine—but I don’t want to go." Huysman added that longtime NTA members had been helpful in guiding her approach to the meeting. "I’ve had people tell me ‘do,’ and ‘don’t‘—and that’s what I needed."

At the Buyer/Tour Operator Crackerbarrel in the afternoon, tour operators brainstormed on strategies for managing industry challenges. "It was really interesting," said Gerry Lannigan from JAC Travel Ltd., based in Edinburgh, Scotland. "You think, oh, we have all this going on, and then, when you sit amongst a lot of operators from other countries and a lot of what you hear is the same issues, It makes you feel a wee bit less that these issues are solely ours."

Attendees deepened connections at a cocktail reception and dinner at the fabulous Alfonso XIII hotel in downtown Seville. The elegant evening was sponsored by the Seville Tourism Board, the Andalusian Tourism Board, the Provincial Tourism Board of Seville and the Spanish Tourism Office of Chicago.

Today, delegates learn about travel opportunities for India, Africa and China. Seminars on social media including hands-on skill building were also a part of the day’s education. In the evening, local tourism representatives will escort attendees around Seville in small groups to enjoy traditional Spanish tapas.

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