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NTA Announces New Customized Convention Format to Help Members Work Smarter

April 21, 2009


Sara Spencer


April 21, 2009

NTA Announces New Customized Convention Format to Help Members Work Smarter


LEXINGTON, Ky. This November, NTA will introduce a new Convention format that will allow delegates to customize their Convention experience to best meet their business needs in a highly affordable way. Adapting the signature Tour & Travel Exchange model, the new format is streamlined to address members’ product development needs, enabling them to work smarter. The new format will be introduced at the 2009 NTA Annual Convention in Reno, Nevada, Nov. 14-18.

"The Tour and & Travel Exchange, once called the Wall Street of the travel industry, has served NTA members well for many years," said NTA Chairman and CEO Michele Michalewicz, CTP. "In order to keep pace with the changing needs of our members, with the help of member input and various Committee work, the new NTA Convention offers the best of both worlds-enhancements to improve product development with the familiarity of the Tour & Travel Exchange."

Tour operators have requested more flexibility in their Convention schedules. The new format will enable them to meet with their NTA partners that align best with their product development needs, while still having time to attend seminars and sightseeing tours.

The Convention schedule will include the following:

  • Saturday, the first day of the Convention, will be a Tour Operator Day and filled with operator specific education, the Buyer-to-Buyer session where operators can partner with each other and a full schedule of sightseeing tours.
  • On Sunday, the Convention floor will have a newly enhanced Destination Pavilion where the operators will have 10-minute prescheduled appointments with DMOs in individual stations arranged by region.
  • On Monday, operators will have time to shop the destination area with DMOs and their supplier partners. Operators can shop the floor, with no prescheduled appointments, to find new product ideas and meet with more potential partners. Also, on Monday there will be a new Fast Pitch session, which consists of five-minute prescheduled appointments with operator and supplier partners.
  • Tuesday and Wednesday, the format will be the traditional Tour & Travel Exchange with tour operators having 10-minute prescheduled appointments with tour suppliers.
  • NTA will continue to offer its signature open business floor throughout the Convention so sellers can pick up additional appointments at any time.

In addition to giving members the option to attend for fewer days, NTA has taken additional steps to make the Convention more affordable. NTA and its Reno hotel partners are offering hotel rates as low as $54 per night for tour operators and $58 for tour suppliers and DMOs. For the first time, NTA also will be offering an Early Bird rate to tour suppliers and DMOs in addition to tour operators.

"This Convention format is streamlined, affordable and effective," said Michalewicz. "Members can get business done in fewer days out of the office if they choose, while making a sound investment in their business development needs. That’s what I call working smarter. In addition, tour operators will appreciate the ability to shop destinations by region, resulting in more business for all sellers at the Convention."

Also new this year, the 2009 NTA Convention will be held in conjunction with the World Religious Travel Association’s World Religious Travel Expo, giving NTA members access to hundreds of buyers and sellers of faith-based product from around the world.

The National Tour Association is the preferred association in the tourism industry for packaged travel professionals. NTA strives to provide value for its members by advancing the packaged travel industry through its advocacy efforts and progressive leadership. Connecting its members through business development, government relations, professional development and research, NTA has remained committed to serving its members with integrity and quality service since its founding in 1951. Today, the NTA membership represents 40 countries, and includes tour and travel packagers of all types. To learn more about the most important destination for packaged travel professionals, please visit


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