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NTA Introduces Two New Concepts to its Signature Tour & Travel Exchange®

October 23, 2006

NTA Introduces Two New Concepts to its Signature Tour & Travel Exchange®
Oct. 23, 2006 –The National Tour Association introduced two innovative enhancements to its signature Tour & Travel Exchange® at the 2006 NTA Annual Convention in Salt Lake City. Based on member feedback and NTA’s ongoing efforts to bring better business to its members, NTA incorporated Consecutive Appointments and Direct Request options to the appointment scheduling system this year. According to delegates’ prescheduled appointments, the average number of appointments has increased by 11 percent over last year.


"At the 2006 NTA Convention, 63 percent of tour suppliers and 92 percent of DMOs will have more appointments this year than they did last year," said NTA Chairman and CEO Judith Thomas, CTP. "And these are just prescheduled appointments. Because NTA gives all members complete access to the business floor at all times, there is a great deal of opportunity to increase their total number of appointments even more."


NTA first introduced its pioneering open business floor at the 2003 Annual Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. Since that time, NTA has continued to listen to member feedback and monitor how they do business to ensure that the Exchange remains the industry’s premier arena for buying and selling packaged travel.


The Direct Request scheduling feature will help delegates secure more appointments before arriving in Salt Lake. Delegates can see which other attendees have openings in their schedules at specific times in order to a request an appointment.


"Not only were prescheduled appointments great, this innovative feature allows delegates to schedule even more appointments," said Thomas.


NTA’s new Consecutive Appointments option will provide tour operators more opportunity for product development. During the appointment scheduling process, tour operators were able to book consecutive appointments with DMOs; in essence, allowing more time for product development. Tour operators requested more than 1,000 consecutive appointments.


"I love the new appointment enhancements – it’s all about choice and communication," said Katherine Setness, president of Setness Tours in Stockton, California, in an e-mail to NTA Headquarters. "By allowing more contact in advance I will definitely have better appointments. All this was a lot of work, but well worth it in increasing the value of the Convention."


Related to the industry wide increase in operator-to-operator business, NTA pioneered the "speed dating" concept with the partnering session at its 2005 Tour Operator Spring Meet. Speed dating also was incorporated into the Annual Convention in 2005, giving tour operators a series of mini-appointments with each other. The operator-to-operator sessions help these companies do business more efficiently, in turn benefiting NTA’s tour supplier and destination members.


The National Tour Association has a global membership of tourism professionals involved in the growth and development of the packaged travel industry. Its membership includes more than 600 tour operator companies – 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


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