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NTA names top volunteer and sponsors

March 22, 2017

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 8, 2017) — The National Tour Association handed out two significant awards in St. Louis last week during Travel Exchange, the organization’s annual convention.

NTA Volunteer of the Year: Patti Culp, executive director of the Alabama Travel Council, was named 2017 Volunteer of the Year. An NTA member for more than 35 years, Culp has been actively involved in a variety of roles, including serving on the NTA Board of Directors, chairing the Government Relations Committee, and serving as a speaker, sponsor, convention volunteer and board meeting host.

NTA Shining Star Award: Two destination marketing organizations, Travel Oregon and Travel Portland, were recognized with the NTA Shining Star Award, which honors an organization that has made a significant contribution to NTA. Accepting for Travel Oregon was Lisa Itel, and representing Travel Portland was Heather Anderson. The two DMOs teamed up to host Contact (NTA’s tour operator retreat) in 2014 and have sponsored at every convention since 2008.

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

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