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Special Interest Travel Increases for NTA Tour Operators

July 6, 2005

Special Interest Travel Increases for NTA Tour Operators
July 6, 2005 – According to recent research from the National Tour Association, many of its tour operator members have adapted their businesses to meet the demands of today’s travelers by focusing on special interests.


NTA tour operators are increasingly offering more special interest packages such as hard and soft adventure, gay and lesbian travel, sports tours, wine tasting, gardening and agriculture. Future seniors/seniors (60 or older) represent the largest customer base for NTA tour operators, yet NTA’s latest research also shows that its tour operators are serving more leading-edge boomers (age 51-59) and trailing-edge boomers (age 39-50).


According to the Web-based survey, the most popular travel packages among NTA tour operators are historic/heritage (74 percent), events (73 percent) and cultural (71 percent). Fall foliage tours continue to be popular with 71 percent offering packages to their customers. Wine tasting tours have increased by 23 percent since 2003. Family tours are up 31 percent from 2003 and learning tours have increased by 35 percent.


"This research indicates a common trend among today’s travelers seeking out the experiential and unique," NTA President Hank Phillips, CTP, said. "Consumers want authentic hands-on experiences and a tour that will give them a VIP experience. NTA is keeping in step with its members as they adapt their product. This diversification is an example of how we’re continuing the association’s proud heritage, while looking to have a broader representation in this dynamic marketplace."


The National Tour Association has nearly 4,000 tourism professional members from 28 countries involved in the growth and development of the packaged travel industry. Its membership includes tour operators – 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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