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Travel Exchange Adds Plenty of ‘New’ to Proven Convention

October 3, 2012

Innovative combined event in Orlando brings new buyers, new business. 

NTA’s Travel Exchange this January in Orlando, Fla., is the association’s 62nd convention, but the annual event isn’t showing its age-only its reliable record.

"We come out of every convention with wonderful successes," said Barb Bowman, division manager of the Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau. "NTA has the largest and greatest ROI of any trade show we attend every year."

In new business alone, attendees at last year’s NTA convention in Las Vegas booked more than $79 million. On average, tour operators booked more than $58,000 in new business. Tour suppliers averaged close to $45,000 in new bookings, and DMOs, like Bowman’s, averaged just under $40,000 in new bookings.

And this year, NTA will welcome some 600 new buyers to the floor, as NTA is combining forces with the United Motorcoach Association to create Travel Exchange, Jan. 20–24, at the Orange County Convention Center. More people mean more business, says Mark Tenholder, director of sales at Crowne Plaza St. Louis Downtown.

"Since joining NTA three years ago and going to conventions, we went from doing just $20,000 a year in room revenue from group tours to now, we’re up way over $300,000," he said. "And with the addition of UMA, I believe the ROI will be even greater. I am truly looking forward to making many new contacts at Travel Exchange in January."

Travel Exchange contains successful ingredients from past NTA and UMA events: a vibrant trade floor, spot-on education and memorable networking events. And the convergence of two associations produces not only a growth in sheer numbers of buyers and sellers, but a productive synergy among travel professionals.

Market diversity will be a headliner at Travel Exchange, with three forums focused on growing travel segments:

  • The Faith Leaders Forum will be a lively exchange of market-specific strategies, insights, trends and opportunities.
  • The Hispanics in Travel Caucus will explore how to serve a growing market through product development and education.
  • The Family Travel and Adventure Tourism Leaders Forum will connect innovators and colleagues in two of the industry’s top growth markets.

And the lineup of education at Travel Exchange will provide a broad range of insight from experts in areas such as marketing, communication (in-person and online) and entrepreneurship, along with product development in specialty markets—faith, family, food, adventure—even dark tourism.

For more information about Travel Exchange—including information about business appointments and "Stay & Play" options—visit NTA Online.  Dates and locations are set for the next three years of Travel Exchange:

2013-Orlando, Fla., Jan. 20–24
2014-Los Angeles, Calif., Feb. 16–20
2015-New Orleans, La., Jan. 17–21

About NTA: Founded in 1951, NTA is the leading association for professionals serving clients traveling to, from and within North America. For more information, see NTA

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