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Delegates See NTA Convention ’09 as Good Investment for New Buying & Selling Opportunities

September 30, 2009

Delegates See NTA Convention ’09 as Good Investment for New Buying & Selling Opportunities

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Thanks to a new convention format created in response to member feedback, this year’s attendees are "excited" about NTA’s Convention ’09 in Reno, Nevada, Nov. 14-18 and see it as a good investment.

NTA developed its new Convention format to better suit how members do business and to give more value with a streamlined schedule.

A great deal of feedback was provided by NTA members and that information was used to revamp the format and allow all NTA members to get the most business out of Convention. By adapting the signature Tour & Travel Exchange model to the Destination Pavilion, tour operators are able to buy the way they package — by destination.

The result, which will debut in Reno, offers a new Destination Pavilion where destinations are arranged geographically, so tour operators can easily develop product. The prescheduled business appointments between the operators and DMOs will be conducted in this regional format. There also is open shopping time in the Destination Pavilion where the suppliers are encouraged to work with their destinations so operators can leave with complete itineraries. For the prescheduled business appointments between operators and suppliers, delegates will have the familiarity of NTA’s traditional Tour & Travel Exchange where the suppliers visit the tour operators in their booths for the appointments.

"I’m excited about attending NTA Convention ‘09 as it will offer me a new selling experience," said Karie Geiger, director of sales for the Tri-Valley California CVB in Pleasanton. "The Destination Pavilion is a smart idea and should really increase successful interaction between DMOs and operators, be very conducive to building exceptional regional itineraries, and help place unfamiliar destinations on the operators’ ‘radar’. The bonus this year is the streamlined schedule which accommodates those of us with limited time and budgets."

"We are very excited about the new format for the NTA Convention," said long-time convention attendee Lee Dahl of Leisure West Tours and Cruises. "First of all, producing a new format indicates that our NTA leaders are listening to comments from all participants and not just viewing the convention format from one perspective. We are also excited because it seems the new format will give us the best of all worlds — an opportunity to do the traditional ‘behind the desk’ one-on-one appointments, and the new opportunity to meet with people from every geographic area. This is very appealing to us as we do not do the same itineraries year after year. Most of our work is ‘custom’ and our destinations change year to year."

Current economic struggles and hardships were also considered when creating the schedule. Tour operators requested more flexibility in their Convention schedules. The new format enables 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 customizable, more streamlined format gives members the option to attend fewer days. In addition, co-locating with the World Religious Travel Association gives members access to an additional market in the same Convention, including hundreds of buyers and sellers of faith-based product from around the world.

"I have been attending NTA’s annual convention for over 10 years and have never been more excited than I am for Convention ’09," said Mark Kowalewski, Entertainment Cruises.  First, the new format will allow buyers and suppliers alike to streamline their schedule and conduct business in a more efficient and effective way. Second, co-locating with WRTA provides an excellent opportunity to meet with an entirely new market during the same convention. Talk about working smarter. Reno is the place to be in November for better business at an affordable price."


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 48 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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