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Road Show Brings Members Together

April 2, 2012

NTA members in the Orlando, Florida, area gathered for breakfast last week at the first of a series of Travel Exchange Road Shows. For the Orlando gathering, local tour operators, DMOs and tour suppliers were invited to join members of the NTA-Travel Exchange horizontal smallUMA Task Force, who were meeting at the Rosen Centre Hotel, to spend some quality member-time together and ask any questions they had about Travel Exchange. Task force members Cathy Greteman of Star Destinations (member of both NTA and UMA), Paul Nakamoto of Roaring Camp Railroads (NTA member), Audrey Bialas of Pennsylvania Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau (member of both NTA and UMA), and Larry Hundt of Great Canadian Holidays/Great Canadian Coaches (UMA member) offered their insight to audience questions such as:

How will the partnership with UMA change the NTA show?

Paul Nakamoto: For the NTA member side, as a tour supplier, it’s not going to change at all what you’ve done in the past with NTA. You’re still going to have your prescheduled appointments, and you’ll still be able to make additional appointments on site. The difference is now with the UMA side, you’ve got all the motorcoach operators. At the UMA Expo this year, I actually made contact with two motorcoach operators, and I picked up a new series tour for next year just because of that relationship. So working with the UMA motorcoach operators is a tremendous thing. 

Audrey Bialis: UMA motorcoach operators that do operate tours have the option to take appointments. So not only are you going to be able to schedule appointments with NTA operators, but when the appointment scheduling opens, throughout the whole time that it is open, keep checking back because as they register and choose that ability to take appointments, you’ll be able to reach a whole new audience that you might not have been able to reach before.

Hundt: In our case, this will be the first time in many years that our tour-planning staff is going to come with our coach operators staff to the same conference. We’re going to attract quite a few new tour operators who are going to come to the show because there’s so much more at this show now. The UMA operators number about 900 in our total membership, and we will have a lot of our major companies here who have a tour department, and you’ll have access to talk to them. They’ll be bringing their tour-planning staff because it will be a one-stop shop for them. You’ll have access to a lot of new companies and new faces that have the potential of bringing business to you.

So thankful and appreciative I am of your industry.’

The group was also treated to the inspirational story of Harris Rosen, president and COO of Rosen Hotels & Resorts. Mr. Rosen, a long-time member of NTA and now owner of six hotels and several convention facilities, credited his career success to the group industry. "Today Rosen Hotels has about 6,500 rooms, and we have three convention properties. None of what I have today would have been possible without your industry. If it weren’t for the motorcoach industry, Rosen Hotels would not exist today. So thankful and appreciative I am of your industry."

To watch the video of Mr. Rosen’s presentation (it’s a good one!), go to the Do Big Things blog. If you have any questions about Travel Exchange yourself, please share them with us via e-mail at And be sure to mark April 10 on your calendar as the first day to register for Travel Exchange, Jan. 20–24, in Orlando, Florida.

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