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With Partnership, Tour Operators and Travel Agents ConnectMarch 10, 2009 By: George Dooley
Recognizing the business potential between tour operators and travel agents, the National Tour Association (NTA) and the National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA) have announced they will be bringing the two groups of travel professionals together this June. The 2009 NTA Tour Operator Spring Meet and the NACTA Western Regional Meeting will be co-located June 4–6, in Monterey, CA.
“NTA is always looking at ways to partner with other associations and create new business for our members,” said NTA Chair and CEO Michele Michalewicz. “Tour operators are looking for new distribution partners and travel agents are looking for higher profits and quality product for their clients. NTA and NACTA have found a way to answer their members’ needs by combining these two events and giving them more business opportunities under one roof.”
Through this partnership, attendees of the combined event will attend networking sessions and participate in NTA’s signature speed-dating session. During the speed dating, NACTA travel agents and NTA tour operators will have the opportunity to explore potential partnerships as tour operators discuss the types of packages and products they offer and travel agents explain who their clients are and the types of travel packages they desire.
Currently, 22 percent of NACTA travel agents sell tours, and NTA operators are ready to help more agents learn how they can offer creative and customized product to their clients. Additionally, 370 of NTA’s 700 tour operators offer agents commissionable packages. Because so many NTA tour operators now offer customized itineraries, the product available to these agents is extensive and includes unique options such as faith-based product and gay and lesbian travel.
“We are thrilled to bring NACTA members a completely new and powerful training program,” said NACTA president Scott Koepf. "This 'destinational' not only offers networking with the NTA tour operators but also will provide an exclusive agent training track.” Registration for the 2009 NTA Tour Operator Spring Meet is currently open.