|NACTA President Ann Chamberlin|
The National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA) reports that the organization is on a growth trajectory as it prepares to celebrate its 30th Anniversary in 2016.
"We added eight new chapters in 2015 for a total of 52, we had a sold out conference in Kona, Hawaii, and we have new technology in place to promote our travel specialists with consumers," said NACTA President Ann Chamberlin (formerly Ann van Leeuwen).
Among its priorities for the year is continued educational opportunities. NACTA's annual conference is the main venue for learning among NACTA members. In 2016, NACTA will head to Fort Lauderdale November 3-9 for a conference split between the Westin Fort Lauderdale Hotel and Celebrity Infinity, sailing to The Bahamas. NACTA said it expects another record crowd for its 2016 conference. The annual conference in Kona this year drew 427 paid attendees.
NACTA today also is announcing that the destination chosen for its 2017 Annual Convention is Anchorage, Alaska. Conference attendees will have a variety of pre- and post-show tours to choose from. NACTA is in the initial planning stages to offer a southbound Alaska cruise, a railcar experience through scenic terrain, and, weather permitting, spectacular viewing of the Aurora Borealis.
The hotel selected for the conference is the famous Captain Cook Hotel, which offers views of the Cook Inlet and the Chugach Mountains.
NACTA has a robust educational program planned for travel consultant members in 2016. FAM opportunities are planned for Ireland, Croatia, Hawaii and Tahiti, as well as Seminars at Sea and River Cruise programs with a variety of supplier partners. In addition, NACTA works closely with parent company ASTA in organizing in-depth FAM programs in diverse locations such as Seville, Spain, and Maui, Hawaii.
In addition to educational opportunities for members, NACTA wants to educate consumers on the value of using travel professionals. It has begun actively promoting FindaTravelConsultant.com to help consumers find NACTA travel specialists. This is where consumers go to view profiles of NACTA members and select one based on their credentials, education or travel and cruise expertise.