|NTA president Pam Inman|
Sixty-eight percent of the NTA tour operators surveyed in its mid-year study reported an increased sales volume during the first six months of 2014, compared to 2013, the NTA reports.
A similar number (65 percent) reported serving more clients so far this year, the NTA reports. Six in 10 said that 2014 bookings are on pace to be greater than in 2013.
Pam Inman, the NTA's new president, said the good business conditions for NTA member tour operators suggests increased attendance at the NTA's Travel Exchange Jan. 18–22, 2015, in New Orleans.
Overall registration is pacing 6 percent ahead of 2014, and tour operators are leading the pack, with 35 percent more registrants than this time last year, the NTA reports.
Along with better business, Inman attributes the rise in registration for Travel Exchange to strong marketing and interest in the host city.
New Orleans’ market diversity mirrors the interest that tour operators’ clients have in unique, specialized experiences, she notes.
Earlier 2014 surveys show that NTA tour operators are becoming increasingly active in diverse markets, the association says. Most already package U.S. national parks, education and events, and operators report significant growth in five markets: agritourism, ecotourism, sports, voluntourism and faith-based travel.
The Travel Exchange includes the NTA convention, the United Motorcoach EXPO and the Faith Travel Association conference. Thirty countries were represented by NTA delegates at Travel Exchange ’14, held last February in Los Angeles.
Attendees are estimated to have generated more than $150 million in total business.