The United Motorcoach Association (UMA), representing the bus and motorcoach industry, and the National Tour Association (NTA), representing the packaged travel industry, announced a cooperative effort to explore co-locating their two annual conferences – the UMA Motorcoach Expo and the NTA Annual Convention. The move would strengthen the industry and refocus the industry’s event calendar the two associations said. Several years may be needed to achieve it, however.
This announcement comes a year after the two organizations formed a strategic partnership and took a more active role in each other’s annual meeting. NTA currently hosts the Destination and Attractions aisle at UMA Motorcoach Expo, while UMA reciprocates by sponsoring the motorcoach exhibits during NTA’s Convention. The two associations share members with common customers, and group travel passengers, as well as common challenges and opportunities.
Over the coming months the two organizations will continue to explore the details of co-locating the convention and tradeshow, which will be a gradual process that would take a couple of years to bring to fruition. In addition to the support for each other’s conferences, UMA and NTA will also continue to work jointly on a number of programs and legislative and regulatory projects
“This is a huge opportunity for the industry,” noted Godfrey Lebron, chairman of the UMA Board of Directors. “UMA has always worked to provide our members with new opportunities and value. By exploring the co-location of the UMA and NTA conventions into a new robust conference and tradeshow it is an amazing opportunity for our collective memberships and the industry as a whole.”
“NTA is continually focused on developing new business opportunities for our members,” added NTA Chairman and CEO Michele Michalewicz. “During this stressed economic climate, it makes sense to explore this because it will save members money and bring them better value and better business.”
“A co-located show with NTA will provide UMA members, both operator attendees and associate vendors, with a whole range of increased opportunities,” added Lebron. “Expo will still attract the same large number of qualified buyers that our associate partners have come to expect, and the opportunity to meet with Tour Operators will only increase buyer attendance.”