WESTA, the member-owned travel agency consortium, drew a record number of travel professionals to its 2018 Owners & Managers Conference, held May 4-7 at the all-inclusive Marival Residences Luxury Resort in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. It was the organization’s first-ever conference held outside of the U.S., and explored the overarching theme of ways to adapt to and embrace change in the workplace.
More than 200 WESTA owners and managers were welcomed by the Riviera Nayarit Convention & Visitors Bureau, which organized cultural tours and hotel inspections, and presented a destination report on Nuevo Vallarta and Punta de Mita.
“We felt the best way to counter the negative, alarmist narrative about Mexico was not with words but with actions, and taking this event to Puerto Vallarta did just that,” said Mike Estill, chief operating officer of WESTA, in a written statement.
In addition to tackling timely industry topics such as the new travel insurance licensing model, the evolving landscape of agency legal liability and disclosure, and how to understand and manage generational differences in the workplace, participants networked with more than 50 suppliers during a half-day trade show, and attended small roundtable discussion groups with 30 WESTA preferred suppliers.
A highlight of the four-day conference was WESTA’s Annual Awards Banquet, which was held at MozzaMare, a new beachfront restaurant at Marival Residences.