The 2020 USTOA Annual Conference & Marketplace will transition to a virtual event, Terry Dale, president and CEO of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) announced this week.
Dale said in a written release that the virtual conference will be in an abbreviated format within the same time frame of original Annual Conference dates of December 1–4. As plans take shape over the next several weeks, he anticipates that details will be announced by late summer.
In making the announcement, Dale said, “USTOA has surveyed our active and associate members and, while there’s enthusiasm for an in-person conference as planned, committing resources at this time is challenging … While this decision may not be surprising given concerns about COVID-19, we can promise plans are in development for a virtual event that will exceed our members’ expectations.”
Based on post-event surveys each year, USTOA says it will focus on delivering engaging content that focuses on marketplace intelligence and tour operator sentiments, as well as a virtual format for marketplace appointments.
Dale added that the partnership between active and associate members has never been more acutely felt than in the past several months. “More than ever, we need to work together to not just recover but revive our industry which is such a vital economic driver across the world. Our goal is to deliver a virtual experience that continues to foster meaningful partnerships among our members as we face these unprecedented times together.”