While welcoming new members to Travel Exchange ’14, NTA also is opening the door to another group of first-time attendees in Los Angeles: travel agents. Agents will participate at the convention on February 19 and 20, the last two days of the event.
NTA has created a roundtable networking session that allows travel agents to meet with participating tour operators and then visit with DMO members who secure a tabletop display highlighting their destination and information from supplier partners.
“We first started this conversation at Travel Exchange ’13 in Orlando during our all-member Talk Time, and I have since discussed it during online Conversations with the Chairman,” said Mark Hoffmann, CTP, NTA chairman and CEO. “I’ve received positive feedback from members about this opportunity for new business, so we moved forward with a program for agent participation.”
To spread the word about the travel agent program, NTA is working with OSSN and other associations and consortia. While all agents are welcome, NTA expects most who attend will come from California, Nevada and Arizona. NTA has relied on the expertise of members to launch the program. Suzanne Slavitter, CTP, CTIE, and owner of Lakewood, California-based Sports Empire, chairs the NTA Travel Agent Task Force and sees the program as a positive development both for NTA members and guests.
“Travel agents and tour operators are already great tourism partners, and now we’ve got a place where we can strengthen those relationships while building new business together-Travel Exchange,” Slavitter said.
How to participate: Travel agents can register by completing an online application form. All NTA members will be able to network with travel agents on-site in Los Angeles at educational seminars, luncheons and social functions.