ORLANDO, Florida – NTA broadened its convention focus on specialty markets by hosting the association’s first Family Travel and Adventure Tourism Leaders Forum. The session was held during Travel Exchange, an appointment and trade show held here in conjunction with the United Motorcoach Association through Jan. 24. The five-day event also features the Faith Tourism Leaders Forum, the Hispanics in Travel Caucus, and a Destination Leaders Forum.
“With such a goldmine of industry and market leaders in one association, it only makes sense to bring you together so you can strategize, do business and lead the industry together,” Jim Reddekopp Jr., NTA chairman and CEO, told the 75 delegates at the forum, “By answering these questions as a group, we position each of our organizations for even greater success.”
The session featured Nancy Schretter, managing editor of Family Travel Network, who told participants they are missing opportunities for growth if they limit their definition of family travel to two parents with children under 12.
“I propose we define it as any combination of family members traveling together, regardless of age,” Schretter said, “It’s the bonding experience that’s important.”
Bonding can also play a role in adventure travel for groups, said Keith Baron of Abercrombie & Kent USA during a panel discussion, “When like-minded people come together, they can build a bond very quickly.”
Baron said that people often think of adventure travel as involving strenuous physical activity, but it can also include connecting with cultures of different countries as well as travel to extreme destinations. He was joined on the panel by Bart Donnelly of Travel Alberta and Debra Asberry of Women Traveling Together. After hearing from the panel and Schretter, participants generated ideas for further developing niche markets. NTA will compile those ideas and suggestions, distribute them to participants, and use them to develop more programs and education.
About NTA: Founded in 1951, NTA is the leading business-building association for travel professionals (from more than 40 countries) interested in the North American market—inbound, outbound and within the continent. Travel Exchange runs from Jan. 20 through 24.