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World Religious Travel Expo

More than 50 travel industry leaders on World Religious Travel Expo line-up  Sep 17, 2008

LITTLETON, CO – More than 50 top travel executives and tourism officials from around the globe will address participants at the World Religious Travel Expo and Educational Conference, Oct. 29-Nov. 1, in Orlando.

“We are honored to present such a wide-ranging group of authorities at this fall’s Expo, which we believe will be a pivotal event in this ‘new era’ of faith tourism,” said Kevin J. Wright, president of the World Religious Travel Association. “The Expo delegates will acquire key marketing intelligence and cutting edge sales strategies, as well as innovative product development ideas in the areas of pilgrimage, cruising, missions, leisure travel, adventure trips, faith-based safaris, volunteer vacations, and much more.”

Keynote speakers include:

· Maurice Zarmati, President, Costa Cruise Lines

· Steve Born, Vice President, Globus Family of Brands

· His Excellency Senator Akel E. Biltaji, Ambassador-at-Large and Chairman of the Tourism Committee, Upper House of Parliament, Jordan

· The Honorable Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, Minister of Tourism and Aviation, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism

The Educational Seminars and panelists at this first major international gathering of the $18 billion worldwide religious travel industry include:

Boardroom Insider: Current and future trends for faith tourism

Adam Leavitt, Vice President, Trafalgar Tours

Cherie Weinstein, Carnival Cruise Lines, Vice President – Groups Sales and Administration

Linville Johnson, Director of Religious Market, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism

Malia Asfour, Director, Jordan Tourism Board of North America

Jim Buddendorf, President, MTS Travel

Mike Cappodanno, Director, Switzerland Tourism

Tasoula Manaridis, Director North America, Cyprus Tourism

Honnie Korngold, President, Christian Travel Finder

Pilgrimages: What does today's faith traveler want?

Nick Mancino, Vice President, Group IST (Journeys Unlimited and Regina Tours)

Bob Faucett, Vice President, Unitours

Milanka M. Lachman, President, 206 Tours

Fuad Kattan, President, ACA Travel & Tourism (Bethlehem)

George Keenan, President, Rainbow Tour Turkey

Faith Cruising: Discover the number one vacation trend in today's religious market

Cherie Weinstein, Vice President – Groups Sales and Administration, Carnival Cruise Lines

Andy Christo, Vice President, Monarch Classic Cruises

Stacy Shaw, Director - Charter Sales, Royal Caribbean

Paul Holevas, President, Steps of Paul Coastal Cruises

How to build your faith travel program through mission trips and volunteer vacations

Jim Buddendorf, President, MTS Travel

Timothy Childs, Vice President, Raptim Travel

Bo McComas, President, World Mission Tours

Fran Lessans, President & CEO, Passport Health

How to promote the holy Land as a travel provider and group planner

Malia Asfour, Director, Jordan Tourism Board of North America

Arie Sommer, Commissioner North & South America, Israel Ministry of Tourism

Tasoula Manaridis, Director, Cyprus Tourism

ElSayed M. Khalifa, Consul-Director USA and Latin America, Egyptian Tourist Authority

George Tambakis, Director USA and Canada, Greek National Tourism Organization

Why we're expanding our religious market focus...and why you should too

Jim Kelly, Vice President, CIE Tours

John Klados, Vice President, Homeric Tours

Steven Ferry, National Group Sales Manager, Trafalgar Tours

Bryan Earley, National Group Sales Manager, Globus

Promoting new travel experiences for churches and religious groups

Jacob Kimbro, Manager New Business Development, Disney on Broadway

Judy Mizrachi, President, Women Walkers Travel

Dorothy Nasozi, Manager Director, Nissi Holidays (Uganda)

David Kizito, Managing Director, Cordial Tours and Travel (Tanzania)

Industry perspectives: How we are meeting the demands, growth and impact of faith tourism

Bob Hoelscher, President, National Tour Association (NTA)

Patti Free, Vice President, CCRA International

Marketing effectively and profitably to the faith tourism marketplace

James E. Wright, Vice President Marketing, World Religious Travel Association

Torre Ossmo, Vice President, Faithful Holidays (Mayflower Tours)

Metin Kazan, President, 7TUR

Ron Hermanson, Franchise Owner, SeaMaster Cruises

Colleen Roberts, National Account Manager, American Church Lists

PR & Advertising: Effectively engage the media to reach faith-based audiences

Christine Moore, President, Epiphany Media

Jeff Gayduk, President, Premier Tourism Marketing

Brian Jewell, Editor, Going on Faith

Raj Dayal, Managing Editor, Church Executive/Christian Travel & Cruise Guide

Product Development: How to develop a winning faith-based travel portfolio

Kevin J. Wright: World Religious Travel Association, President

Cindy Brodhecker: Faith Travel Development & Consulting, President

The WRTA Expo will feature two venues: The International Tradeshow and The Educational Conference. The combined event provides a one-stop opportunity for networking with more than 500 travel wholesalers, suppliers, destinations, agents and church travel planners to develop partnerships, develop new products and services, generate qualified leads and build long-term relationships.

The Expo will be held Oct. 29-Nov. 1, 2008 at the Gaylord Palms Resort Hotel & Convention Center in Orlando. The complete schedule is available at

More than 50 travel industry leaders on World Religious Travel Expo line-up

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