LEXINGTON, Kentucky — NTA will take Contact to San Diego in 2012 and build on the success of its tour operator-exclusive event in Rhode Island. The three-day conference, set for August 16–18, 2012, will bring travel professionals together in one of California’s most inviting and scenic settings.
“If you haven’t been to San Diego in the last few years, you don’t know what you’ve been missing,” said Benjamin Eastman, travel trade development manager of the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau, “San Diego’s friendly atmosphere makes it the ideal place for Contact because it’s such a casual and relaxed conference.”
“Contact is a tour operator education conference, where they can gain timely information and explore new business opportunities,” said Lisa Simon, CTP, NTA president, “We’ll see a tremendous exchange of ideas and business cards, but there are also Fam trips, sightseeing tours, and social events at local landmarks. San Diego is the perfect host city to follow the success of Rhode Island.”
The inaugural Contact, held in August in Newport, Rhode Island, allowed tour operators to conduct business appointments and join one of three professional development tracks: CEO/owner, sales/marketing, or operations/product development. And when attendees took a look at Rhode Island’s tour product, the experience became a windfall for the state’s tourism department.
“Contact was the best sales call of the decade for Rhode Island,” said Mark Brodeur, Director of Tourism for the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, “I reached dozens of NTA tour operators who now want to put Rhode Island in their regular packages. When we look at the product that will be bought and sold because of Contact, Rhode Island is looking at millions of dollars.”
The Newport conference also proved popular with attendees. NTA routinely gathers feedback on its events, and tour operators gave Contact a rating of 9.1 on a 10-point scale.
Eastman said that Rhode Island set the bar high for host cities, but San Diego is up for the challenge in 2012, stating, “Attendees will be able to enjoy the perfect blend of business meetings, networking and fun while in San Diego.”
For more information about Contact ’12 in San Diego, visit the NTA Business Builder web site.
Now celebrating its 60th year, NTA is the leading business-building association for travel professionals interested in the North American market — inbound, outbound, and within the continent. NTA buyer members are tour operators who buy and package travel product from around the world. NTA seller members are destination marketing organizations and tour suppliers from the US, Canada, and more than 40 countries.