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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Mexico Launches New Program to Boost Religious Tourism

Click here to read full story.

Opening excerpt:With the Road to Guadalupe, Bastions of Catholicism and Paths of Faith, Mexico City is giving a further boost to religious tourism in the country’s capital.

During the presentation of promotional material for the Religious Tourism Programme, Secretary of Tourism, Miguel Torruco Marqués, said that this move will improve the programme’s reach and positioning in the market that is being targeted.

Read more at 

Thursday, December 4, 2014


by Mimi Kmet with Travel Market Report

Click here to full read story.

Opening excerpt:

Solo travel has seen steady growth for many years and now suppliers are taking note. They’re also re-examining their policies on the single supplement that so many solo travelers consider unfair.

Suppliers report varying growth rates in this market, from moderate to explosive. From 2011 to 2014, for example, SITA World Tours’ solo traveler bookings increased by nearly 64%, generating an increase of more than 90% in sales, the company said.

Most suppliers told Travel Market Report the number of solo travelers will continue to increase.

And they are already preparing for the uptick.

Click here to read rest of story.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Opportunities exist in growing Canadian sports tourism market

By Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com

Opening excerpt:
Sport tourism had a $5.2 billion impact in Canada in 2012. That was a 5.3 per cent increase over 2011.
Grant MacDonald, the past president of the Canadian Sports Tourism Alliance, told a group of sports marketers and city officials in Thunder Bay on Thursday that there are more than 200,000 events to bid on each year in this country.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Faith Travel Webinar

Click here to listen to our recent FTA Faith Travel Webinar featuring Joanna Dyer of Globus family of brands and Susie Gilbreath of Travel Experts.

Click here to listen and watch Faith Travel Webinar.

For more info visit:

Also click here to view NTA Faith Travel Market Guide.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

New Visa Policy a ‘Turbo Boost’ for China Visits

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 20, 2014) — The recent agreement between the United States and China to extend the validity period for visas will elevate U.S. tourism—and the revenue and jobs the tourism industry generates—say leaders of the National Tour Association. The agreement, announced Nov. 10, lengthens the validity of tourist and business visas from one year to 10.

NTA, which pioneered group leisure travel from China into the United States, had advocated for the extension, the longest possible under U.S. law.

“With this change, Chinese travelers can now make repeat visits to the U.S. without going through the visa process again,” said Pam Inman, NTA president. “For many Chinese citizens, the United States is their dream destination, and any move to make travel here easier will lead to more visits.”

The visa extension is the latest in a series of steps the U.S. Department of Commerce has taken in the last few years to facilitate travel from China into the United States, including shortening the period of time it takes for Chinese citizens to obtain a visa. The visa extension is another giant step forward, according to Harry Chen, a tour operator in Millbrae, Calif., and a member of the NTA Board of Directors.

“This adds a turbo boost to the already growing demand of inbound groups from China,” Chen said. “Many of our tour group members from China had talked about how they love the experience of visiting the U.S. but weren't sure if they would go through the process of applying for the visa again. Now they can more easily come here to explore the vast amounts of beauty America has to offer.”

For years, gateway cities such as New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco have served as primary destinations that Chinese visitors focused on when the possibility of a return trip seemed remote. Now, with second and third visits more likely, tourists can expand their U.S. horizons, Inman said.

“We’ve heard from tour companies that Chinese travelers want to experience more of the United States,” Inman said. “The longer visa validity allows them to look beyond the gateways. It’s sure to benefit smaller cities and the nation’s heartland.”

China now ranks seventh in the number of annual visitors to the United States, having set records in 2013 for both arrivals (1.8 million) and spending ($21 billion). The China market alone supports more than 100,000 U.S. jobs. China is the fastest-growing source of travel into the United States, increasing from 320,000 visitors in 2006 to a projected 4.3 million in 2018.

According to Chen, who participates in NTA’s China Inbound Program, efforts to attract Chinese travelers to the United States have been hampered in the past by the visa application process in China, which can involve traveling to a city with a U.S. consulate and enduring an anxious waiting period, all for a one-year visa.

“A U.S.A. vacation might have been on their bucket list, but it was easier to obtain a visa for destinations in Europe, Asia or Africa,” he said. “The 10-year visa will give them a greater incentive for traveling to the United States.”

NTA’s work with the Chinese market through its China Inbound Program began in 2008, when the governments of both countries signed a memorandum of understanding opening group leisure travel from China to the United States. NTA was designated to maintain a list of U.S. tour operators registered to handle those groups.

About the National Tour Association: Founded in 1951, NTA is the leading business-building association for travel professionals interested in the North American market—inbound, outbound and within the continent. Its annual convention, Travel Exchange, will take place at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Jan. 18–22. For more information, visit NTAonline.com.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

McIlhenny Company President & CEO to spice up Travel Exchange '15 Opening Ceremony

McIlhenny Company President & CEO to spice up Travel Exchange '15 Opening Ceremony

Anthony "Tony" Simmons, President and CEO of McIlhenny Company, will be the keynote speaker for Monday's Opening Ceremony & Breakfast. The Avery Island, Louisiana-based company is best known for its popular Tabasco Original Red Pepper Sauce. Simmons is the great-great-grandson of Edmund McIlhenny, who created the iconic condiment, and he is the seventh member of the family o lead the company since its founding in the 1860s.

In his presentation, you will see how Simmons' passion for the family-owned business brings special meaning to his work. He will share stories from five generations of making Tabasco and discuss the company's and family's Avery Island home, located a few hours west of New Orleans. He will discuss his thoughts on laying the foundations of success for future generations and adaptation for the global marketplace. You will learn how the company has grown to international prominence-capable of producing more than 700,000 bottles of its famous sauce each day-and has expanded into more than 180 countries and territories.

Simmons joined McIlhenny Company as Executive Vice President in 2000. He was promoted to President in 2012 and has served as CEO since 2013. He is also the President and Director of Avery Island Inc. and serves on the board of the America's Wetlands Foundation. Prior to joining McIlhenny Company, Simmons spent 25 years with Manitowoc Cranes. He holds a degree in speech from Loyola University.

The Jan. 19 event is sponsored by Canada Partners, and breakfast will include pancakes with maple syrup, scrambled eggs, Canadian bacon and more.