#1 Largest Resource on the Internet for Specialty Markets in the Travel & Meetings/Events Industry

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

NTA Presenting "Where Group Travel is Taking You" at Tourism Association of New Mexico's Annual Research and Marketing Conference

Tourism Association of New Mexico

On behalf of NTA and president Lisa Simon - I will be delivering a presentation this Friday (Nov. 2) at the Tourism Association of New Mexico's Annual Research and Marketing Conference. The presentation will be on the topic of.....

Where Group Travel is Taking You

One of the key themes will be on how packaged group travel has evolved and today is very much centered around "travel with a purpose - travelers pursuing personal interests and authentic experiences."

For more information about the 2012 Research & Marketing Conference from Nov. 1-2 in Albuquerque, New Mexico at the Sheraton Albuquerque Uptown Hotel, click on following links:
+ Agenda
Manual Registration Form
+ PDF Version of the conference booklet

If you are part of the Tourism Association of New Mexico, we hope to see you there!


New Mexico Tourism is HUGE BUSINESS!

· $7.8 Billion to economy annually
· GDP $4 Billion (5% of NM economy)
· 85,766 Employees (direct, indirect & induced)
· Over $2.14 Billion in Payroll (direct, indirect & induced)
· $1.179 Billion in tax revenues (total State, Local &Federal taxes)

Tourism Association of New Mexico (TANM)
6121 Indian School Rd NE #216, Albuquerque, NM 87110
Tel 505-345-5553
Website http://www.tanm.org

Friday, October 26, 2012

Which Top 10 Countries Visit this "Growth Markets in Tourism" Blog the Most?

Here are the answers in order!
1.    USA
2.    France
3.    Germany
4.    Russia
5.    United Kingdom
6.    Canada
7.    China
8.    Ukraine
9.    India
10.  Philippines

And here are some of the other countries with most visitors to this blog:
·         Sweden
·         Romania
·         New Zealand
·         Paraguay
·         Ireland
·         South Korea

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

NTA Introduces Product Development Trip to Holy Land (Tour Operators May Now Register)

NTA Introduces Product Development Trip to Holy Land
PDT for member operators designed to impart market knowledge and passion.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct 23, 2012)—After two years of building expertise and enthusiasm for faith-based tourism, NTA is leading tour operators to the Holy Land on a 2013 product development trip. The members-only trip, Feb. 10 through 22, features not only significant sites throughout Israel and Jordan, but also includes workshops and opportunities for participants to network with local suppliers.

“This is a key market for NTA tour operators, with billions of dollars of faith-based travel purchased annually by group leaders, religious leaders and consumers,” said Lisa Simon, NTA president. “We are grateful to the tourism offices of Jordan and Israel for educating our tour operator members about the region’s travel-related products and for helping NTA create an unforgettable experience.”

The 13-day journey begins in Israel and takes participants to cities (Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Tel Aviv and Nazareth), through the Judean Desert to a dip in the Dead Sea, and aboard a sailboat across the Sea of Galilee. From Israel, the group will enter Jordan and experience Amman’s museums and nightlife before exploring the ancient cities of Petra, Madaba and Aqaba, along with Biblical sites that include Mount Nebo and Elijah’s Hill.

“After experiencing the rich cultures of Jordan and Israel, every participant will return home with not only the knowledge to sell these destinations, but also with a passion to sell them,” said Paul Larsen, chair of NTA’s Faith Tourism Advisory Council and president of Ed-Ventures in Rochester, Minn. “These are unique, profitable, and growing markets that are not limited to just the faith-based niche.” 

The Holy Land PDT is designed to provide tour operators firsthand experience of new products and services in the Holy Land along with opportunities to form partnerships with other tour operators and to interact with faith-based market leaders.

“About 40 percent of our operators are developing faith-based product, and the Holy Land is the most sought-after destination for the religious market, so it’s the perfect first hands-on product development opportunity in what we expect will become a series of faith-based trips,” said Simon. “At the same time, we’re adding tourism revenues and visitors to the Holy Land and providing new business for receptive operators and suppliers in the region.”

Over the past two years, NTA has taken a leadership role in the faith-based travel market. After spotlighting faith-based destinations and product at its 2010 convention, NTA formally launched its faith-based travel program the following year and hosted a first-ever Faith-based Tourism Leaders Forum at its convention in Las Vegas. At Travel Exchange in January, NTA will conduct another forum on the event’s opening day, Jan. 20, and will present a faith-based travel educational seminar on Jan. 22.

The Holy Land PDT is part of Montage, NTA’s product development initiative that offers in-depth destination experiences. For more information on the trip, follow this link.

About NTA: Founded in 1951, NTA is the leading association for professionals serving clients traveling to, from and within North America. For more information, see www.NTAonline.com. Travel Exchange will take place Jan. 20-24, 2013, in Orlando, Fla.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What are the 5 most family-friendly airports?

A fun article was just published this week by Jenny Hontz on the 5 most family-friendly airports in the U.S.

The article lists the top 5 as:
1. Orlando International Airport
2. Chicago O'Hare Airport
3. Seattle's Sea-Tac International Airport
4. Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport
5. Boston Logan International Airport

Click here to read the full story by Jenny Hontz:

Monday, October 22, 2012

Join the NTA Faith Tourism Network on Linkedin.com

Looking to join a global community of travel and hospitality professionals on Linkedin.com that are involved in faith-based tourism?

If so, you can join the NTA Faith Tourism Network. See full description below. To join, click here:

NTA’s network of travel professionals, executives, organizations and thought-leaders involved or interested in faith-based tourism. Because of your company's involvement or interest in this market, we want your voice at the table to help advance this industry, while also growing your business and connections.

In addition, the NTA Faith-based Tourism Network provides a firsthand opportunity to:

• Meet and connect with industry colleagues involved in faith tourism.
• Develop relationships, partnerships, and facilitate business interactions.
• Exchange articles, strategies, insights, trends, and ideas meaningful to the marketplace.
• Build a coalition of NTA faith tourism leaders, members and delegates.

In order to be accepted into the Network and remain in good standing, you must be involved in the travel industry and conduct yourself professionally at all times. All applicants are subject to approval.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sell Your Growth Markets Specialty Direct to Hundreds of Tour Operators & Buyers

This blog is all about Growth Markets in Travel, Tourism and Hospitality.  As such, I'm constantly looking for the latest insight, education, business resources and news stories to share with you on the Growth Markets.

In addition, I'm always on the lookout for new opportunities and ideas to share with you on how to best sell your growth markets travel products, services, or destination.

Today I'm sharing an opportunity that I'm directly involved with.  This January our association (NTA) will be hosting our annual convention Travel Exchange in Orlando, Florida. This Tuesday we're unveiling a brand new opportunity and section on our convention floor - it's the Members Market Pavilion

The flyer below best explains it, but one key item to point out is we're limiting it to twelve companies, suppliers and destinations. If you're involved in Growth Markets or looking to expand your presence within them (and you sell to tour operators and related suppliers), I highly recommend securing your own counter and space in NTA's Member Markets Pavilion.

How to get more information or secure your spot? Just contact me personally (see flyer below). Again - space is limited to twelve, so contact me asap if you're interested.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

List of Group and Affinity Travel Markets in the Tourism Industry

The list of group and affinity travel markets in the tourism industry is extensive and ever-expanding.  Each year brings new markets and forms of travel to the forefront.  To help you start thinking in terms of group and affinity travel markets, below is a partial list of the most popular, common, well-known or up-and-coming markets in tourism.


Accessible and Disability Travel
Active Travel
Adventure Travel
Alumni, Colleges and Greek Organizations Travel
Archeology Tours
Art Tours
Company, Organization and Association Group Travel
Corporate and Business Travel
Cruising – River and Lakes
Cruising – Big and Small Ships
Culinary Travel
Dark Tourism
Educational and Learning Vacations
Ethnic, Cultural and Heritage Travel
Factory Tours
Fairs, Festivals and Events Tourism
Faith-based Tourism
Family and Intergenerational Travel
Garden Tours
Golf Vacations
Health, Wellness and Spa Travel
Holiday Travel
Incentive Travel
Medical Tourism
Meetings, Conferences and Conventions Travel
Nature Tourism
Performance and Music Tours
Photography Tours
Rail and Train Travel
Romantic, Weddings and Honeymoon Travel
Shopping Tours
Space Tourism
Sports Tourism
Student/Youth Travel

Friday, October 19, 2012

"International Culinary Tourism Association" Becomes "World Food Travel Association"


Culinary travel constitutes one of the biggest growth markets in today's tourism industry.

The largest trade association specializing in only this market has been the "International Culinary Tourism Association."  However, due to the growth of this association as well as the industry itself, the organization recently changed its name to "World Food Travel Association."

The new name seeks to capture the fullness of what the association does, provides, offers and represents.

To learn more about the association visit http://www.worldfoodtravel.org/.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Stay Abreast of Family Travel Industry News: Sign Up for This Newsletter

Last week I blogged about The Family Travel Network - an industry leading and award-winning site featuring "all things Family Travel" news related. 

The Family Travel Network has been featured on the Today Show, CNN, USA TODAY, America Online, Parents Magazine and many other media outlets.

If you are a tour operator, tourist board, CVB or supplier of any kind - I highly encourage you to subscribe to their newsletter to stay abreast of this burgeoning marketplace and related family travel industry news.

How or where to sign up? Just click here http://www.familytravelnetwork.com/newsletter.asp

Monday, October 15, 2012

NTA Media Release on Faith-based Travel Webinar to International Audience

See original media release at: http://www.forimmediaterelease.net/pm/7606.html


Faith-based Travel Webinar Provides Foundation for
Developing and Executing Solid Business Strategy

(Forimmediaterelease.net) LEXINGTON, Kentucky - Kevin J. Wright delivered the fundamentals of faith-based travel to an international online audience. The Oct. 10 webinar session touched on the faith market's audience, destinations, product types and profit potential.

"Studies show that 35 percent of travelers want to take a faith-inspired vacation, so the market potential remains enormous," said Wright, director of faith-based tourism and growth markets at NTA. "Success within this robust marketplace begins with developing and executing a solid business strategy, and the webinar was developed to meet this need."

During the webinar, available here, Wright highlighted the importance of travel agents and buyers choosing qualified faith-based tour operators, and he cited the NTA online member directory as a key resource. Questions from the audience—comprised of tour operators, travel agents, suppliers and destinations—focused on packaging tours, accessibility issues and safety.

John Hawks, who organized the webinar with TravelAgentToolbox.com, was grateful for Wright's expertise. "Kevin literally wrote the book on faith-based travel, and he's the most well-recognized speaker and trainer in the entire faith-based travel sector," Hawks said. "Our participants were excited to learn about his views on this specialty and the leadership role NTA is playing in the faith-based travel industry."

Wright said NTA will delve deeper into the market during its Faith Tourism Leaders Forum, Jan. 20, at Travel Exchange in Orlando. During that session, members will share challenges, successes and strategies within the market.

About NTA: Founded in 1951, NTA is the leading association for professionals serving clients traveling to, from and within North America. For more information, see NTAonline.com. Travel Exchange, the association's annual convention, will take place Jan. 20–24, 2013. NTA will also present a faith-based travel educational seminar on Jan. 22 during the event.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mind-Mapping Software Programs for Travel Industry Professionals, Executives, Intrapreneurs and Entrepreneurs

 Example of Mind Map
(photo courtesy: http://www.edrawsoft.com/MindMap.php)

Travel professionals, executives and companies do a lot of mind-mapping. That is, we spend a lot of time brainstorming and conceptualizing ideas and visions, "fleshing them out", then bringing them into reality.

Most of us just use pen and paper when jotting down our initial ideas for new products, services, brands or companies.  We then move to a program like Microsoft Word to transform and expand the concept into a business plan. 

But are there any mind-mapping software programs out there for business professionals, executives, intrapreneurs or entrepreneurs like us? Yes, there are!

The one I personally own is www.SmartDraw.com. I love this program and it's been a tremendous asset and resource in jotting down ideas, thoughts, "fleshing them out", then transforming them into concrete plans, presentations, diagrams, charts, timelines, products, services and more.

There are also many other excellent mind-mapping software programs out there to consider. Here's an initial list of programs to research - and see which one just might be perfect for you or your company: 


Saturday, October 13, 2012

New Book Just Published on Intrapreneurship - A Must Read for Travel Professionals and Companies Looking to Grow from Within

The topic of growth markets is almost indistinguishable from the topics of entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship.  To tap new markets and growth requires "entrepreneurially-type thinking" from within your company.

In your company's pursuit of tapping growth markets, I highly recommend reading the following book just published on Aug. 13, 2012, on the topic of corporate entrepreneurship (intrapreneurship). It is written by Susan Foley, the founder of Corporate Entrepreneurs LLC.  You'll find lots of info below about the book and if you wish to buy it, just click on the following book cover link:
Acceleration: Changing the Speed of Growth

Acceleration: Changing the Speed of Growth

Acceleration: Changing the Speed of Growth provides a roadmap for understanding what it takes to develop corporate entrepreneurship (intrapreneurship) as a core competency inside of existing organizations to accelerate new business growth. This Part 1: Activation which looks at entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial leaders that possess a core set of action oriented behaviors and competencies that enable them to successfully build new ventures inside established organizations.

The skills and capabilities that propelled most executives to the top of organizations in the past are not the skills required to build new businesses. Corporate entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial leaders require a new set of competencies that distinguish them from traditional leaders. They are a distinct group of individuals. The lack of focus in many companies on this very important role is a key impediment to leveraging this valuable resource. The long term consequence is a talent drain that is steadily robbing companies of whatever entrepreneurial edge they may have had. Organizations that identify and develop their internal entrepreneurs achieve higher levels of engagement, innovation, growth and profitability.

Acceleration: Changing the Speed of Growth provides a road-map for individuals and organizations that want to develop corporate entrepreneurship as a core competency.

This book will:
· Enable you to understand what it takes to be an internal entrepreneur (Intrapreneur).
· Assist you in identifying and developing entrepreneurs needed to accelerate business growth.
· Give you an insider's view of what it takes to develop entrepreneurship inside organizations.
· Provide you with ways to eliminate the barriers and obstacles that can get in the way.
· Help you create an environment where innovation and entrepreneurship can thrive.
· Recognize the contribution that entrepreneurs make to the growth of their organizations.

Susan's mission is to help business executives, innovation teams and individuals understand the value of corporate entrepreneurship in accelerating business growth and to help individuals develop their capabilities as internal entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial leaders.  In doing so, she is awakening the entrepreneur in all of us.


Susan Foley the founder of Corporate Entrepreneurs LLC works with organizations to develop corporate entrepreneurship (Intrapreneurship) as a core competency to accelerate new business growth. As an experienced corporate entrepreneur she understands the challenge of building corporate entrepreneurship inside of an established organization. She has spent the last twenty five years helping organizations develop new growth businesses that have generated millions. Susan is a professional speaker, consultant and author of the book Entrepreneurs Inside. She teaches Corporate Entrepreneurship in the Executive Education program at Babson College and is a Fellow at the Center for Innovation and Change Leadership at Suffolk University.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Access 3 Faith-based Travel Webinar Presentations (See Website Link Below)

Yesterday www.TravelAgentToolBox.com hosted 3 faith-based travel webinars on the following key topics:

1.  The Basics of Faith-based Travel

2.  Finding and Closing Faith-based Travelers

3.  Planning and Promoting International Group Pilgrimages

How can you access (free) the actual powerpoint slides of the above webinars? Simply visit http://travelagenttoolbox.com/faith-based-travel-101/

You'll also find additional resources you can obtain when you visit the above website and organization, which hosted the online conferences.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tour Ops Cultivate Brand Loyalty by Diversifying (by Robin Amstery of Travel Market Report)

Read Robin's story at Travel Market Report by clicking here:

Growth markets comprise not only the lifestyle, geographic and ethnic markets - but also the economic or price-point markets.  In a story published today by Travel Market Report and written by Robin Amstery, the article points out various tour operators who are tapping into new growth markets by capitalizing on the debut of new higher or lower-end tour products and services.  Here is the opening paragraph of the article with website link to full story below:

"Tour operators are diversifying with new product lines priced both lower and higher than their traditional tours. The strategy is aimed at reaching new markets as well as building brand loyalty among travelers – and travel agents.

It’s a strategy that mirrors one adopted by hotel companies years ago. When travel sellers — and their clients — can find a choice of tour products at different price points from a single company, they’ll have no reason to take their business to a competitor.

The trend goes beyond simply adding lower- or higher-priced offerings with the same profile as existing programs. Tour firms have launched branded product lines offering distinctive itineraries based on the immense popularity of themed and experiential travel."

Read the rest of Robin's story by clicking here:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Looking for an Expert in Family Travel? Here You Go...

Family travel is one of the "hottest" and biggest growth markets in the travel industry today.

If you're a tour operator, travel agent, tourist office, CVB, attraction, hotel or any other organization within tourism - where can you turn to for expertise, resources and articles on the subject of family travel?

The answer is simple - get to know The Family Travel Network.  It's a remarkable resource and organization. 

Here is the website: http://www.familytravelnetwork.com/

You can also follow them on Twitter http://twitter.com/kidtravel.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Travel Exchange Adds Plenty of ‘New’ to Proven Convention

Travel Exchange Adds Plenty of ‘New’ to Proven Convention
Innovative combined event in Orlando brings new buyers, new business

Article link:

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct 3, 2012) —NTA’s Travel Exchange this January in Orlando, Fla., is the association’s 62nd convention, but the annual event isn’t showing its age—only its reliable record.

“We come out of every convention with wonderful successes,” said Barb Bowman, division manager of the Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau.NTA has the largest and greatest ROI of any trade show we attend every year.”

In new business alone, attendees at last year’s NTA convention in Las Vegas booked more than $79 million. On average, tour operators booked more than $58,000 in new business. Tour suppliers averaged close to $45,000 in new bookings, and DMOs, like Bowman’s, averaged just under $40,000 in new bookings.

And this year, NTA will welcome some 600 new buyers to the floor, as NTA is combining forces with the United Motorcoach Association to create Travel Exchange, Jan. 20-24, at the Orange County Convention Center. More people mean more business, says Mark Tenholder, director of sales at Crowne Plaza St. Louis Downtown.

“Since joining NTA three years ago and going to conventions, we went from doing just $20,000 a year in room revenue from group tours to now, we’re up way over $300,000,” he said. “And with the addition of UMA, I believe the ROI will be even greater. I am truly looking forward to making many new contacts at Travel Exchange in January.”

Travel Exchange contains successful ingredients from past NTA and UMA events: a vibrant trade floor, spot-on education and memorable networking events. And the convergence of two associations produces not only a growth in sheer numbers of buyers and sellers, but a productive synergy among travel professionals.

Market diversity will be a headliner at Travel Exchange, with three forums focused on growing travel segments:
·         The Faith Leaders Forum will be a lively exchange of market-specific strategies, insights, trends and opportunities.
·         The Hispanics in Travel Caucus will explore how to serve a growing market through product development and education.
·         The Family Travel and Adventure Tourism Leaders Forum will connect innovators and colleagues in two of the industry’s top growth markets.

And the lineup of education at Travel Exchange will provide a broad range of insight from experts in areas such as marketing, communication (in-person and online) and entrepreneurship, along with product development in specialty markets—faith, family, food, adventure—even dark tourism.

For more information about Travel Exchange—including information about business appointments and “Stay & Play” options—visit NTA Online.  Dates and locations are set for the next three years of Travel Exchange:
2013—Orlando, Fla., Jan. 20-24
2014—Los Angeles, Calif., Feb. 16-20
2015—New Orleans, La., Jan. 17-21

About NTA: Founded in 1951, NTA is the leading association for professionals serving clients traveling to, from and within North America. For more information, see www.NTAonline.com.

Case Study and Article on Home-based Agents Selling Holy Land Group Travel (by Travel Market Report)

Great article and case study from Travel Market Report (written by Ana Figueroa) on home-based agents tapping into the growth market of Holy Land travel. Here's the opening segment:

Religious group travel, with an emphasis on the Holy Land, has proven to be the “the right niche” for a travel seller who took a leap of faith by opening a home-based agency four years ago.

Article link:

Monday, October 1, 2012

What does "Emerging Markets" Mean?

The title and topic of this blog is "Growth Markets in Travel, Tourism and Hospitality." 

As such, this blog covers the many and diverse growth markets that exist within the travel industry - including the lifestyle markets, geographic markets and ethnic markets.

Regarding terminology, what does "emerging markets" mean?  In businesses and across many industries (tourism and elsewhere), the phrase is often in reference to geographic markets that are currently experiencing rapid social and/or business growth as a developing economy. 

Among the largest "emerging markets" for many businesses and industries today are the developing economies of China, India, Russia and Brazil (sometimes referred to via the acronym "BRIC").

The terminology of "emerging markets" has been adopted and utilized within the travel, tourism and hospitality industry as well.  It's common to see job titles that include the phrase "emerging markets", and it's common to see tradeshows and conventions featuring business and educational seminars on the topic. Furthermore, it's common to see the travel media reporting on or writing news stories about the emerging markets.

If you're in the travel industry and interested in learning more about "growth markets in travel, tourism and hospitality"......then get to know and become very familiar with the phrase, topic and understanding of "emerging markets."

To learn more about the concept and definition of "emerging markets" visit:
+ Wikipedia - Emerging Markets
+ http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/defining-emerging-markets.html
+ Business Dictionary.com
+ Financial Dictionary/Free Dictionary