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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Watch Our New Video on You Tube: "Most Popular Vacation Experiences with Today's Generation of Travelers"

You Tube link: http://bit.ly/Most_Popular_Group_Travel_Experiences

Or click here to watch the video:
Most Popular Vacation Experiences with Today's Generation of Travelers

Video Description
What are today's most popular group travel vacations and experiences? Discover them in this video including adventure, family travel, faith-based travel, sports tourism, culinary travel, agritourism, student travel, voluntourism, fairs & festivals, health & wellness, learning vacations and much more. Above all, today's travelers are searching for vacation opportunities that tap into their passions in life. We're in a new era of group travel which features all ages, demographics, budgets and types of vacation experiences. What about the future? Travelers will continue to seek out more specialized and authentic vacation experiences while traveling with family, groups or respective communities.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Debut of My New Logo for New Era

As we prepare for the New Year of 2013.....I am very excited to debut the new logo for my blog "Growth Markets in Tourism" - along with a new look and feel for my blog!

The title and sub-heading of the new logo says it all about how the travel industry is evolving.  Today's tourism marketplace is led by growth markets and driven by a new generation of travelers.

What is the New Generation of Travelers?
+ All ages
+ All budgets
+ All demographics
+ All types of vacation experiences

The key to success in modern-day tourism is to discover this new generation of travelers, who they are, what they want and how to best serve them. By doing so, you'll tap into the industry's growth markets.

And my blog is here to assist you in that accomplishment.....

Friday, December 21, 2012

China Continues as Global Emerging and Growth Tourism Market

NTA Enters Next Phase of China Inbound Program
Association will continue ‘building a bridge to the market in China.’

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 19, 2012)—Fresh off a successful partnership with Brand USA last month at the China International Travel Mart in Shanghai, NTA is moving into the next phase of its award-winning China Inbound Program.

The program began in 2008, when the governments of the United States and China signed a memorandum of understanding allowing Chinese leisure travelers to visit the United States in group tours. Since then NTA has maintained a list of U.S. tour operators registered to handle inbound Chinese group travelers. In 2010 the association opened the NTA Visit USA Center in Shanghai as a hub for marketing travel to the United States and facilitating business connections with the U.S. and Chinese trade. The office was operated in cooperation with, and with support from, the International Trade Administration’s Market Development Cooperator Program.

“When we created our China Inbound Program and opened the NTA Visit USA Center, there was no national, comprehensive program to market the United States as a destination. Now that Brand USA and the Visit USA Committee are becoming active in the market, NTA will not operate the Visit USA Center in Shanghai,” said Lisa Simon, NTA president. “NTA has played an important role in promoting the United States and helping the industry gain market share, so we will remain very active in the market.”

Simon added that NTA will continue to provide consulting and educational sessions, organize trade events such as the U.S. Pavilion at the China Outbound Travel and Tourism Market in April in Beijing and present the second China Market Forum during Contact, NTA’s tour operator event, which will be held in Hawai‘i, the big island, Aug. 15–17.

While establishing a dynamic presence in China at key trade shows—and through road shows organized by the association—NTA has garnered several awards. They include the Chinese Tourists Welcoming Award from the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (2012) and the Gold Award at the World Travel Fair (2011, 2012). And at its convention last December, NTA was honored for its work with the Chinese market by the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Commercial Service, which awarded NTA a Certificate of Appreciation for Achievement in Trade for “exceptional contributions to U.S. travel and tourism exports in the China market.”

“NTA can be proud of the role the association played in building a bridge to the market in China," said Isabel Hill, deputy director of Travel and Tourism Industries at hte U.S. Department of Commerce. Their work clearly contributed to the growth of travel and tourism exports, and I’m confident that, with NTA’s continued involvement, travel to the United States will continue to increase.”

NTA embarked on its China Inbound Program just as the market began to increase dramatically. Overall, the number of Chinese visitors into the United States rose from 493,000 in 2008 to more than a million (1,089,000) in 2011, with a forecasted total of 1,536,000 in 2012. U.S. tour operators participating in NTA’s program enjoyed a similar increase. The number of tourists in groups handled quarterly by the 149 NTA operators rose from 46,709 in 2010 to 121,180 in the most recent survey, conducted in the third quarter of 2012.

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 is the annual convention.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tourist Offices to Discuss Growth Markets in Tourism and Other Economic Strategies at "NTA Destination Leaders Forum"

Destination Leaders to Collaborate at Travel Exchange
Forums will cover economy’s impact on marketing and packaged travel.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 20, 2012)—NTA will host two Destination Leaders Forums on Jan. 23 in Orlando, Fla., where chief executives of destination marketing organizations will discuss the challenges they have faced during a struggling global economy, its effect on packaged travel, and what solutions lie ahead.

“DMO budgets have been reduced—and sometimes eliminated—as governments cut back during the economic downturn,” said Lisa Simon, NTA president. “So our questions are: What strategies have organizations used—and how can we work together to ensure a robust packaged-travel industry? That’s what will result from this thought-leader discussion.”

The Destination Leaders Forums comprise two sessions at the Orange County Convention Center during Travel Exchange, the convention and trade show for NTA and the United Motorcoach Association. A morning session includes state and provincial leaders from North America, and an afternoon session brings together leaders of national tourism organizations. In both sessions, participants will uncover shared obstacles and develop workable solutions.

Working with NTA to organize the event is Todd Davidson, CEO of Travel Oregon and chairman of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. He said that now, amid signs of strengthening economies, is the time for DMOs to collaborate.

“We have collectively weathered a global recession, but nowhere is the adage, ‘The whole is greater than the sum of the parts,’ more true than in the travel and tourism industry,” Davidson said. “Coming together to explore, evaluate and envision where we’ve been and where we’re heading will give the industry a more complete picture to launch new strategies from.”

To help form that picture, each participant will submit, prior to the forums, a description of its organization and its challenges, plus a projection for the year ahead. When they gather in Orlando, the DMO leaders will share the tactics and innovations they have used to market their destination and attract groups despite budget cuts. Both sessions will be moderated by Helen Marano, vice president of government and industry affairs for the World Travel and Tourism Council.

“After our face-to-face forums, NTA will release our findings in a white paper,” said Simon. “We’ll also use this information to educate our members and enhance packaged travel.”

The 90-minute sessions begin at 9 a.m. (U.S., Mexico and Canada states and provinces) and 2:30 p.m. (national offices). NTA issued invitations to chief executives of all U.S. states, Canadian provinces, Mexican states, and national tourism offices.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Happy Holidays from Growth Markets in Tourism!

 Here's a fun photo of my company wishing everyone a jolly holiday season!! 

Can you find me in the picture? Hint: I'm wearing flag football gloves :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Family That Travels Together, Stays Together (Published by Agent Life Magazine)

A excellent article written by Erika Fifelski about today's family travel marketplace was just published by NACTA via their publication "Agent Life Magazine." 

Here's the link to read the full story "The Family That Travels Together, Stays Together":

Click here to learn more about NACTA - National Association of Career Travel Agents

The National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA) is the foremost Travel Industry Association dedicated to providing the finest education, training, networking and representation in support of Career Travel Agents.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Hilton Hotels Debuts Family Travel Website (a.k.a. Hilton Mom Voyage)

I often blog about family travel being one of the biggest and fastest growing new segments of travel. We see this everywhere from tour operators and travel agents debuting new family travel programs to destinations such as tourist offices and CVBs adding content to their websites to attract family vacation travelers.

And now Hilton Hotels enters the picture with a brand new family travel website titled Hilton Mom Voyage, which features 15 moms sharing their own Hilton vacation experiences.

To read more about this story and endeavor, click on this ABC News story:

The following statement from the above article sums up the new website best.....

"Our research shows that moms play an integral role in the family vacation planning process. Creating a forum for moms and dads to share family travel insights and experiences directly with our future guests will help travelers navigate our resort and leisure portfolio to find the properties that best meet the experiences they want to share during the valuable time families spend together," said Bonnie Campagnuolo, senior director of global brand marketing at Hilton Hotels and Resorts.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Sunday, December 9, 2012

My Agritourism Tour of Jim Beam Bourbon Distillery in Kentucky

There's one thing I learned when I first moved to Kentucky - and it's that Kentucky is the Bourbon Capital of the World.

So when my parents came on a recent visit, I made sure to take them on a bourbon distillery tour and the place we chose was Jim Beam Distillery. While we were on the guided tour, I began thinking my visit of a bourbon distillery tour could make for a great blog post - especially since such type of touring falls under the concepts and growth markets of agritourism, factory (plant) touring, as well as culinary/food touring.  As such, I began taking photos feverishly of which you can see my fruits below!

By the end of our visit, we had spent money on the guided tour tickets, souvenirs and other items in the gift shop, as well as at a nearby restaurant and of course on gas.  All of this is a classic example of how destinations and organizations can turn a site as straightforward as a bourbon distillery into a place of tourism and added economic growth for the surrounding region.

+ Official Website http://www.americanstillhouse.com
+ Info about touring Jim Beam Distillery

Special note: One of the great things about the distillery tour at Jim Beam is that it's very interactive. You can see in some of the photos below some of the ways we got our hands a little dirty by personally participating!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Career Discussions: Travel Jobs Yield Higher Earnings (Travel Market Report; Article by Harvey Chipkin)

A story just published this week by Travel Market Report and written by Harvey Chipkin conveys some impressive information about the travel industry: Success in tourism can pay and reward well. 

One of my favorite statistics in the article below is that 1 in 5 Americans get their first jobs in a travel-related industry.  

As I reflect back myself, my first job was working at the Space Needle in Seattle, WA followed by college summers with Holland America, SeaWorld and Victoria Clipper.

Article Title: Travel Jobs Yield Higher Earnings, More Education
Article Link: http://www.travelmarketreport.com/articles/Travel-Jobs-Yield-Higher-Earnings-More-Education

Travel Jobs Graph 120612

Workers who begin their careers in travel earn more money, have greater access to educational opportunities and enjoy better career progress.

Nearly 40% go on to earn more than $100,000 a year. Overall, individuals who begin their work lives in travel go on to achieve higher maximum salaries than those in other industries.

Those are among the striking conclusions of a new report compiled by the U.S. Travel Association based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report is titled “Fast Forward: Travel Creates Opportunities and Launches Careers.”

Dispels misperceptions
U.S. Travel executives said the report dispels widely held notions that travel industry jobs are low-paying, with little expectation of advancement. They noted that negative perceptions of travel careers are a result of associating travel jobs with front-line employees in hotels and restaurants.

The report draws on Bureau of Labor Statistics data tracking more than 5,000 workers across many industries. The bureau interviewed workers every year between 1979 and 1994 and every two years between 1994 and 2010.

Building the middle class
In a press conference this week, Roger Dow, CEO of U.S Travel, said the report "shows that travel jobs are valuable jobs. . . . Those who start in travel progress farther than in other industries, eventually achieving higher wages and education levels.”

Individuals who start their careers in travel achieve an average maximum salary of $81,900 annually, higher than in other industries, according to U.S. Travel. (See graph below.)

“This industry builds the middle class, as 53% of workers currently in the travel industry earn middle class salaries or better, as defined by the U.S. Department of Labor,” Dow said. The government defines a middle class wage as between 75% and 200% of the median wage in the U.S.

Transferable skills
Education levels among travel industry workers also are high. Among those who started in travel, 33% have bachelors or more-advanced degrees.

“Travel is a rewarding career because it teaches valuable skills – including interpersonal, discipline and time management skills. That translates into building long-term careers in and out of travel,” Dow said.

“The conclusion is compelling,” said Dow. “Travel provides transferable skills that are indispensable.”

20% start out in travel
One in five Americas get their first jobs in a travel-related industry, according to David Huether, senior vice president for research and economics at U.S. Travel.

“Core” travel jobs include those in: air, hotel, entertainment and recreation services, restaurants, museums and art galleries, car rental, zoos, and scenic and sightseeing transportation, Huether said.

Huether called the research “groundbreaking” because it tracked workers over a period of 30 years. “We asked the Labor Department if anybody had ever done an analysis of people who started in a particular industry and where they went. We were told that had not been done before this report.”

U.S. Travel plans to use the report to support the travel industry’s lobbying work, Dow said. “We will be transmitting this report to governmental officials to show again the importance of our industry as a creator of not just jobs but good jobs.”

Travel Jobs Yield Higher Earnings, More Education

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Agritourism World: A Resource for the Travel Trade

If you're involved in agritourism, looking to enter this marketplace, wanting to connect with suppliers or simply hope to learn a little more about this marketplace - an excellent resource to know about and refer to is Agritourism World. Below is the link to the Agritourism World website along with its official description.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF AGRITOURISM WORLD: http://agritourismworld.com/

AgritourismWorld is the leading search portal dedicated to Agriculture and Farm based Tourism. It is our mission to connect the traveling public with Farms and Ag Related destinations that welcome tourism. As the #1 Agritourism web site, we hope to enrich the experience of visitors and help farms and Ag Destinations make Tourism a Cash Crop. Together we build a sustainable tourism market.