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Friday, February 8, 2013

NTA delves deeper into specialty markets (GTM Industry News)

Association hosts first Family Travel and Adventure Tourism Leaders Forum   (Jan 22, 2013)


ORLANDO - NTA broadened its convention focus on specialty markets by hosting the association’s first Family Travel and Adventure Tourism Leaders Forum.

The session was held during Travel Exchange, an appointment and trade show held in partnership with the United Motorcoach Association through Jan. 24 at the Orange County Convention Center.

The -day event also features NTA’s Faith Tourism Leaders Forum, Hispanics in Travel Caucus and Destination Leaders Forum.

“With such a goldmine of industry and market leaders in one association, it only makes sense to bring you together so you can strategize, do business and lead the industry together,” Jim Reddekopp Jr., NTA chairman/CEO and owner of Earth Bound Tours, told the 75 delegates at the Family Travel and Adventure Tourism Leaders Forum. 

“By answering these questions as a group, we position each of our organizations for even greater success.”

The session featured Nancy Schretter, managing editor of Family Travel Network.

She told participants they are missing opportunities for growth if they limit their definition of family travel to two parents with children younger than 12 years old.

“I propose we define it as any combination of family members traveling together, regardless of age,” Schretter said. “It’s the bonding experience that’s important.”

Bonding can also play a role in adventure travel for groups, said Keith Baron, of Abercrombie & Kent USA, during a panel discussion.

“When like-minded people come together, they can build a bond very quickly,” he said.
Baron pointed out that people often think of adventure travel as involving strenuous physical activity, but it can also include connecting with cultures of different countries as well as travel to extreme destinations.
He was joined on the panel by Bart Donnelly, of Travel Alberta; and Debra Asberry of Women Traveling Together.

After hearing from the panel and Schretter, participants generated ideas for further developing niche markets.

NTA plans to compile the ideas and suggestions, distribute them to participants and use them to develop more programs and education, NTA spokesman Bob Rouse said.

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