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

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

9 Travel Industry Market Guides Available

Do you specialize in student and youth travel? Or maybe you're interested in learning more about agritourism. Or have you ever wondered what the buzz is about family or faith-based travel? NTA now has Travel Market Guides, educational and interactive8.23.11 9 resources to meet your needs in discovering nine key industry travel markets:
  • 1. Adventure and active travel
  • 2. Agritourism
  • 3. China inbound
  • 4. Culinary travel
  • 5. Faith-based travel
  • 6. Family and multi-generational travel
  • 7. Hispanic travel
  • 8. Sports travel
  • 9. Student and youth travel
Each PDF reference guide includes market definitions, statistics, important facts, member quotes and an explanation of NTA's leadership role, as well as direct links to Courier articles, webinars and Travel Exchange presentations on each subject.

Click here to access all nine Travel Market Guides

Statistics on PANKS "Professional Aunts, No Kids" (by Travel Market Report)

Link to article: http://www.travelmarketreport.com/content/publiccontent.aspx?pageid=1365&articleid=9208

According to research from Savvy Auntie:
•    PANKs spend an average of $387 a year on each child in their life, according to research from savvyauntie.com. An estimated 76% spend more than $500 annually on each child.

•    48% say that they enjoy traveling with nieces and nephews.

•    These women are better-educated and have higher household income than the population at large. They are much more likely to rely on experts for advice about purchasing decisions.

•    They excel in sharing information about travel. They’re strong influencers via word-of-mouth as well as social media.

No Kids? No Problem, Aunts Travel With Nieces and Nephews (by Ana Figueroa/Travel Market Report)

Article link to Travel Market Report:
The travel industry should take note of the power of the newly-dubbed PANKs: Professional Aunts, No Kids.

This segment holds huge potential as buyers of travel, according to the recent World Travel Mart 2013 Global Trends Report. Conducted with Euromonitor International, the report singled out PANKs as a key emerging demographic—and one that has yet to be exploited by the travel industry.

PANKs are defined as women over the age of 18 who don’t have children of their own but have close relationships with friends’ and relatives’ kids. They are a steadily growing population.

Here’s what travel agents need to know about this new market.

Impressive numbers
According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau survey, nearly 43% of 15- to 44-year-old women were childless. That’s an increase of 3% over 2002 figures.

A 2012 joint study by the web-based community Savvy Auntie and Weber Shandwick and KRC Research, estimated the number of U.S. PANKs at 23 million. It also found this market spends some $9 million annually on children.

Indulging the kids
“As women marry later, they are also having kids later or not at all,” said Melanie Notkin, CEO of Savvy Auntie.

“They’re spending a great deal of time earning income. That income gives them the option to indulge niece and nephews.”

“Indulging” doesn’t necessarily involve material goods, Notkin added. In her blog, Notkin noted the “Auntventures” that PANKs often take with nieces and nephews.

“These women can play an important role [in childrens’ lives] by providing new cultural adventures and world perspectives. Taking nieces and nephews on trips accomplishes this in a literal sense,” said Notkin.

Where agents come in
Opportunities abound for agents as well as suppliers to target this market. But doing so requires making some changes in the definition of “family travel.”

“In all industries we tend to look at women as either moms or newlyweds or part of a couple,” Notkin said.

“There is some marketing to single women. But rarely do we see women as aunts with the opportunity to take nieces or nephews on a trip.”

Marketing to PANKs
Notkin cited tour operator Intrepid Travel as one company that’s targeting PANKs through social media, dedicated emails and advertorials.

Intrepid specializes in small group international cultural tours. That’s a niche that appeals to PANKs for several reasons: it’s safe, well-organized, meaningful, experiential and tends to be good value.

Intrepid Travel’s research found that PANKs are interested in domestic travel, particularly to Disney resorts and Hawaii. “In Europe, the U.K. is in high demand,” said Notkin.

Old stereotypes
Targeting this market not only makes good business sense, it helps combat age-old stereotypes.

“Overall, PANKs can feel sidelined by society,” said Notkin. “The modern childless aunt of today is sophisticated and worldly.

“She’s not the stereotypical old maid or nutty, blue-haired relative. She’s not the spinster we used to feel sorry for.”

On the contrary.

PANKs are often important role models for nieces and nephews. Traveling together affirms and strengthens those ties in significant ways.

Tapping into the “Auntventures” market is well worth the effort although realizing results may take some time, Notkin said.

“It’s like the guest that you’ve never before invited to the party. You can’t expect them to show up immediately as soon as you decide to invite them.”

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New "Travel Market Guides" Just Published!

How can you learn about some of the biggest and fasting growing markets in the travel industry? Check out NTA's new Travel Market Guides on the following 9 markets:  

1.       Adventure and Active Travel

2.       Agritourism

3.       China-Inbound Travel

4.       Culinary Travel

5.       Faith-based Travel

6.       Family Travel

7.       Hispanic Travel

8.       Sports Travel

9.       Student and Youth Travel

Faith Guide
Family guide
Family &
  Adventure Guide
China Guide
& Active
China Inbound
Hispanic Guide
Student Guide Icon
 Student & Youth
Agritourism Guide Icon
Culinary Market Guide Icon
Sports Guide Icon

Friday, November 15, 2013

Speakers Bios at Travel Exchange

View Travel Exchange's speakers and bios at:

Peter Greenberg Bruce Poon Tip
Paul Vitale
Paul VitaleCatherine HeegPeter Kerr
"Maximize your sales team’s potential by joining me for my session, Sell With Confidence—Unlock Your Potential Management Solutions!  During this intense yet entertaining session, my goal is to help you lead your team in polishing sales methods, enlisting practical yet effective approaches, and increasing productivity.  Come explore ways to sharpen your sales team’s skills, in order to continue prospering well into the future!"

"Keeping pace in our industry is a challenge.  Come out and join the social media marketing sessions and learn how you can jumpstart your social presence and stay ahead of the marketing curve. Join me and walk away with tips and tactics you can use immediately.  We’ll have some fun exploring new social marketing strategies.""My goal is to make you look good. These multimedia sessions pack in the information and the entertainment, so you'll actually enjoy learning how to plan for crises, attract the media in creative ways, and deliver powerful messages. Come be inspired to use the press to promote your organization!"
Erik WolfCindy Richards
Haybina HaoJeremy SampsonKevin Wright
Peter Greenberg
A multiple Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter and producer, Peter Greenberg is America’s most recognized, honored and respected front-line travel news journalist. Known in the industry as “The Travel Detective,” he is the travel editor for CBS News, appearing on many of the CBS News programs.
The consummate insider on reporting the travel business as news, Greenberg hosts and produces a variety of television shows.  He is also author of The New York Times best-selling Travel Detective series and his most recent book is titled The Best Places for Everything. Currently editor at large of Global Business Travel magazine and is a contributing writer to Watch.
Peter began his career in journalism as West Coast correspondent for Newsweek in Los Angeles and San Francisco. He won a national Emmy Award (Best Investigative Reporting) for his ABC “20/20” special on the final orphan flight out of Vietnam. He also is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin, and an Excellence in Broadcasting Award from the Aviation Space Writers Association of America.
His website, PeterGreenberg.com, is one of the leading travel news resources for consumers and industry insiders alike. When he is not traveling the globe, Greenberg also serves as an active volunteer firefighter in New York.
Haybina Hao
Haybina is native Chinese and has worked the China market for 20 years. Prior to NTA, Haybina served as the Chinese Market Manager for Western Leisure, a tour operator in Salt Lake City. She dealt with all aspects of the business including product development, working with DMOs and suppliers, handling marketing and sales, pricing/negotiations, driving/guiding tours, and promoting destinations/attractions.  At NTA, Haybina oversees NTA’s China market initiatives including supervising the NTA China office until its closure at the end of 2012. Haybina also works closely with the Chinese travel trade and government agencies. Part of her work is to assist NTA members with their China market needs and oversees professional translation services. To date, Haybina has helped more than 100 companies and destinations enter the China market. 

Catherine Heeg

Catherine Heeg is a tourism, travel and hospitality industry expert with over three decades experience. Based in Calgary, Catherine works with professionals to enhance their marketing knowledge and is a contributor to Courier.
She is committed to helping clients quickly learn the best ways to leverage the power of social media and other relevant marketing tactics. Catherine delivers proven tools that help companies reach their target audience, differentiate themselves and achieve authentic visibility that translates into winning results. 
For her entire career Catherine has trained and lead sales and marketing teams in the hotel, airline, tour wholesale, car rental and travel agency sectors.  With this practical knowledge she specializes in inspiring social marketing success.
Past President of Skål International Calgary, she’s also a business owner, triathlete and loves skiing, hiking and golfing.
Peter Kerr
Peter Kerr is president of KerrCommunications, offering world-class training for media engagement, crisis planning, intercultural communications and leadership improvement. He’s a professor of communications at Asbury University, with degrees in engineering and leadership from the Air Force Academy, an MA in Communications from the University of Washington and an MDIV from ATS.
Peter's traveled to more than 50 countries on six continents. He’s worked with many media outlets including CNN, NBC, FOX, BBC, NY Times, USA Today, NPR, London Times, Der Spiegel, and Al Jazeera. Peter led media relations during the 2004 Reagan Funeral, did crisis planning for the 2010 World Equestrian Games and has media trained hundreds of leaders including White House officials, generals, CEOs, and non-profit leaders. Other experiences include negotiating with U.S. embassies and foreign military leaders in the Middle East and serving as Chief Media Liaison Officer for Outdoor Games in Beijing for the 2008 Olympics.
Kim Orlando

Kim Orlando is the founder of
TravelingMom.com, and the TravelingMom Blogger Network, the nation’s top web site and blog network for moms who travel with (and without) their kids.  TravelingMom.com was named one of the top 4 family travel websites by Sherman’s Travel in 2010.  In addition to the magazine-style destination reviews, travel stories, product reviews, and other content, TravelingMom.com has a network of expert bloggers, each of whom writes from a specific perspective--Traveling GrandMom, Special Needs TravelingMom, Traveling with Babies Mom, TravelingMom with Teens, Traveling with Pets Mom and about 50 others.  Orlando is a sought-after speaker and broadcast source on travel issues relating to moms and provides travel commentary for BlueSuitMom.com, Wyndham’s Women on Their Way, CityBuzz, DailyBuzz, Ripley’s Radio and MomTalkRadio.  
Bruce Poon Tip 
Bruce Poon Tip is the founder of G Adventures and is a global leader in sustainability and social entrepreneurship.
He has spoken multiple times at the request of the United Nations and World Bank, presented at the headquarters of Apple and Google, and delivered keynote speeches at TED events and leading entrepreneurship conferences around the world.
In 2012, Bruce was inducted into the Social Venture Network Hall of Fame, alongside Richard Branson (Virgin Airlines), Anita Roddick (The Body Shop), and Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield (Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream).
Bruce’s first book, Looptail: How One Company Changed the World by Reinventing Business is on sale now.

Cindy Richards
Cindy Richards is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist who has been a reporter, editorial writer and columnist at Chicago's two biggest newspapers, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has been an editor at regional magazines, run international projects for TripAdvisor and taught journalism at the prestigious Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Today, she is the Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor for TravelingMom.com and its subsidiary companies, TravelingDad.com and SheBuysCars.com.

Jeremy Sampson

Jeremy Sampson is Senior Director, Marketing and Communications for Sustainable Travel International. In his role, he oversees all marketing and communication efforts, including the development of a new brand and website for the organization’s 10th Anniversary. Jeremy also leads projects for destination and corporate clients which link sustainability initiatives to strategic marketing and product development. These include the Festival & Events component of the North American Destination Marketing Campaign in Namibia, and the Oregon Travel Philanthropy Fund. A practiced trainer and published writer, Jeremy is known for his ability to deliver learning outcomes in an entertaining and compelling manner.
Paul Vitale

Paul Vitale has become one of America’s most sought speakers for his unique combination of excitement, energy, and experience to encourage and motivate others.  The founder of Vital Communications, Inc., Paul is a native of Arkansas and acquired his degree in mass communications and journalism from the University of Central Arkansas.

Paul speaks worldwide about the significance of optimism, a strong work ethic, and concepts vital to personal and professional growth, while reaching hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life. His clients include NTA, ESPN, Walmart, Southwest Airlines, the Minnesota Vikings, the Antiques Roadshow, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, United Way, Tyson Foods, the St. Louis Rams, and Dole Hong Kong.

Prior to speaking professionally, Paul was director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  Preceding his role at the CVB, Paul launched his professional career with the largest marketing firm in the State of Arkansas—Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods.  His team was responsible for all of the Natural State’s tourism promotion.

Paul has authored four books and been featured on NBC, ABC, FOX, and the Minnesota Vikings Entertainment Network, and is a regular guest on talk shows sharing his insight and life strategies.  Paul’s expertise, enthusiasm, and ability to encourage people to exceed their potential have been described by his audiences as extraordinary.

Erik Wolf
Erik Wolf is recognized internationally as the founder of the food tourism industry. With nearly 25 years of experience in travel marketing, he has worked with a variety of travel industry companies and international organizations that have included Disney, Travelocity, Royal Caribbean, Marriott and American Express. He is considered the go-to food tourism resource for media including the BBC, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Forbes, PeterGreenberg.com, Ariang Korea, and many more. Erik also advises on a regular basis to UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network gastronomy program. A member of Slow Food, Erik sees food as a way to communicate and connect with local people. Erik has lived in Australia, Denmark, New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa and speaks several languages. During his travels through dozens of countries, he encountered untold stories in the form of unique food and beverage experiences. Don’t ever let him loose in a grocery store in another country–you won’t see him for hours.
Kevin Wright

Kevin J. Wright is an intrapreneur, entrepreneur, author, speaker, consultant, and well-known authority in the tourism industry. As NTA’s Director of Growth Markets, Kevin provides corporate entrepreneurial development of member markets including faith-based, family, adventure/active, culinary, agritourism and student travel among others.  Kevin created the faith-based travel brand at Globus and founded the World Religious Travel Association, a pioneering organization that opened an industry-wide market. Kevin has traveled to 30+ countries, performed USAID contract work, and spoken at major tourism events throughout North America and around the world.  Kevin has been interviewed by CBS Early Show, TIME Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, National Geographic, NPR, Arabian Business and dozens of other media. He has authored four travel guidebooks and written dozens of articles for trade and consumer publications including USA TODAY.  Kevin is an Industry Board Member for the International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage.

Register for Travel and Tourism Marketing Association Event in Los Angeles on Dec 4

Clayton Whitehead, CTP, CITM
Vice President, Sports Leisure Vacations will be
speaking on behalf of NTA and discussing their
organization and upcoming convention
in Los Angeles February 16-20, 2014

NTA Convention + UMA Motorcoach EXPO | Feb. 16-20, 2014 | Los Angeles, California
  •   Why you should not miss this convention? 
  •  Find volunteer opportunities for this convention
  •  Find out what's happening at NTA and how can the
 help you promote your business
 Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Capital Grille

Terrace , 2nd floor

 8614 Beverly Blvd 
  Los Angeles , CA   90048

Complimentary valet parking on Beverly Blvd

east of San Vicente Blvd.

Networking and Registration Begins at 11:00 am
Luncheon  & Program Begins: 12:00pm - 1:30 pm

Click here to register or for more information

Thursday, November 14, 2013

NTA Opens Travel Exchange to Travel Agents

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 14, 2013) — Along with welcoming new members to Travel Exchange ’14, NTA is opening the door to another group of first-time attendees: travel agents. Agents will participate at the Los Angeles-based convention on Feb. 19 and 20, the last two days of the event.

NTA has created a roundtable networking session that allows travel agents to meet with participating tour operators and then visit with destination representatives who secure a tabletop display highlighting their destination and information from supplier partners. In addition to the Feb. 19 session, travel agents can mingle with NTA members at luncheons, education seminars and social functions.

“We opened the dialogue with members about including travel agents 10 months ago at Travel Exchange ’13 in Orlando, and board chair Mark Hoffmann has since discussed the idea during interactive webinars,” said Lisa Simon, CTP, NTA president. “Members made positive comments about this opportunity for new business, so we moved forward and created an NTA program for agent participation.”

To spread the word about the travel agent program at Travel Exchange, NTA is working with the Association of Retail Travel Agents and other agent groups. While all agents are welcome, Simon expects most who attend will come from Southern California.

NTA has relied on the expertise of members to launch the program. Suzanne Slavitter, CTP, CTIE and owner of Lakewood, Calif.-based Sports Empire, chairs the NTA Travel Agent Task Force and sees the program as a positive development both for NTA members and guests.

“Travel agents and tour operators are already great tourism partners,” Slavitter said, “and now we’ve got a place where we can strengthen those relationships while building new business together—Travel Exchange.”

Travel agents interested in attending can call or email NTA Headquarters (859.264.6540 or headquarters@NTAstaff.com) or follow this link. Travel Exchange is co-hosted by NTA and the United Motorcoach Association. The combined appointment and trade show takes place at the Los Angeles Convention Center Feb. 16–20.

Six Travel Trends to Watch in 2014 & Beyond (by Robin Amster/Travel Market Report)

Link to Travel Market Report article by Robin Amster:

From the distinct travel preferences of millennials to the growth of “creative tourism,” the travel industry is witnessing a series of powerful trends with real staying power.

Travel agents – along with suppliers, destinations and marketers – would be wise to take note, as the trends represent both opportunities and challenges.

Resonance Consultancy president Chris Fair detailed the top trends his firm expects to shape travel in 2014 and beyond in a webinar earlier this week. The firm researches lifestyle and tourism trends and formulates branding and development strategies for destinations.

Among its leading travel trends are:

Trend #1. Impact of millennials
Millennials – 18- to 30-year-olds – are of “obvious and growing importance” to the travel industry, said Fair. They also have distinct characteristics.

“Millennials are a much more ethnically diverse group than other generations and so are more interested in international travel,” he said.

Other characteristics of millennials:
•    They’re more interested in urban than resort destinations.
•    They’re more likely to travel in pursuit of favorite interests or activities.
•    They’re more likely to travel with friends in organized groups.

Trend #2. Seniors are unstoppable
What Fair called the “unstoppable elders” are estimated to comprise 1.3 billion to 1.6 billion people worldwide.

Customer service is crucial to this group, and they “show higher levels of frustration that result in zero tolerance for poor service,” he added.

“Seniors are not only the world’s wealthiest group, they are also the most demanding of travelers,” said Fair.

This group travels primarily for rest and relaxation on either short- or long-stay trips, and they favor quieter, less congested destinations, according to Fair.

Trend #3. Rise of conspicuous leisure
Another key trend is what Fair called “conspicuous leisure,” which he defined as “the signaling of social status through consumption of experience rather than through consumer goods.”

“Unique experiences, and not just for the affluent, are social currency,” he said. The preponderance of social media – and with it the widespread sharing of vacation photos with friends, families and colleagues – has fostered the trend.

Fair said the top five goods and experiences desired by the affluent are:
•    owning a smartphone
•    owning a vacation home
•    having the freedom to work from home
•    taking vacations to exotic destinations
•    taking extended time off from work

Trend #4. Growth of ‘creative tourism’
Creative tourism is travel “directed toward an engaged and authentic experience,” said Fair. “It’s travel that provides a connection with those who reside in the destination.”

The creative tourist differs from a cultural tourist in that he or she is active and interacts with the locals.

Trend #5. Strength of luxury travel
Luxury travel continues to be a robust segment of the industry.

“There are millions of millionaires,” and the number of affluent U.S. households is projected to increase from 10.5 million in 2012 to 20.5 million in 2020, he said.

“For all the chat about China, it’s still projected that the U.S., Japan and Europe visitors will dominate the luxury travel space until 2020,” Fair said.

Trend #6. More multigenerational travel
Another trend with reliable staying power is multigenerational travel, Fair said.

“The older the boomers get, the more family travel they’re doing,” he said. “A lot of that travel is planned around milestone events.”

This market is about “trading memories, convenience and value,” he said.

On the supply side, destinations have lagged when it comes to providing services and amenities that appeal both to 6- and 66-year-olds, but some cruise lines have taken a leadership position in catering to the multigenerational travel market, according to Fair.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

NTA Adds Faith Travel Pavilion at Travel Exchange

New this year at Travel Exchange is the Faith Travel Pavilion, an exhibit area situated next to the popular Canadian Cyber Center. Here you'll find greatIsraelBoothTE13 information about faith travel. Tour operators can interact with key players in the faith travel industry exhibiting in this area, such as the Israel Ministry of Tourism and Meander Travel.

If you're interested in sponsoring and having a booth in the Faith Travel Pavilion, please email Karla DiNardo or call +1.859.264.6556 for more information. To view a complete list of available sponsorships and benefits or to advertise in an official Travel Exchange publication, click here.  

And if you'd like to get more involved in the faith-based travel market, you'll want to attend a targeted education seminar at Travel Exchange: Increasing Faith-based Travel Profits through Special Events.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Register for Intrapreneurship Conference in Barcelona, Spain (Dec 11-13, 2013)


Whether you're a tourism organization looking to groom intrapreneurs within your organization, or whether you are an intrapreneur yourself or an aspiring intrapreneur......I definitely recommend checking out and consider attending the upcoming Intrapreneurship Conference in Barcelona, Spain.  Here are details....

Intrapreneurship Conference
Website http://www.intrapreneurshipconference.com
Where? Barcelona, Spain
When? Dec. 11-13, 2013

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Incentive rewards: Keep an eye on experiential/adventure travel (by Barbara Scofidio/MeetingsNet)

Article title: 5 Takeaways From the 2013 Incentive Federation Survey

Article link: http://meetingsnet.com/merchandisegift-cards/5-takeaways-2013-incentive-federation-survey

Authored by: Barbara Scofidio

5 Takeaways From the 2013 Incentive Federation Survey

Even in economically challenged times, companies continue to use non-cash incentive awards—both travel and merchandise/gift cards—for sales and non-sales employees.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

China Travel Directory: List of Approved Tour Operators

To view the directory of NTA's approved tour operators for China-inbound to USA, click here:


Paul Larsen, President of Ed-Ventures, on the Faith-based Travel Market

Paul Larsen, president of Rochester, Minnesota-based Ed-Ventures and chair of NTA's Faith Tourism Advisory Council, recently helped lead an NTA webinar on faith-based travel.

In a conversation with NTA HQ, he gives his assessment of the faith-travel market from his company's perspective.

"The economic downturn in 2008 and 2009 had a dramatic effect for us, but there are signs the economy is coming back. From 2011 to 2012 and from 2012 to 2013, we saw approximately 20 percent growth a year in revenues. That can largely be attributed to groups that travel with a purpose- those on a faith-based journey and those travelling on family heritage tours."

Larsen added that group sizes have been down, with the exception of pilgrimages or major events. He sees one coming up next year in Europe: "I think the canonization of the two popes in Rome is going to be big."

To hear more from Larsen and other specialists in this market, follow this link to NTA's website and replay the Oct. 16 webinar.