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Friday, October 31, 2014

Analysis of Religious Tourism (by TTG MENA)

TTG MENA wrote an outstanding overview and analysis of religious tourism in today's world. Here's how to read more on this story...

Article link: http://www.ttgmena.com/Analysis-Religious-Tourism/

Opening Excerpt:

An original pillar from which the travel industry was born, religious tourism has of late been thrust into the ‘niche’ pigeon hole. But, with immense economic potential and an imperturbable resilience to external influences, perhaps it is time the wider industry reassessed its categorization.

Read rest of the article here: http://www.ttgmena.com/Analysis-Religious-Tourism/

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Directory of Approved U.S.-based China Tour Operators

Outstanding resource featuring a full directory of approved U.S.-based China Tour Operators for 2014 to 2015.

Click here to view the Directory:

For more information about applying to be an approved U.S.-based China Tour Operator, contact the National Tour Association at:

Website www.NTAonline.com

China Inbound website: http://www.ntaonline.com/for-members/resources/china-inbound-program/ 

NTA Telephone #: 859.264.6540

Meet the Tour Operator: Yohannes Zeleke

Meet the Tour Operator: Yohannes Zeleke

Opening excerpt:
When you hang with somebody, when you get down, travel around, eat meals together, hike around, discuss, argue, dance, drink, sing, laugh and various other things, you don’t often think about the initials after people’s names. But in truth Yohannes Zeleke, a member of the party that traveled to Ethiopia on the recent NTA Product Development trip, is a Ph.D.

As remarkable as those initials are, it’s one of the least interesting things that comes to mind about Dr. Zeleke. He is an anthropologist, an archaeologist with decades of digs in Europe, Asia and Africa under his belt. He’s an author. He’s a research associate with the Smithsonian Institution. He’s an alumnus of the University of California at Berkeley, The Russian Academy of Sciences and St. Petersburg State University. He teaches anthropology at the American University in Washington DC. He’s the president of the Mid-Atlantic chapter of the Africa Travel Association and he’s a tour operator.

Read rest of the story here:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Move Over Guys, Women-Only Travel Is Growing (by Monique Burns)

Very insightful article by Monique Burns of TravelMarketReport.com on the growing trend of women-only group vacations.

Click here to read full article.

Opening Excerpt:
When it comes to gender-specific travel, “buddy travel” and “man-cations”—from humble fishing trips to lavish golf getaways—have long been top of the list with men.

But women traveling with women—sometimes called “girlfriend getaways”—has recently blossomed into a large and lucrative market.

Women of all ages are traveling in record numbers with female friends and relatives.   A 2013 American Express survey reported a huge surge in girlfriend getaways with 56% of women travelers taking women-only trips, and a 15% increase in trips booked between 2012 and 2013.

Click here to read full article.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Beyond China: One-on-One with NTA's Haybina Hao

Tour Operator | National Tour Association (NTA) | David Cogswell | October 17, 2014

Read full story here.

Opening excerpt:

Haybina Hao was born in Beijing and became involved in NTA (the National Tour Association) during the time it was working with the U.S. and Chinese governments to help facilitate inbound U.S. travel from the Chinese mainland. She worked with Western Leisure, the Salt Lake City-based tour operator on its inbound China program, then later took the job as director of international development for NTA (formerly known as the National Tour Association).  

Hao was the NTA representative on the NTA Ethiopia Product Development Trip (PDT) in late September. TravelPulse discussed the trip with her in an interview after she returned to the U.S.

Click here to read the rest of the story.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Meet the Tour Operator: Andrew Selinka

Tour Operator | David Cogswell | October 16, 2014

Click here to view article.

Opening excerpt:
Many winding paths converge in the tour industry. The industry is a haven for a wide variety of seekers who were unsatisfied trying to fit into more conventional walks of life.
Take Andrew Selinka, the owner ofAcademic Expeditions. A look at his resume gives the impression that he wanted to try everything else before he took up tour operating.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

NTA’s Prez: Helping Members Build Unique Itineraries (by Robin Amster)

Click here to read full article.

Published by TravelMarketReport.com and written by Robin Amster.

Open excerpt:

NTA needs to continue to help its members develop special interest travel and niche markets, according to its new president.

Pam Inman, who took the reins at NTA, last month, said members have been telling her that Internet savvy travelers often search online for their own unique experiences. The association can help through education and by bringing specialists together at its annual Travel Exchange.

NTA also has a lot to offer travel agents who, for the first time last year, were invited to that convention, said Inman. The agent part of the gathering features agent-specific education and opportunities to connect with NTA members

Click here to read full article.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Ethiopian Dispatches: The Bush and the Village


Article link:

Opening excerpt:

On the eighth day of the NTA Product Development Tour of Ethiopia we saw two more essential aspects of the many-faceted country.
We started from Paradise Lodge in Arba Minch where we saw a fantastic sunrise over a vista that included the giant expanse of water of Lake Abaya and a huge symmetrical mountain known as God's Bridge.
Article link: 

Ethiopia's Top Ten Religious Highlights



Here's the opening excerpt:
Ethiopia is emerging from the shadowy sidelines of the world community and joining the global travel industry, bringing its attractions to market. The richness of the country’s historical sites will surprise most people who have never visited the country before. Besides its fertile sub-saharan landscape and natural wonders, the East African country has a wealth of historical sites, and many major religious sites.
NTA (National Tour Association) recently conducted a Product Development Trip to Ethiopia, sponsored by the Ethiopian government, to introduce American tour operators to the country’s tourism possibilities.

Read the rest of the article here:

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Virtuoso chief on experiential and multigen travel trends (Travel Weekly)

Excellent article by Jeri Clausing on two key trends:

1) Upswing in luxury travelers seeking experiences that can't be found in any typical guidebook.
2) More families and multi-generationals seeking to provide their children with supplemented education through travel.

Article link:

Embassy of Ethiopia Publishes NTA's Product Development Trip to Ethiopia

Ethiopia Embassy link: http://www.ethiopianembassy.org/

Ethiopia Embassy link to NTA Product Development Trip: 

Ethiopian Dispatches: The Bush and the Village

By David Cogswell with Travel Pulse
Article link: 

Opening excerpt:

On the eighth day of the NTA Product Development Tour of Ethiopia we saw two more essential aspects of the many-faceted country.

We started from Paradise Lodge in Arba Minch where we saw a fantastic sunrise over a vista that included the giant expanse of water of Lake Abaya and a huge symmetrical mountain known as God's Bridge.

To read the rest of David's story, click here:

Ethiopia for First-Timers

Want to know what it's like to visit Ethiopia for the first time when traveling?

Prominent travel trade journalist, David Cogswell, shares his first-hand encounter story from within Ethiopia:


Here is David's opening excerpt:

Ignorance is not often considered an asset, but on this trip to Ethiopia I have the advantage of being able to report my impressions as a first-time visitor who knew very little about the country before I got on this NTA Product Development Trip this week.

The schedule is full, leaving little time to file reports, and there are many things to report. The Ethiopian Tourism Organization was tasked with trying to give as comprehensive a picture of Ethiopia’s tourism possibilities as possible to a small group of tour operators in a 10-day period, including trans-Atlantic transportation. In four full days of touring they have done a great job of dazzling us with the range of possibilities in the country, and we’re only about halfway finished with the trip.

Read rest of the story at 


Friday, October 3, 2014

Booming Wellness Tourism Now a Nearly $495 Billion Industry

Author: Robin Amster
Publisher: Travel Market Report

Click here to view article.

Opening excerpt:
Wellness tourism is now a $494 billion worldwide industry—and it’s just one segment in a whopping $3.4 trillion global wellness economy—according to new report from the Global Spa & Wellness Summit.

Conducted by SRI International, “The 2014 Global Wellness Economy Monitor” said wellness tourism’s $494 billion in revenues for 2013 represents an increase of nearly 13% over 2012, outpacing SRI’s original growth forecast of 9%.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Dispatches from Ethiopia: A Series of Mind-Altering Experiences

Here's latest article from David Cogswell of Travel Pulse on his travels through Ethiopia with NTA tour operators.

Dispatches from Ethiopia: A Series of Mind-Altering Experiences

CCTV: Interview on Impact of Faith Tourism on Local Economies

CCTV America is joined by Kevin Wright, National Tour Association Director of Growth Markets, to talk about religious tourism.

Click here to view interview. http://www.cctv-america.com/2014/10/01/mecca-pkg

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Adventure Travel Trade Association Releases First Global Adventure Bicycle Tourism Report

Click here to view full article.

Opening excerpt:

The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA;www.adventuretravel.biz) released the results of the first global bicycle tourism survey for the adventure travel industry. Each year the ATTA invites adventure businesses to share anonymous information about their companies and uses that data to compile a report called the Industry Snapshot. The 2014 Bicycle Tourism survey follows a similar methodology, but focuses only on adventure businesses offering cycling trips or activities.


Check out the new CLIA membership structure via Andrew Sheivachman's article in Travel Market Report.

Here's opening excerpt:

For the first time in its 40 years as an association, CLIA is overhauling its membership structure to focus on benefits for the travel agency community.