NTA OPENS EYES AND MINDS TO ETHIOPIA
When Ethiopia opened its doors to the National Tour Association during a product development trip last month, it opened the eyes of NTA tour operators.
"Ethiopia is a country like no other," said Tim Ambrose, sales director for Washington, D.C.-based Academic Travel Abroad, who joined other tour operators and travel journalists on the trip. "Its many unique religious, cultural and natural assets provide a genuine, unfiltered experience. It's real."
"While I was fortunate to see some incredible sites, my most profound memory of Ethiopia is of the people," Ambrose said. "They are friendly, welcoming and gracious, and everywhere we went we were greeted with genuine warmth."
NTA President Pam Inman is pleased by the success of the PDT, both for the participants and the host country. "Our tour operators returned home inspired, and they plan to offer new Ethiopian tours to North American travelers," Inman said. "Ethiopia's security and stability are conducive for the tourism market, and the diversity of experiences makes it an incredible destination."
NTA's Ethiopia PDT is the latest in a series of trips organized by the association to educate its tour operator members about options for packaging global travel. In recent years NTA has led trips to Scotland, Morocco, Germany/Czech Republic and the Holy Land (Jordan and Israel). These projects are part of NTA's mission, according to Inman.
"We always want to look ahead-and look around-to help our members create innovative, captivating itineraries for their clients," Inman said. "Given NTA's 63-year history and global membership in 44 countries, we constantly look at the big picture."