ORLANDO — The National Tour Association appears ready to pull the trigger on inviting travel agents to attend its next conference and trade show, indicated NTA President Lisa Simon at Travel Exchange, the new convention and expo co-hosted by NTA and the United Motorcoach Association.
Asked if NTA has plans to invite retailers to join its organization, Simon responded, “In terms of membership, we haven’t quite figured that out. In terms of the show, absolutely.”
Simon said that during the Travel Exchange opening session, NTA asked members if they would find value in travel agents being at the conference.
“And 99% of the room said absolutely, we think it would be really valuable. That is a change within our own organization as well as in the tour operator segment at large because there used to be that air of competition,” she said.
Simon said that in the past, operator members didn’t like the idea of travel agents talking to suppliers and destination marketing organizations and potentially building their own packages.
But she said that members now are seeing the value of having travel buyers and sellers in one place, doing business together.
With members expressing their view, said Simon, NTA now needs to respond. She did not elaborate, and said additional details and a possible announcement would be forthcoming. Follow Michelle Baran on Twitter @mbtravelweekly.