he Southeast Tourism Society aims to
boost membership by 24% this year.
Bill Hardman, president and chief executive officer, said the
group has expanded its efforts to increase its 500-member roster by
"The focus is not on any particular state, but rather to create
a better balance among the membership categories," Hardman
These categories include attractions, hotels, convention and
visitor bureaus, festival organizers, chambers of commerce and
In addition, he said, the group is focused on summer travel.
"We are very optimistic on travel this summer. All the
indicators are there," he said.
"First of all, we continue to offer value for dollar, and we can
be optimistic because, in general, in this region, the gas prices
are less than in other parts of the country."
The society holds several industry events each year. Its annual
fall meeting is set for September in Charlotte, N.C.
Two other major annual events are its Canadian Sales Mission and
the Congress Summit on Travel and Tourism.
"The Congress Summit is always in March, and for two days, our
members are in Washington to learn of legislative issues and
congressional activity that have an impact on the travel industry,"
STS markets and promotes travel from within the U.S. and Canada
to 11 states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana,
Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia
and West Virginia.
For more information, call STS at (404) 364-9847; fax (404)