Another organization aimed at young professionals in the travel industry, Millennials in Travel, has launched in Los Angeles, with the goal of providing networking and career development in a relaxed atmosphere.
The New York-based Young Travel Professionals launched about a year-and-a-half ago, and recently held a party celebrating its soon-to-be-launched website, YoungTravelProfessionals.com.
What distinguishes these groups from ASTA’s Young Professionals Society is that they are open to suppliers as well as travel agents.
“Our main goal is career development,” said Joshua Smith, director of strategic development for Millennials in Travel and product manager for Travcoa’s Independent Journeys. “We are looking at mentorship programs pairing young professionals in the industry who have been around for one or two years with those who have been in the industry for five or 10 years.”
The Millennials also plan on targeting colleges and universities to show students the value of a career in travel. It will also create a job board.
The Millennials plan to expand to Washington and Atlanta later this year and to start groups in Miami, Chicago, Denver and Dallas in 2014.
Young Travel Professionals was created to fill a void in the industry, said board member Karen Magee, a manager of hotel sales and marketing for Ultramar Travel.
"We needed to get the word out there that this is a fun, exciting, sexy industry to be in," she said.
There are three main facets to Young Travel Professionals, said Magee: relationship building, career development and attracting new talent.
Both of these new groups are reaching out to a broad swath of the travel industry, including those who work for travel agencies, hotels, airlines, tour operators, meeting and event planners, consortia and marketing agencies. Follow Kate Rice on Twitter @krtravelweekly.