USTOA ANNOUNCES VIRTUAL ANNUAL CONFERENCE & MARKETPLACE
NEW YORK (July 1, 2020) – Terry Dale, president & CEO of the United States Tour Operators Association, today announced that the 2020 USTOA Annual Conference & Marketplace will transition to a virtual event.
Dale said that the virtual conference will be in an abbreviated format within the same time frame of original Annual Conference dates of December 1-4. As plans take shape over the next several weeks, he anticipates that details will be announced by late summer.
In making the announcement, Dale said, “USTOA has surveyed our Active and Associate Members and while there’s enthusiasm for an in-person conference as planned, committing resources at this time is challenging. The USTOA Executive Committee and Conference Committee deliberated thoughtfully over the past several weeks before coming to the conclusion that a virtual event is really in everyone’s best interests. While this decision may not be surprising given concerns about COVID-19, we can promise plans are in development for a virtual event that will exceed our members’ expectations.”
USTOA Chairman Charlie Ball, executive vice president of Holland America Group, added, “We understand that this event is highly anticipated each year for the person-to-person marketplace, networking events, educational components, and enlightening speakers, and we are committed to provide the same level of engagement and value as we do during every USTOA Annual Conference.”
Based on post-event surveys each year, USTOA will focus on delivering engaging content that focuses on marketplace intelligence and tour operator sentiments, as well as a virtual format for marketplace appointments.
Dale said that the partnership between Active and Associate Members has never been more acutely felt than in the past several months. “More than ever, we need to work together to not just recover but revive our industry which is such a vital economic driver across the world. Our goal is to deliver a virtual experience that continues to foster meaningful partnerships among our members as we face these unprecedented times together.”
Representing nearly $19 billion in revenue, the member companies of U.S. Tour Operators Association provide tours, packages and custom arrangements that allow 9.8 million travelers annually unparalleled access, insider knowledge, peace-of-mind, value and freedom to enjoy destinations and experiences across the entire globe. Each member company has met the travel industry’s highest standards, including participation in the USTOA’s Travelers Assistance Program, which protects consumer payments up to $1 million if the company goes out of business. As a voice for the tour operator industry for more than 40 years, USTOA also provides education and assistance for consumers and travel agents.
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A travel vacation should not only be an unforgettable experience, but offer solid peace of mind. That’s why USTOA created a consumer protection fund which protects consumers who book with our Active Members.Learn More