Press Releases

USTOA Holds Out of Country Board Meeting in Malta and Türkiye

Published May 24, 2022 12:00AM


USTOA’s First Out Of Country Meeting Since the Beginning of the Pandemic 

NEW YORK – May 24, 2022 – The United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) held its first post-pandemic Out of Country Board Meeting in Malta and İstanbul, Türkiye, from May 5 to 13, 2022. Senior executives representing USTOA tour operator members gathered for an in-depth experience of the two destinations. Airline tickets for the trip were provided by Turkish Airlines for all attendees.  

USTOA President and CEO Terry Dale said the Out of Country Board Meeting was a successful welcome back since the start of the pandemic. “It was gratifying to experience these diverse and fascinating destinations and to learn more about their commitment to sustainability in conjunction with USTOA’s plan to set a more sustainable future for the travel industry,” he commented. 

In 2022 USTOA is celebrating its 50th anniversary by looking forward 50 years and beyond with an emphasis on sustainable and responsible travel and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).  


USTOA President and CEO Terry Dale is knighted at La Valette Hall in Malta. 

Malta Tourism Authority Representative Michelle Buttigieg said, “Malta was honored to be able to host, for the first time, the USTOA Out of Country Board Meeting in partnership with Turkish Airlines and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism for Türkiye.” She added, “We understand that for many of the tour operators it was their first time to experience Malta, its rich history, diversity, gastronomy and most importantly, the warmth of the Maltese people. We hope that they have come away with a new understanding of why Malta as a destination has been trending in the US and Canada and will be inspired to include programs for Malta in their offerings.” 


A plaque marks the spot of USTOA’s tree planting ceremony at the Tan-Nixxiegha Olive Grove in Malta. 

Attendees explored Malta with a schedule of activities including planting trees at the Tan-Nixxiegha Olive Grove in Bingemma, visiting the Hagar Qim Temple in Qrendi, a tour of Valletta, Malta’s capital city established in the 16th century and home to world-class museums, and much more. The welcome dinner on May 6 was held at the Villa Corinthia in the Corinthia Palace Hotel in Balzan, the host hotel for the USTOA delegation.  

“Malta, in the middle of the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, with its 7,000 years of history and the warm hospitality of the Maltese, offers a unique experience to the discerning American traveler,” said Corinthia Palace General Manager Alexandra Pisani. “As we look forward to the 60th anniversary and relaunch of Corinthia Palace, it has been an honor for us to host the members of USTOA.”  

After four days in Malta, the attendees traveled to İstanbul, Türkiye, for the second phase of the Out of Country Board Meeting. 

While in Türkiye the group was hosted at the Conrad İstanbul Bosphorus Hotel. USTOA tour operator members visited a number of highlights in İstanbul and beyond including the Sait Halim Paşa Mansion, Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque, enjoyed the sunset aboard a private Bosphorus Cruise Tour, walked through the cobblestone streets of Balat and Fener, toured the new Galataport and other memorable experiences. 


USTOA delegates tour the Spice Bazaar in İstanbul 

General Manager of Türkiye Tourism Promotion and Development Agency Yalcin Lokmanhekim said, “This was the first time that the recently established Türkiye Tourism Promotion and Development Agency (TGA), a new member of USTOA, hosted the esteemed tour operators and board members of USTOA in İstanbul and we were so happy to see how much everyone enjoyed their time.” 

He continued, “Türkiye is a country of many layers and İstanbul is a metropolis that offers a main entry point to the country, a gateway to the world. With our rich historical heritage, natural beauty and cosmopolitan lifestyle, İstanbul welcomed USTOA members and their clients with its infinite opportunities. We were proud to have hosted the out-of-the-country event in our historic city, which has always been an important meeting point for civilizations throughout history. We hope that the memories from this trip will last a lifetime and this visit will inspire the group to come back soon.” 

After the event’s closing Terry Dale said, “A special thank you our hosts and sponsors in Malta and Türkiye. Each played a significant role in creating rich and engaging experiences for our tour operator members that will pay dividends in years to come.” 

For more information, visit and follow USTOA Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts for highlights from the event.  

About USTOA:   

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 50 years, USTOA also provides education and assistance for consumers and travel agents.  



Gina Dolecki/Alice Phillips  




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