In the photo – TOTA North American Market Experiences Specialist Ellen Walker-Matthews (right) meets with a tour operator at the recent National Tour Association (NTA) Convention & Marketplace. TOTA photo
TOTA recently flew the Thompson Okanagan tourism flag at two of the biggest travel shows held each year in the United States.
In early December Ellen Walker-Matthews, TOTA's Market Experiences Specialist for North America, attended the National Tour Association (NTA) Convention & Marketplace, held in Las Vegas.
The five-day conference includes education sessions and several days devoted to appointments for suppliers, DMOs, and others with coach tour operators. Typically this show hosts tour operators and suppliers from all over the continental U.S.A., Canada and Mexico.
NTA is currently the only large U.S.-based travel-trade show that TOTA attends. Prior to this year, TOTA had been attending the American Bus Association Marketplace and the Student & Youth Travel Association Marketplace. Investment to attend these shows is significant and unfortunately is not currently considered to be a good return on investment until economic conditions improve in the U.S.A.
TOTA had close to 20 appointments at NTA, and 15 of them were with operators who were planning tours to our region and feature the Thompson Okanagan in their tariff. Feedback was good and the operators we spoke to felt positive about doing business in Canada.
In the photo – TOTA and the other B.C. tourism regions present information to consumers at the Florida RV Super show. Photo by TOTA/Gary Aldus
In mid-January Gary Aldus, TOTA's Market Development Assistant, attended the 2012 Florida RV SuperShow, held at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa Bay.
Aldus staffed a Tourism BC display booth along with representatives of the five other tourism regions in the province.
The huge six-day show draws RV owners, and those in the market for an RV, from all over the U.S.A.'s eastern seaboard, as well as Canadian buyers and snowbirds.
Typically this show is regarded as the big RV show on the east coast, while the annual Sports, Vacation & RV Show in Quartzsite, Arizona is the western equivalent. The Florida show attracts more than 50,000 people each year, with a significant number of them wanting to take their RV to Alaska or B.C.
B.C. was popular with many at the show who indicated a desire to see the Thompson Okanagan! Our Thompson Okanagan Vacation Guide was handed out to more than 500 qualified travel shoppers.