Travel Industry Exchange Event Closes on High Note, Heads to San Diego in 2016

NEW YORK (Sept. 22, 2015) ─ Questex Travel Group today announced that its next Travel Industry Exchange event will be held Dec. 13-15, 2016, at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront in California.

The inaugural 2015 event came to a successful close last week in Orlando, Florida, underscoring the value to travel professionals of becoming more niche-focused. The innovative event’s over 50 sessions focused on revenue-generating niche segments, including certification programs in luxury, cruise and romance travel as well as concentrated educational programming in technology, trends, destinations and millennial travel.

John McMahon, Questex Travel Group executive vice president, said specialization is “a major business driver” that represents the next “great wave of opportunity” for travel professionals, based on the company’s research and consumer trends and feedback.

“The positive feedback we received from both travel professionals and global suppliers has been tremendous,” he said. “Attendees were able to really build connections for new business and fine-tune the skills that will propel them into the future. As more consumers look to travel professionals for expert advice, we see untapped potential in specialty markets.”

Suppliers attending next year’s event in San Diego will benefit from the “best of both worlds,” McMahon said, with the nation’s top travel professionals expected to attend “from the East and West coasts.” Suppliers this year included destinations, hoteliers, cruise lines, tour operators, transportation providers, technology companies, spas and resorts from around the world.

Suppliers surveyed expressed interest in returning next year, describing the new event as “well worth the investment,” and attributing its success to the one-to-one meetings and dynamic sessions.

Last week’s event was supported by a prestigious advisory board composed of travel agents and suppliers as well as 12 industry associations including the Association for the Promotion of Tourism to Africa (APTA), Africa Travel Association (ATA), American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), Caribbean Tourism Association, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Specialists Association (DWHSA), Family Travel Association, Global Institute for Travel Entrepreneurs (GIFTE), The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), Meetings Mean Business, Millennials in Travel and Professional Travel Bloggers Association.

Sponsors included Apple Vacations, Bermuda Tourism Authority, Disney Destinations, Dominican Republic Tourism Board, Emirates, Hawai’i Visitors and Convention Bureau, India Tourism, The Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Namibia Tourism Board, Palace Resorts, Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., Tourism Australia and The Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Travel Industry Exchange brings travel professionals and lifestyle specialists together with international suppliers, including destinations, hoteliers, cruise lines, tour operators, transportation providers, technology companies, spas and resorts. The event includes over eight hours of one-to-one meetings, comprehensive education including agent specialty training and networking events and receptions. For more information or to register for next year’s event, visit http://www.travelindustryexchange.com.

About Questex Hospitality + Travel
The Questex Hospitality + Travel Group of Questex LLC serves the worldwide hospitality, travel and related industries that together contribute over $6 trillion to the global gross domestic product. Through an innovative platform of targeted solutions, the group serves the sector’s entire ecosystem, from tourism and hotel development and investment to hotel design, purchasing, management and operations.

The Questex Hospitality + Travel Group supports every B2B segment of the industry, from investment and development to management operations, sales and marketing of hospitality and travel products to destination development and marketing, via proven demand generation, learning, loyalty and rewards solutions as well as a network of live events. This division of Questex is aligned around three broad market segments – hospitality, travel and meetings – and supported by its digital media staff. Additional information is available at questex.com/markets/hospitality-travel.

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Travel Industry’s First Event Focused on Specialization Debuts in Orlando

NEW YORK (Sept. 15, 2015) ─ Questex Travel Group’s Travel Industry Exchange event launched this week in Orlando, Florida, underscoring the value to travel professionals of becoming more niche focused.

The innovative event’s over 50 sessions focused on revenue-generating niche segments, including certification programs in luxury, cruise and romance travel, as well as concentrated educational programming in technology, trends, destinations and millennial travel.

John McMahon, Questex Travel Group executive vice president, said specialization is “the next great wave of opportunity” for travel professionals, based on the company’s research and consumer trends and feedback. Countless websites and metadata search engines, he said, put travel planning at consumers’ fingertips, precluding agents from making a living simply by booking hotel and flights.

“The dynamic way consumers are planning their vacations today, compounded by the emergence of the millennial traveler and the impact of technology, means agents no longer just can be generalists if they expect to survive and thrive,” he said. “Consumers want to know how to experience a destination like a local. Specialization allows travel professionals to focus their efforts and gain intimate knowledge and expertise that will make them invaluable partners to clients looking for authentic experiences.”

Leaders of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) took the stage together for the first time in recent memory to kick off the event’s general session and share their vision for the future of the travel agent community, the importance of professional development and the unique needs of millennial agents and travelers.

Ruthanne Terrero, Questex Travel Group vice president of content and editorial director, moderated the panel, Raise the Bar Now: Step Up Your Business for the Next Wave of Travelers, which featured Zane Kerby, ASTA president & CEO; Cindy D’Aoust, CLIA acting CEO; and Joshua Bush, Avenue Two Travel CEO.

Meredith Hill, travel industry trailblazer and founder and chief executive officer of Global Institute for Travel Entrepreneurs (GIFTE), delivered the event’s keynote address, “The Path to Limitless Opportunities Begins with Specialization.” Hill’s empowering message drew upon her extensive travel career, entrepreneurial journey and success turning her failing business around to achieve record sales through specialization.

The event is supported by a prestigious advisory board composed of travel agents and suppliers as well as 12 industry associations including the Association for the Promotion of Tourism to Africa (APTA), Africa Travel Association (ATA), ASTA, Caribbean Tourism Association, CLIA, Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Specialists Association (DWHSA), Family Travel Association, Global Institute for Travel Entrepreneurs (GIFTE), The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), Meetings Mean Business, Millennials in Travel and Professional Travel Bloggers Association. Sponsors included Apple Vacations, Bermuda Tourism Authority, Disney Destinations, Dominican Republic Tourism Board, Emirates, Hawai’i Visitors and Convention Bureau, India Tourism, The Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Namibia Tourism Board, Palace Resorts, Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., Tourism Australia and The Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Travel Industry Exchange brings travel professionals and lifestyle specialists together with international suppliers, including destinations, hoteliers, cruise lines, tour operators, transportation providers, technology companies, spas and resorts. The event includes over eight hours of one-to-one meetings, comprehensive education including agent specialty training and networking events and receptions. For more information or to register, visit http://www.travelindustryexchange.com.

About Questex Hospitality + Travel
The Questex Hospitality + Travel Group of Questex LLC serves the worldwide hospitality, travel and related industries that together contribute over $6 trillion to the global gross domestic product. Through an innovative platform of targeted solutions, the group serves the sector’s entire ecosystem, from tourism and hotel development and investment to hotel design, purchasing, management and operations.

The Questex Hospitality + Travel Group supports every B2B segment of the industry, from investment and development to management operations, sales and marketing of hospitality and travel products to destination development and marketing, via proven demand generation, learning, loyalty and rewards solutions as well as a network of live events. This division of Questex is aligned around three broad market segments – hospitality, travel and meetings – and supported by its digital media staff.

Additional information is available at questex.com/markets/hospitality-travel.

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What’s Your Niche?

With Travel Industry Exchange beginning next week, September 15-17 in Orlando, Florida, we’re excited to showcase our dynamic education program designed to help agents own their niche and drive their business forward through specialization.

With so many education sessions spanning across nine top niche markets, it can be tough to know which sessions fit where.

So we’ve made it easy for you! With an icon for each niche, you can be sure to find the sessions you’re interested in easily.

Icon Directory Graphic

We’re looking forward to seeing you in Orlando next week for what it sure to be a worthwhile and valuable event!

Win Great Prizes at Travel Industry Exchange!

winPrizes

Simply keep a minimum of 5 appointments across the two open days of the Exchange, have your appointments sheet signed-off by those suppliers and drop the completed sheet at the “Appointment Desk” in the center of the Exchange Hall.
Prizes will be awarded after 3 pm on Thursday, September 17. You do not need to be present to win.  All winners will be notified by email and will have 30 days to acknowledge and claim their certificate.  After that date, prizes may be withdrawn and offered to others.  So mark your calendar!
Prizes Include:
$100 Gift Certificates

Elephant Hills Luxury Tented Camps, Khao Sok, Thailand
A three day Jungle Lake Safari for two persons.

Finest Playa Mujeres, Mexico
3 nights, 4 days for two people, courtesy of Excellence Hotels & Resorts.

Cirque du Soleil
Two tickets to any Cirque du Soleil show.

Wilshire Grand Hotel
Vacation valued at $2,000

Sceptre Tours
Vacation valued at $2,400

Experience Morocco!
Two people can enjoy 7 days, 6 nights in a bed & breakfast in Marrakech followed by an escape to the Sofitel Essaouira. Transportation between Marrakech and Essaouira is included.

Canyon Ranch
2-night stay valued at over $4,000

The Brando Resort, Tahiti
One bedroom villa for one exquisite night for two guests at this all-inclusive resort.

Meadowwood Napa Valley
A three-night stay in luxury.

Visit Tampa Bay
Vacation valued at $2,500.

Visit Orlando
A three-night stay at Coco Key Hotel & Water Resort.

The New York Edition Hotel
Two-night stay in New York City’s Flatiron District.

Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino
Vacation valued at $2,000.

South African Airways
Round trip airfare, hotel stay, and safari for two guests.

Loews Miami Beach
Two-night stay in the heart of vibrant, cosmopolitan South Beach.