Travel Exchange 2013 generated 114 million reasons for NTA members to smile, association leaders announced today. That is the amount of total business conducted by NTA members who attended the show in Orlando, Fla., January 20-24. Travel Exchange 2013 was the inaugural collaboration between NTA and the United Motorcoach Association, which conducted its annual exposition alongside NTA’s convention.
“As impressive as $114 million is, what’s just as significant is the $59 million reported in new business—and that’s just from the NTA side of the floor,” said Lisa Simon, NTA president, referring to an analysis of the show’s economic impact and member engagement, which does not include UMA figures.
NTA research also revealed that 90 percent of the buyers at Travel Exchange attend no other industry trade show.
“Working with UMA and other industry partners, we want to keep expanding the tent,” said Simon. “And while NTA can boast big overall numbers, we’re also focused on the results for each individual member, because every person is there to improve their bottom line.”
NTA members recognize that a show can’t be measured in dollars alone. They also consider the quality of the appointments and contacts there, said Justin Osbon of Image Tours in Grand Rapids, Mich.
“We attended our first NTA convention in 2005 and said, ‘Wow, this is where we want to be. These are good-quality tour operators who are looking to work with other good-quality operators,’” Osbon said. “When I’m working with an NTA operator, I don’t have to really wonder how they run their business, because they have to run a reputable business just to be a member.”
The 3,600 tour and travel professionals attending Travel Exchange 2013 included 1,176 buyers. NTA and UMA will again co-locate in Los Angeles, Feb. 16-20, 2014, and in New Orleans, Jan. 18-22, 2015. Registration for the 2014 event opened this week.