Published on : Thursday, July 2, 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. Terry 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 that 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, they can promise plans are in development for a virtual event that will exceed their members’ expectations.
USTOA Chairman Charlie Ball, executive vice president of Holland America Group, added that they understand that this event is highly anticipated each year for the person-to-person marketplace, networking events, educational components, and enlightening speakers, and they are committed to provide the same level of engagement and value as they 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, they need to work together to not just recover but revive our industry which is such a vital economic driver across the world. Their goal is to deliver a virtual experience that continues to foster meaningful partnerships among our members as we face these unprecedented times together.