Published on : Thursday, May 20, 2021
United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) hosted its first mid-year virtual member marketplace with 352 Active and Associate Members in attendance. During the one-day event, 2,429 networking appointments were conducted virtually amongst leading US tour operator companies and global travel suppliers representing destinations on all seven continents.
The 12-hour event featured three marketplace sessions and two networking events with destination themed breakout rooms for more opportunities for members to connect. Active and Associate Member participants had the opportunity to fill up to 48 one-on-one virtual appointments.
“With news of several international borders opening up for US travelers in late spring and early summer, we knew there was a critical opportunity for our members to reconnect this month,” said Terry Dale, USTOA president and CEO. “Given the success of our virtual marketplace in December of last year, we were able to provide our members this timely and additional forum for one-on-one networking as we travel down the road of recovery.”
Dale added, “And while USTOA has been overjoyed with the positive feedback surrounding last week’s virtual event, we are even more thrilled to announce our intentions to host this year’s Annual Conference & Marketplace face-to-face in San Diego, California in December.”
The 2021 USTOA Annual Conference & Marketplace is currently planned to take place in-person from December 7 to December 11 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, CA. Registration will open in July 2021. USTOA will adhere to all mandated size and health safety guidelines put in place this December and additional information will be available at the opening of registration.
Charlie Ball, USTOA Chairman and Executive Vice President, Land Operations at Holland America Group added, “Our intention is to demonstrate to the industry how to execute an event of this magnitude responsibly. USTOA’s conference committee is working hard to ensure that the right practices are in place so that all attendees feel comfortable.”
“Historically, this event sells out quickly, so we encourage members not to wait when registration opens this summer, as the demand has already started to build for this year’s conference,” said Ball.
The USTOA Annual Conference & Marketplace is only travel industry event in the United States that brings together the leading North American tour operator companies with tourism suppliers and destinations from around the globe in an intimate and exclusive setting. The annual event delivers a forum for USTOA Associate Members to meet with top executives from USTOA’s Active Member tour operator companies on a one-to-one, buy-and-sell basis.
The conference is open only to delegates from Active Member and Associate Member companies of USTOA. Companies must be a current member of USTOA with annual dues paid for 2021 to attend.