Ep. 244 — How a Buyer-Seller Conference can power your Tour Business

Mitch talks with Catherine Prather of the National Tour Association about her Travel Exchange conference, and the power that a traditional buyer-seller conference holds for tour operators looking to network, learn, and grow their business.

Key topics:

– Introduction to the importance of destinations for tour operators

– Overview of the role of the NTA (National Tour Association)

– Description of NTA’s buyer network forums and travel exchange sessions

– Emphasis on the importance of learning and community support among NTA members

– Background information on NTA and its members

– Focus on the consumer-driven nature of the travel industry

– Discussion on the evolution of tour activities and preferences

– Importance of human connection and relationship building in partnerships

– Explanation of a buyer-seller conference and the value of networking

– Adaptation of tour operators during COVID and the offerings of one-day tours

– Description of multi-day tour operators and their customized experiences

– Importance of events, databases, and connectivity for tour operators

– Recommendation for legal advice

– Introduction to Troop School and its partnership with ITMI and Travel Exchange

– Focus on meaningful travel and sustainability through Tourism Cares

– Explanation of the format and offerings of the podcast’s show, including prescheduled appointments and networking opportunities

– Overview of the registration process and contact information for further inquiries


02:00 NTA: Association of travel professionals connecting partners.

06:35 Consumer drives product, sustainability and small groups.

08:51 Tourism focuses on meaningful travel experiences, sustainability.

13:24 Business show offers prescheduled appointments for buyers and sellers.

16:54 Quick appointments, like speed dating, build relationships, assess compatibility. Tour operators limit information to 1 sheet. Sellers use technology to pitch trumpeters. Buyers have over 100 appointments.

21:20 DMOs critical; assist with scheduling, troubleshooting, partnerships.

23:45 Networking and learning are crucial for association.

28:42 Jeff: Buzzkill with legal advice for tour operators.

31:50 Register for full access to appointments, education, and events.

35:16 Opportunity and collaboration bring inspiration, connection, growth.