The NAJ Group† has decided that, each year, it will share its TourOperatorLand booth at IPW with two hand-picked suppliers who offer unique experiences for the 88 operators who are scheduled to visit the booth.
One of the suppliers this year is Academy Ground Transport (www.academyride.com), whose name provides a clue as to the provenance of their original source of business: transporting VIP A-list celebrities to award shows such as the Oscars, the Emmys, and the Golden Globes throughout Southern California due to their reputation for discretion and professional punctuality. What happens in the limo stays in the limo. Since then, they have expanded into tour and travel, VIP, airport meet-and-greets and transportation for tour operators promoting MICE.
“Betsy Cooper, our tour operator community marketing manager, and I have used them for the past three years to transport us between receptive tour operator presentations in LA,” said NAJ founder and CEO Jake Steinman, “and we felt that, with the tour operators’ fixation with U.S. celebrity culture, Academy would be a good partner in our booth.”
The other supplier, RMP Travel, is a well-known and long-time receptive tour operator whose president, Suzi Steiger, has made a name for the company as a small-to-mid-size New York City-based receptive operator with a lengthy history specializing in MICE groups including medical/pharmaceutical meetings and incentive programs throughout major cities in the U.S.
“RMP, in my opinion, has been one of the most creative incentive and MICE tour operators in New York. For over 40 years, it has been able to withstand the ups and downs of the economy,” stated Steinman. “The other unique service RMP offers which surprises so many international clients is its access to more than just group-discounted tickets to Broadway and Off-Broadway; they also include workshops for singing, acting, dancing and production.”
When asked to offer an outlook on what business looks like for the remainder of 2016 and 2017, Steiger told us this: “The initial outlook for our bookings for this year have indicated an increase in numbers. However, our clients seem to be experiencing a slow booking process, so the final outcome is not yet clear.”
She’ll have a better idea on what the near-term future holds once she’s gone through this year’s IPW experience. “Last year was our first return to IPW in a number of years,” she explained. “Previously, we had attended regularly but took a break as there seemed to be little group and MICE business. We were pleasantly surprised to see a very positive mix of both and have chosen to once again be a part of our industry’s most important trade show.” (For more information, visit www.rmptravelinc.com)
† The NAJ Group is publisher of the Inbound Report.
(Note: You’ll find wall-to-wall coverage of IPW in the next issue of the Inbound Report, which will appear in two weeks. Watch for it.)