Brazil’s S**T Show, the UK’s Brexit Blues and Canada’s Swooning Loon Mean It’s … A Perfect Time to Attend the RTO Summit Orlando
For tour and travel professionals looking to shape up their international digital marking skills, there is the new International Digital Day Nov. 15-16 at the RTO Summit Orlando, Florida. NAJ Events and Media, which produces the RTO Summit Series that takes place annually in New York, Orlando and Las Angeles, as well as travel technology’s next generation e-Tourism Summit in San Francisco, has re-molded the first day of the two-day Summit series as International Digital Day, a program of seminars and interactive educational sessions designed to equip tour and travel professionals who work the international market with the digital skills required to work the market more efficiently.
Laszlo Horvath, CEO, ActiveMedia, shown explaining to small group at a previous RTO Summit how to use Google information to analyze a destination’s online performance, will be among the presenters at the RTO Summit in Orlando.
Why now? Because after five strong years of arrivals from Europe and Latin America, we’ve reached a point in which room rates in the U.S. have gone through the roof and receptive tour operators (RTOs) have watched helplessly as hotel revenue managers reduced allocations in major gateway markets in favor of more OTAs and higher yield corporate business. Now however, savvy RTOs view the downturn as an opportunity as hotels experiencing reduced ADRs and occupancy are once again more amenable to offering inventory to the RTO channel. It’s time to zig when others are zagging.
“According to several attendees at the recent NAJ Salon in Orlando, Brazilian tourism to the U.S. has finally hit bottom,” says Jake Steinman, founder of NAJ Events and Media. “The prohibitive 33 percent surcharge levied on all credit card charges by Brazilian has now been rolled back to a more manageable 6 percent and, while it may be difficult to justify budgets for travel to Brazil, now is the time to forge solid relationships with the receptive operators channel who are the gatekeepers and the financial intermediaries while they are more open to new ideas and collaboration.”
There are several ways of doing this. One of the most popular is simply to organize sales missions to Orlando, New York and Los Angeles, the three RTO epicenters where 95 percent of all receptive operators are based. While this process is labor intensive—sometimes requiring two-to-three hours of back-and-forth to set up one appointment in their office—it can be the most productive.
Another alternative is to try to meet them at IPW, but there they mostly preoccupied by selling international business. A third option is to attend receptive operator events such as our RTO Summits in Orlando, New York and Los Angeles, or the IITA (International Inbound Travel Association) in New York City, where one can meet multiple operators under one roof.
At the RTO Summit in Orlando, Nov. 15-16, which launches the first International Digital Day on the 15th, delegates will learn about international media and PR to make themselves more valuable, followed by a day of one-on-one, face-to-face appointments with 40-45 operators for those who don’t have the time to organize a sale mission but want to build and maintain relationships without leaving the country. The best of both worlds.
For more information, visit www.rtosummit.com