Storytelling is the new Black: The program on the first day of NAJ’s RTO Summit West next week (Feb. 21-22 at the Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey, California) will be feature with experts from different segments of tour and travel industry telling delegates their stories from matters as diverse as a look back at the 40-plus-year success of AmericanTours International to a day in the life of a tour operator (featuring the tour operator herself).
The presentations from the RTO Summit West will be covered in upcoming issues of INBOUND. Below is the agenda for the Summit program.
9:00 am-9:30 am: Ch..ch…ch…Changes! The world of the receptive tour operator is evolving in several different directions that are both understandable and contradictory: Consolidation of the bed banks and fragmentation that has created a slew of new operators specializing in groups. NAJ’s INBOUND Report has tried to stay on top of it.
Jake Steinman, founder and CEO of NAJ, will present an updated look at the market.
9:30 am-9:50am: Forward Thinkers—Part 1: How tourism sales professionals can help operators sell their product by micro-targeting high-potential visitors. While the industry focuses on relationship marketing, there are now numerous ways to micro-target potential travelers in an affordable way that tell your story in a way that will help operators sell your programs.
Case study presentations: Billie Moser, Vice President of Tourism, Travel Portland.
9:50-10:10 am: How to Use “Facebook Live” to Conduct a Fam Tour and Site Inspection. According to our research 66 percent of 2017 IPW buyers are on Facebook. Jason Hackett, CEO of digital agency Briar Katama, walks us through a Facebook Live Fam Tour developed for his client Gulliver’s Gate in New York. (via Skype) Using Facebook’s Custom Audience to reach IPW 2017 buyers in a new Way. Custom Audience is like e-mailing on Facebook
10:10-10:25 am: They call it an “Uber for Live Interpreters: Meet OnVoy. A new service that connects international visitors with language challenges (or hotels, attractions and restaurants) with live interpreters who can translate in real time.
Presenter: Kristen Brecht Baker, Founder and CEO, OnVoy.
10:25 am-10:45 am: Morning Break
10:45 -11:05 am. State of the International Traveler +How will Trump Influence Inbound Travel to the USA? The most recent Annual State of the International Traveler from the San Francisco-based research and marketing firm, Destination Analysts, not only reveals valuable new insights into the factors that contribute to travelers selecting specific destinations, but also includes market-by-market perceptions of our President from the top 10 inbound source countries.
Presenter: David Reichbach, Destination Analysts.
11:05-11:20 am: Where’s the Beef? Does “India Ready” mean Going Vegetarian? According to NTTO research, India is tracking closely behind China to become as the next wave of inbound travelers. Contrary to popular myth, only 30 percent of Indians are vegetarians but what do destinations and attractions need to do to service and prepare for them?
Presenter: Larry Friedman, Global Ready Education Trainer, BRIC Marketing Group.
11:40-12:00 pm: Mark Ma, Director of Marketing, C-Tour Holidays (division of C-Trip).
11:20-11:40 pm: Forward Thinkers Part 2: In Conversation with… senior level receptive operators about their business, their newest initiatives and where they see the industry moving in 2019: Faisal Sublaban, CEO, Bonotel
12:00-12:25pm: Forward Thinkers Part 3: In Conversation with…Noel Irwin Hentschel, Co-founder and CEO, AmericanTours International. Last August, ATI celebrated its 40th Anniversary as an inbound receptive operator. Join us as we honor ATI on this momentous anniversary and their co-founder as we look back at what they’ve accomplished and then look forward to what’s ahead.
12:30-2:00 pm: Lunch on own
2:00-2:20 pm: We Chat Tips and Tricks. Sally Berry, Corning Museum of Glass.
2:20-2:40 pm: A Day in the Life of a Tour Operator. How do tour operators spend their day? Aniseh Dalju, CEO, Onward, will provide an hour-by-hour account of a typical day from the time when she awakens to when she retires to bed.
2:40-5:00 pm: Receptive Insight Roundtables: A series of rotating roundtables each led by a receptive operator hand selected for their area of specialization. Confirmed companies include:
Table 1: Loni Feit, New World Travel
Table 2: Alma Alvarez, Best Day Holidays
Table 3: Aniseh Dalju, Onward
Table 4: Mark Ma, C-Tour
Table 5: Jesse Yang, Choose a Destination
Table 6: Daniel Shen, Lion Tours
Table 7: Tommy Hirahara, JTB and TPI.
Table 8: Mark Goldberg, Ameribound Tours
Table 9: Patrick Swen, Lassen Tours
Table 10: Takeshi Sakakibara, TourAmerica
Table 11: AmericanTours International (TBA)
How it will work: Each of the Insight roundtables will be led by one receptive operator and will include 7-8 suppliers and DMOs, organized geographically, who will introduce their products and discuss ways to make their offerings more sellable. Suppliers will rotate every 35 minutes to another receptive table.