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Another initiative is NACTA’s outreach to the industry. in June NACTA had a joint program with the National Tour Association (NTA) to help build agents awareness of he importance of tour sales. This includes the first of NACTA’s "destinationals." Koepf was to develop a strong destination familiarization capability that will expose NACTA agents to popular and off beat U.S. destinations to spark sales. Currently, 22 percent of NACTA travel agents sell tours, and about 370 NTA tour operators offers agents commissionable packages.
Koepf will also be a keynote speaker for the World Religious Travel Association (WRTA) Travel Expo 2009. The Travel Expo & Educational Conference will be held November 14-16, 2009, at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, NV.
The Expo includes co-locating with the NTA’s convention thus offering members of both associations unprecedented opportunities for business growth, networking, and access to new market opportunities.
“We are going to make it easier and affordable for suppliers to reach out and communicate with independent agents," said Koepf. "At the same time, we are going to provide our members with access to quality supplier programs.”
Koepf believes that NACTA is positioned to help many agents regardless of business models. This includes independent contractors, outside sales agents, cruise- and tour-oriented agents, group- oriented travel professionals and traditional ARC-appointed travel agencies that provide services and support to such professionals. NACTA itself was established in 1986 and is an affiliate of ASTA.
NACTA’s program runs the gamut of services from a new membership kit and lapel pin to access to NACTA’s Seminars at Sea, Land Fams, Destinationals, host and supplier webinars, the popular NACTA AgentDigest, special pricing and discounts including travel insurance from Travel Insured and access to CLIA and ASTA programs. NACTA annual dues are $95 (plus $50 for first year activation).
A gifted speaker and mentor to agents, Koepf’s goal is to make NACTA members the beneficiaries of the finest learning experiences available and to be a true support group that helps agents build their businesses and professional skills.
NACTA is for travel agents serious about their careers and who can see beyond the current economic downturn to long-term professional growth opportunities, Koepf believes. “NACTA membership rewards agents who make a true commitment of time and talent, a commitment to sharing ideas and experience and a commitment to professional growth,” he said.