Monday, June 28, 2010

Interview at Chicago Travel Ministry Conference

World Religious Travel Association Chicago Conference
By Leisure Group Travel
June 21, 2010 by Nadia Beidas
Filed under Faith-Based Attraction

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The World Religious Travel Association Ministry Conference in Chicago is the first of five travel ministry conferences. Religious leaders, faith-based travel planners and other members of the religious travel community met at the Field Museum and discussed ways to build an effective travel ministry program.

Kevin Wright, founder and president of WRTA, outlined travel ministries and the reasons religious travel groups choose to put together a travel program, such as deepening their faith in God, fulfilling a religious tradition and learning more about their heritage and faith. Wright discussed the steps of starting a travel program, including getting the religious leader’s approval, naming the travel program, finding volunteers to assist in the process and promoting the program.

Torre Ossmo, vice president and general manager of Faithful Holidays, mentioned a seven-step plan to enter or promote a religious group’s part in religious tourism. These steps include researching the market, meeting the needs of the religious traveler and promoting the brand. Rev. Ruth Newell, founder and pastor of Beyond the Walls Outreach Ministry, emphasized the importance of meeting the needs of different generations for religious trips.

During the workshop of how to build an effective travel ministry program, conference participants broke into smaller groups and each group planned a sample religious trip. The next conference will be held in Nashville.

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