NTA Opens Membership to Agents

Travel professionals will have full access to NTA benefits under new membership category By: Emma Weissmann
Agents can now be official members of the NTA. // © 2015 iStock
Agents can now be official members of the NTA. // © 2015 iStock

The Details

National Tour Association

The National Tour Association (NTA) recently announced a new membership category specifically for travel professionals. With the creation of this membership, agents are invited to join NTA under the “Travel Planner” designation. 

Why It Matters:
Agents who become NTA members will be able to partner directly with NTA tour operators, allowing them to expand the product line they offer to their clients (and, in turn, increase their revenue). While agents have previously been invited to Travel Exchange, NTA’s annual convention, their participation was somewhat limited. Now, with the creation of the Travel Planner membership category, agents will have full access to NTA colleagues, seminars and other networking opportunities, beginning with the Travel Exchange 2016 convention in Atlanta. 

Fast Facts:
- Agent membership was approved in May after two years of member-led discussion and research. 

- North Shore Travel in Miami is the first travel agency to become a member of NTA.

- Travel Exchange, NTA’s annual conference, is scheduled for Jan. 31 to Feb. 4, 2016, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

- Agents are eligible for membership if their primary business is selling packages from a third-party or tour operator.

What They Are Saying:
“We are really excited to be with NTA and be part of a valued and reliable industry leader,” said Sebastian Ohrwaschel, North Shore Travel’s managing director. “The association gives us access to different resources and the opportunity to connect with innovative partners.”

“We’re eager to get travel planners into the mix at Travel Exchange,” said NTA President Pam Inman. “Those new members—retail travel agents—can increase their revenue by tapping into trending tour product our operators have created, which, in turn, will give our suppliers and destinations a boost.”

“For 64 years NTA has helped our members be successful because we’re always open to new ideas that meet the changing needs of travelers and the shifting business models within the industry,” Inman said. “We know our operators would like to sell more tours through travel agents, and in turn, agents can increase their business by having access to more tour operator-packaged travel. We expect to see a gradual, steady growth of travel planner members, and we look forward to seeing them in Atlanta.”