This issue’s cover story, “Traveling on Faith” (page 16), reports
on one of the fastest-growing niche markets in travel. According to
some estimates, the religious travel industry is worth $18 billion
worldwide, with one quarter of all travelers (split evenly among
different age groups) saying they’re currently interested in taking
a “spiritual vacation,” according to a study by the Travel Industry
Association of America.
For agents, this market is essential. Not only is it made up of
easily reachable, cohesive affinity groups, but there are a growing
number of suppliers and organizations standing by to lend agents a
hand. For instance, when I met with Israel’s minister of tourism
late last year, he informed me that he planned to create a
full-time position in Southern California dedicated solely to
religious travel, in particular reaching out to the region’s
Now, as we go to press, another organization has been created
for those who are interested in the religious travel market. The
World Religious Travel Association (WRTA) represents the combining
of forces of two leading groups, the Religious Market Consulting
Group and Christian Travel Finder.
“WRTA’s overall mission is simple and clear,” said Kevin J.
Wright, executive director of WRTA. “We will advise and assist the
travel industry in working with the religious market, and establish
faith-based vacations as a key travel option for the religious
You can read about the organization in our cover story, and if
you have more questions, be sure to check out the WRTA Web site at
www.religioustravelassociation.com. This is an opportunity no agent
can afford to pass up. K.S.