Third Annual GTM West Shows Continued Success

Third Annual GTM West Shows Continued Success

Global Travel Marketplace West in Tucson, Ariz., connected top travel agents and suppliers from May 4-6 By: Valerie Chen
<p>Samarah Meil, owner of Amarillo Travel Network, with a global travel supplier at GTM West // © 2016 Jim Harris</p><p>Feature image (above): Hosted...

Samarah Meil, owner of Amarillo Travel Network, with a global travel supplier at GTM West // © 2016 Jim Harris

Feature image (above): Hosted by Visit Tucson, GTM West’s welcome reception took place at the historic Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch. // © 2016 Jim Harris


Related Content

- Read takeaways from GTM West 2015.

- Learn more about the GTM Advisory Board.

The Details

Global Travel Marketplace 
www.gtmflagship.com

Global Travel Marketplace West
www.gtmwest.com

From May 4-6, Global Travel Marketplace West (GTM West) returned to The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tucson, Ariz., for its third year, gathering travel agents and suppliers for networking and industry education. Of the 800 agents who applied, only 80 were selected to join the prestigious and fully hosted event powered by TravelAge West and Travel Weekly. A record 100 suppliers attended this year, including sponsors Discover, Exclusive Group Travel, Le Meridien, Mexico Tourism Board, Norwegian Cruise Line, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa, Tourism Ireland, Travel Alberta and Visit Tucson.

Mirroring the model of previous years, the event agenda included small-group boardroom presentations, during which suppliers shared a 30-minute overview of their product with agents in an intimate, interactive setting. Agents also had up to 50 quick-fire, one-on-one appointments with suppliers that lasted about six minutes per session. At meal events such as the welcome reception at Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort — sponsored by Visit Tucson — and the Starwood Hotels & Resorts-sponsored dinner reception at The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa, attendees continued to actively engage in networking. 

"From day one, GTM West has been about making valuable connections that empower our attendees to succeed together, to forge new relationships and, most important, to conduct business,” said Alicia Evanko-Lewis, Senior Vice President of Events, Travel Group, for Northstar Travel Group. “And we’ve already had advisors and suppliers tell us they’ve closed deals while on-site, illustrating the results-driven nature of GTM West.”

This year’s GTM West introduced the elite GTM Advisory Board; members in attendance included Deb Fogarty of Be Well Travel and Geoff Millar of Ultimate All Inclusive Vacations. 

Danielle Stephens, a travel agent for Harmon Travel and a GTM Ambassador, praises GTM West for its effective model of limiting agents who can attend.

“At GTM West, suppliers sit down and already have questions they want to ask agents, such as how they can get their business — it’s really neat,” Stephens said. “At other events, you don’t get that. Suppliers don’t know who you are; they really have only a few seconds to figure out who 200 or 300 people are.”

Photos & Videos
Global Travel Marketplace West (GTM West) returned to The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tucson, Ariz., for its third year. // © 2016 Valerie Chen

Global Travel Marketplace West (GTM West) returned to The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tucson, Ariz., for its third year. // © 2016 Valerie Chen

GTM West attendees enjoyed a welcome reception sponsored by Visit Tucson at Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch. // © 2016 Jim Harris

GTM West attendees enjoyed a welcome reception sponsored by Visit Tucson at Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch. // © 2016 Jim Harris

Sponsored by Passport Online, the “Meet Your Match” networking game brought together Dan Dorn, director of sales, Southwest, for CIE Tours International, and Sharon Campbell Little, owner of Wedding and Honeymoon Travel Group. // © 2016 Jim Harris

Sponsored by Passport Online, the “Meet Your Match” networking game brought together Dan Dorn, director of sales, Southwest, for CIE Tours International, and Sharon Campbell Little, owner of Wedding and Honeymoon Travel Group. // © 2016 Jim Harris

Agents had up to 50 one-on-one, six-minute-long meetings with suppliers. // © 2016 Jim Harris

Agents had up to 50 one-on-one, six-minute-long meetings with suppliers. // © 2016 Jim Harris

Chris Niemeyer, owner of Like Minded Travels, took a selfie with Seabourn Cruise Line representatives, Doug Seagle and Laura Okonowski, during appointments. // © 2016 Jim Harris

Chris Niemeyer, owner of Like Minded Travels, took a selfie with Seabourn Cruise Line representatives, Doug Seagle and Laura Okonowski, during appointments. // © 2016 Jim Harris

Samarah Meil, owner of Amarillo Travel Network, meeting with a supplier at GTM West // © 2016 Jim Harris

Samarah Meil, owner of Amarillo Travel Network, meeting with a supplier at GTM West // © 2016 Jim Harris

 

Further demonstrating the success of GTM West is its recent accolade of a 2016 Silver Stevie Award in the Best Brand Experience Event category from American Business Awards. Among a pool of more than 3,400 nominations representing a multitude of industries, GTM West was selected for the honor by more than 250 professionals worldwide. 

The next GTM West will take place May 18-20, 2017, and move to a new location at The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa in Henderson, Nev. GTM is still accepting applications for its flagship event, which will be held in Hollywood, Fla., from Aug. 21-23, 2016, at Diplomat Resort & Spa Hollywood, a Curio Collection by Hilton. 

 
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