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American Express Travel’s Retail Travel Network Learning Forum and National Summit in Nashville, Tenn., brought together more than 900 members, a record-breaking number that represents a 20 percent uptick in attendance over last year. During the event, agents were introduced to new programs and opportunities — including a new Destination Knowledge Accreditation Program in partnership with the Travel Institute — that have been designed to help drive business for members in 2014 and beyond.
In addition to a lively tradeshow, the forum featured training sessions, a keynote presentation by graffiti artist and entrepreneur Erik Wahl, a live performance by Wynonna Judd and a community outreach program to benefit three local schools.
“We brought together about 400 volunteers who helped leave an indelible mark on the community,” Tony Gonchar, vice president of American Express Travel’s U.S. Representative Network, told TravelAge West. “Tourism is the largest employer in the world, and if we could imbue the philosophy of giving more than we take then we, as an industry, have done something special.”