October 8, 2007

World Religious Travel Expo Registrations Begin

World Religious Travel Expo to Debut October 2008 -- World Religious Travel Association (WRTA) Co-Ops with Top Travel Trade to Host First International Forum for $18 Billion Faith Tourism Industry

Click here to view the full press release

The World Religious Travel Association (WRTA) will host the first annual World Religious Travel Expo & Educational Conference, Oct. 29-Nov. 1, 2008, in Orlando. As the first international event of its kind, it will feature hundreds of travel wholesalers, suppliers, tourist boards, agencies and group travel organizers from the $18 billion faith tourism industry.

Littleton, CO (PRWEB) October 8, 2007 -- The World Religious Travel Association (WRTA) will host the first annual World Religious Travel Expo & Educational Conference, Oct. 29-Nov. 1, 2008, in Orlando. As the first international event of its kind, it will feature hundreds of travel wholesalers, suppliers, tourist boards, agencies and group travel organizers from the $18 billion faith tourism industry.

Current sponsors and exhibitors include Globus Family of brands, Brennan Vacations, Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Steps of Paul Coastal Cruises, Switzerland Tourism, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Jordan Tourism Board of North America, Gaylord Hotels, Pennsylvania Dutch Convention and Visitors Bureau, WordSpring Discovery Center, Christian Travel Finder, World Mission Tours and Trafalgar Tours.

"Although religious tourism is one of history's oldest travel segments, no large-scale trade convention has ever been held for this 300-million traveler market," said Kevin J. Wright, WRTA president. "All market segments will be represented at the Expo, including pilgrimage, cruising, missions, leisure vacations, attractions, conferences, retreats, Christian camps, and volunteer vacations, among others."

The WRTA Expo will feature two venues: The International Tradeshow and The Educational Conference. The combined event will provide the first world-class forum for travel suppliers, destinations, wholesalers, agencies and church travel planners to come face-to-face, develop partnerships, find new products and services, generate new qualified leads and build long-term profitable relationships. Wright expects the tradeshow to become the annual gathering for exhibiting, networking and brand building in the vast faith tourism industry.

"Whether cruising as a single, couple, family, group, or even a full-ship charter, the World's Leading Cruise Lines (Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, Costa Cruise, and the Yachts of Seabourn) provide an excellent vacation experience for faith-based travelers," said Jack Anderson, vice president of marketing for Carnival Corporation. "We are pleased to be a sponsor of the World Religious Travel Association and appreciate the choice of our lines by faith-based travelers and travel agencies."
"As a Holy Land destination that provides a one-stop location to meet all the needs of faith-based travelers - from cruising to adventure, retreats to study tours and all the segments in between - we are delighted to sponsor the WRTA Expo," added Malia Asfour, director of the Jordan Tourism Board of North America (JTBNA), a WRTA charter member. "We look forward to working with WRTA to showcase fresh and unique travel opportunities for this dynamic and growing industry."

The Educational Conference will provide the most comprehensive learning program ever offered on religious tourism - for both trade and consumer. Through leading industry speakers, dynamic presentations, panel discussions, interactive break-out sessions, seminars and peer networking forums, the trade participants can expand their knowledge of the opportunities in the new niche markets within faith tourism. Participants can listen to and discuss with travel experts market trends, marketing intelligence, the latest products/services and actionable ways to exceed faith-based customer's expectations. Group planners will attend product seminars hosted by travel industry experts, while also learning how to enrich and expand their travel ministry programs.

"Both faith tourism and group travel have evolved over the last several decades with obvious synergy, so it makes perfect sense for Brennan Vacations to sponsor the WRTA Expo in order to lead and facilitate the faith travel industry's growth," said Robert F. Brennan, Founder of Brennan Vacations. "Since 1978, our goal has been simple - to provide fresh, authentic journeys of discovery by treating our customers as individuals, while providing the benefits of group travel. Our approach particularly resonates with religious groups, and I look forward to continuing the tradition through our participation in the industry's first international faith travel tradeshow and educational conference."

The Expo will be hosted Oct. 29-Nov. 1, 2008 at the renowned Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. The top-rated facility and environment provides an exceptional forum for networking and exhibiting.

Exhibitors will include tour operators, tourist boards, cruise lines, transportation companies, airlines, travel agencies, event planning services, hotels and accommodations, missionary agencies, travel insurance companies and faith-based destinations among others.

Early-Bird savings apply to all organizations and individuals that register and pay by November 30, 2007. All WRTA Members will receive substantial savings when registering. Premium booth space is limited. Sponsorship and advertising opportunities are many and suit virtually any budget, including customized sponsorships.

To learn more or register online, visit
www.religioustravelexpo.com or call 1-800-657-1288. For more information about becoming a WRTA Member and joining the leading network for the religious travel industry, visit www.religioustravelassociation.com. Both free and paid memberships are available, including the complimentary monthly e-newsletter Religious Travel Buzz, which keeps companies, groups, and individuals abreast of faith-based travel industry news, events and announcements.

About the World Religious Travel Association (WRTA):

The World Religious Travel Association (WRTA) is the leading network for shaping, enriching, and expanding the $18 billion global faith tourism industry. WRTA exists to bring the worldwide trade and North American religious consumer together for the primary purpose of promoting and providing quality travel experiences around the globe. As the source and voice for the religious travel industry, WRTA provides members opportunities to network, learn, contribute, and lead. WRTA embraces all segments of faith tourism: Pilgrimages, Missionary, Cruises, Leisure Conferences, Retreats, Destinations, Attractions, Christian Camps, Family, Student/Youth, Adventure and Volunteer Vacations. To learn more about the Association or become a member, visit www.religioustravelassociation.com or contact WRTA at 1-800-657-1288. To attend or exhibit at the World Religious Travel Expo, register online at www.religioustravelexpo.com. To join the world's first online global community for faith tourism visit WRTA Social Network www.religioustravelnetwork.com , hosted by the World Religious Travel Association.

For more information or to obtain an interview: Please contact Christine Moore, epiphany media, at 469-688-5683.

October 5, 2007

WRTA October 1 Special "Expo Announcement" e-Newsletter Edition

Expo 2008 Official Announcement
Pre-media launch announcement for World Religious Travel Expo 2008
October 1, 2007

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Registrations begin for...

World Religious Travel Expo & Educational Conference 2008
Registrations for the World Religious Travel Expo & Educational Conference 2008 begin today for WRTA newsletter subscribers. As the official media release date for the Expo is next Monday (Oct 8), WRTA newsletter subscribers will have a full week in advance to register - providing for best possible booth placement and securing your Expo presence.

The Expo will take place in Orlando, Florida at the renowned Gaylord Resort Hotel & Convention Center October 29-November 1, 2008. More than 100 exhibitors and 400 attendees willl be present from the faith tourism industry including travel agents, faith travel planners, tour operators, cruise lines, tourist boards, CVBs, travel wholesalers, lodging, attractions, transportation, and many more.

Book today and save money with the Early Bird Special (expires Nov 30, 2007!).

Where to learn more about the Expo and register? Visit...


WRTA debuts new Social Network
Join today....it's FREE!

WRTA debuted today its new Social Network! Anyone can join and post their company, agency, or personal profile for Free. You can advertise your travel services, look for vacation companies or tourist boards, and network with others involved in faith tourism. And for those who become Expo registrants, you will be invited to join the exclusive (invite only) Expo Social Network Group. To join, visit www.religioustravelnetwork.com
See you on the Network!

Free Subscription for any WRTA Newsletter Member!
Are you looking for the latest in faith tourism news?

Going On Faith is the U.S. National Newspaper for Traveling Religious Groups, and the official newspaper of the Going On Faith Conference. Written exclusively for the church group travel planner, Going On Faith includes destination features, travel industry news, travel advice columns and more travel content, including a section dedicated to youth group travel ideas. The publication is printed six times a year and read by more than 5,500 subscribers.

How can you earn your FREE subscription? You must be a member of the World Religious Travel Association. NOTE: Only U.S. mailing addresses qualify for the free subscription. Any mailing address outside of the United States is not eligible for the complimentary subscription. For more information contact www.goingonfaith.com.

Reserve your copy today of Leisure Group Travel's
Cover Story!

November's Industry Forecast Issue

Reserve your copy today of Leisure Group Travel's upcoming November Industry Forecase Issue and cover story on Religious Tourism! For travel suppliers - this is THE issue to advertise in.

Recognizing the growing importance that faith-based travelers have on the group travel market, Leisure Group Travel magazine has partnered with the World Religious Travel Association (WRTA) to develop a significant editorial feature in November's Industry Forecast edition that articulates the trends, developments and opportunities in the religious group travel marketplace. Leisure Group Travel magazine has taken an active role in this explosive growth. As a result of dedicated direct mail and email campaigns, they have seen their religious travel group subscription base grow from a few hundred to over 3,000 active church travel planners in just three years. The publication now reaches over 20,000 group travel organizers across North America. Leisure Group Travel is currently accepting advertisements for this definitive issue on religious tourism and travel trends.

Are you a qualified religious group travel organizer that actively sells overnight faith-based trips and vacations? If so, you can receive a complimentary subscription to the leading group travel publication in North America (20,000 subscribers). For all others the cost is only $12 annually.

Begin your subscription or advertising today with
Christian Travel & Cruise Guide!

The Christian Travel & Cruise Guide is the latest publication from Power Trade Media, publishers of Church Executive magazine. Since its inception, Church Executive magazine has been the foremost business information resource for senior pastors, executive pastors and business administrators of the largest Christian traditional and contemporary churches, parachurches and megachurches in the U.S.
Through ongoing readership surveys and industry research, Church Executive focuses on the pulse of large church and megachurch issues that include the growing importance of religious group travel. Church Executive's Christian Travel & Cruise Guide gives religious travel the spotlight it deserves. From Interviews to Travel Tips, the Christian Travel & Cruise Guide is Specifically Written for the Pastor, Church Group Travel Planner and Leisure Traveler. Each issue of the Christian Travel & Cruise Guide contains critical and informative must-read articles and features interviews and unique segments such as regional trip planner, theme trips, supplier category, editorial reviews, and much more.

From the desk of Kevin J. Wright,
WRTA President

I invite you to join us at the first-ever international tradeshow and educational conference for the 300 million traveler religious tourism market. Save money by booking today with the Early Bird Special (which is good only for 2 months until Nov 30!). And remember, space is very limited!

P.S. And don't forget to join the world's first-ever online global social network for faith tourism. Visit www.religioustravelnetwork.com to post your organization or personal profile - it's FREE to join!

See you on the WRTA Social Network!
Kevin J. Wright