September 24, 2008

WRTA & NTA Form Alignment

Littleton, Co. / Lexington, Ky. (Sep. 24, 2008) — The National Tour Association and the World Religious Travel Association have announced a cooperative agreement. As part of this new collaboration, the World Religious Travel Expo will be "powered by NTA." Additionally, the two organizations will work together to educate their members on the value of the faith-based market and bring new business opportunities to members of both organizations.
In its work with WRTA on the Expo, the organization's inaugural conference, NTA will help manage the event, including the operations and logistics.

"As we prepare for this fall's World Religious Travel Expo, we're thrilled and honored to announce our new partnership with NTA," said Kevin J. Wright, president of the World Religious Travel Association. "This Expo, the first global tradeshow and educational conference for the 300 million traveler faith tourism marketplace, marks a historic new chapter in the travel industry.

"Serving as a high profile gathering of the 'movers and shakers' and new entrants in faith tourism, the Expo is attracting hundreds of travel wholesalers, tourist boards, suppliers, travel agents and group planners from more than 30 countries on six continents," Wright said. "We're excited to have found the 'perfect partner and convention manager' in NTA."

Through this agreement, WRTA aligns itself with NTA's strength and position in the industry. NTA has a highly-respected reputation for managing top quality conferences. The association will be bringing that experience and brand power to WRTA's Expo this year.

"We are thrilled that WRTA sought NTA's expertise in bringing their delegates a well-organized and successfully run show," said NTA Chairman and CEO Bob Hoelscher, CTP. "Additionally, both organizations believe there is value in working with progressive associations with mutually beneficial goals of increasing business for members. This alignment does just that."

As part of the new relationship, NTA and WRTA hope to expand the overall growth of the travel industry through faith tourism, bringing both memberships opportunities for education and professional development. Faith-based tourism is an $18 billion market and currently 35 percent of NTA tour operators offer religious tour product.

The World Religious Travel Expo is the gathering of the worldwide faith tourism industry including exhibitors from more than 30 countries and travel agents, group planners, tour operators and destinations. The Expo will be held Oct. 29-Nov. 1 at the Gaylord Palms Resort Hotel & Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

The World Religious Travel Association is the leading network for shaping, enriching, and expanding the $18 billion global faith tourism industry. WRTA exists to bring the travel trade and religious consumer together for the primary purpose of promoting and providing quality faith 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, Leisure, Cruises, Events/Conventions, Missions, Retreats, Attractions, Family, Student/Youth, Adventure and Volunteer Vacations. To learn more about WRTA or to become a member, visit or contact WRTA at 1.800.657.1288 or 360.778.3047. To attend or exhibit at the World Religious Travel Expo, register online at

The National Tour Association is the preferred association in the tourism industry for packaged travel professionals. NTA's diverse membership and progressive nature make it an industry leader as the place to do business. NTA consistently seeks innovations for the services and business tools it provides to members, and the leadership keeps its fingers on the pulse of the ever-changing world. In turn, NTA members are some of the most creative in the dynamic travel industry. NTA membership represents 34 countries, and tour and travel packagers of all types, including a group, independent, student, and more. To learn more, please visit