Two travel industry associations, the United Motorcoach Association and the National Tour Association, will co-locate their annual conventions starting in 2013.
The co-location plan will provide members of the two associations with better value as well as increased business and networking opportunities, officials said. Even if the economy were not in recession, the associations would be co-locating, said Mark Gedris, UMA spokesman. “It makes great sense for our members,” he said. “There are a lot of synergies between the two associations.”
The process of co-locating will be gradual for UMA and NTA. Each association is committed to its own meetings sites through 2012, but between now and then, they will play an increasingly larger role in each other’s annual convention. Already, the two associations, which formed a strategic partnership last year, have a presence at one another’s meeting. NTA has a destinations pavilion at the UMA show, while UMA sponsors events at the NTA show. Over the next few years there will be more crossover activities and events at both annual meetings until the meetings fully co-locate in 2013, said Gedris. No site has been selected for the 2013 convention and other details have not yet been hammered out.
"A co-located show with NTA will provide UMA members, both operator attendees and associate vendors, with a whole range of increased opportunities," stated Godfrey Lebron, chairman of the board at UMA in a press release. "Expo will still attract the same large number of qualified buyers that our associate partners have come to expect, and the opportunity to meet with tour operators will only increase buyer attendance." UMA’s annual convention attracts over 2,000 attendees, while NTA’s attracts around 2,500.