In a historic partnership between two visionary travel industry organizations, the NTA-ASTA Hispanic Business Development Task Force met for the first time in conjunction with Tianguis Turistico Mexico and developed a strategic plan to capture the undertapped U.S. Hispanic travel market.
“Because tourism creates jobs and the Hispanic market represents 16 percent of the U.S. population, there is an unprecedented opportunity for growth,” said Olga Ramudo, a member of both NTA and ASTA. “We want to ensure this market is serviced, captured and has a voice in our industry. “NTA and ASTA are creating a home for travel professionals specializing in Hispanic travel with a ‘Mi casa es su casa’ approach,” said Ramudo, who chairs the task force. “We are honored and excited to have hosted the first meeting of this task force in Puerto Vallarta-Riviera Nayarit, Mexico,” said Jose Barquin, director, Mexico Tourism Board, Miami office, and a member of the task force. “We are convinced this market can create new opportunities to bring more visitors to Mexico.”
The Mexico Tourism Board and Aeromexico collaborated to bring the task force meeting to Tianguis. Ramudo, president and CEO of Express Travel, one of the largest Hispanic-owned travel companies, is a member of U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. The task force comprises a diverse number of travel professionals including Barquin; Nina Meyer, ASTA president; Maria Gross, MarkeTravel International; Angel Alvarez, Rail Europe; Kirk Whisler, Latino Print Network; Jorge Cazenave, Cazenave Argentina; Guisselle Nunez, Mundi Travel/American Express; Gloria Stock Mickelson, Travel Leaders Franchise Group; Jorge Sanchez, Mena Tours and Travel; and Laura C. Rodriguez, Marina Tours and Travel. The mission of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) is to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. ASTA seeks a retail travel marketplace that is profitable and growing and a rewarding field in which to work, invest and do business. NTA, formerly the National Tour Association, is the premiere travel association for professionals offering travel to, from and within North America. NTA membership comprises 700 tour companies and thousands of supplier and destination partners from more than 40 countries.