April 13, 2009

WRTA Announces Management Partnership with NTA and IMG Associations

World Religious Travel Association Announces
Management Partnership with NTA and IMG Associations

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 30, 2009) — The World Religious Travel Association has signed an agreement to be fully managed by the National Tour Association and its management company, IMG Associations. Under the new agreement, NTA and IMG staff will power the back‐of‐thehouse operations of WRTA. IMG Associations currently provides management services for NTA and will be supporting WRTA in its expansion efforts over the next three years.

"As an association that has experienced remarkable growth and visibility in its first two years, we are confident that the travel management expertise along with the knowledgeable staff, proven systems and intimate knowledge of the travel business that NTA and its management partner, IMG Associations, provides will further our development as a world‐class organization and leader in the travel industry," said Kevin J. Wright, WRTA president.

In addition to an ongoing strategic partnership with NTA, WRTA’s 2009 World Religious Travel Expo & Educational Conference will be co‐located Nov. 14‐16 with the NTA Annual Convention in Reno, Nevada, offering members of both associations unprecedented opportunities for business growth, education, and networking.

“The NTA Board recognizes the value to the NTA membership of working with WTRA and
believes in the innovative and forward‐thinking management staff that has helped create the success of NTA,” said Lisa Simon, CTP, president of the National Tour Association. “NTA has a long and rich history and faith‐based travel is an important part of the overall industry. Together, members of both organizations can help strengthen their business as well as the travel community overall.”

In 2008, WRTA and NTA entered a unique agreement, in which the associations began working together to educate their members on the value of the faith tourism industry and bring new business opportunities to the members of both organizations. In fact, last year’s historic World Religious Travel Expo & Educational Conference was managed in part by NTA. Through the agreement, WRTA aligns itself with NTA’s strength and position in the packaged travel industry. NTA, an organization for tour operators, suppliers and destinations, has a highly respected reputation for excellent association management and successful conference execution. NTA will be sharing that expertise with WRTA, to help move the dynamic young association to the next level. Services will include communications, marketing, member services, administrative support, event management and technology services, as well as selling
advertising and corporate partnerships.

In return, NTA members will be gaining access to more diverse tour product with the 600‐plus buyers and sellers (from more than 30 countries) of faith‐based tours and packages expected in Reno. Faith‐based tourism is an $18 billion and 300 million traveler market segment and currently nearly 35 percent of NTA tour operators offer product for the faith‐based traveler.