October 27, 2009




Have you continued to do the same trips year after year? Are you looking to plan new, exciting trips that will entice new members of your fellowship to travel? If so, we would love to invite you to attend the first-ever travel show for religious leaders and faith-based travelers- the World Religious Travel Expo.

Why Attend this Year?
Explore the diverse world of faith-based travel including pilgrimages, mission trips, Volunteer vacations, fellowship cruises, and more
  • Discover how to build a thriving travel program/ministry
  • Meet personally with tourism/travel officials from Israel, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, Cyprus,
  • Greece,Turkey, Switzerland, Britain, Scotland, Korea, India, Pakistan & more
  • Discuss opportunities with missionary travel companies such as MTS Travel and volunteer vacation companies such as Lifetree Adventures
  • Plan trips with leading pilgrimage tour companies such as Regina Tours, Unitours, as well as overseas Christian tour companies from Palestine, Turkey, Africa, Greece, Germany, and much more
  • Explore Christian and faith-based attractions such as TBN's The Holy Land Experience, and The Shrine of Christ's Passion
  • Design a fellowship cruise with faith-based cruise companies such as Premier Christian Cruises
  • Discuss opportunities with retreat conference centers such as Lifeway Conference Centers
  • Get ready for Oberammergau with The German National Tourist Office, as well as other local German tourism officials who can help you plan and prepare for your trip to next year's renowned Passion Play
  • Tickets purchased in advance are $20...plus you get an autographed copy of The Christian Travel Planner! Books are limited so please fax back the below registration today to ensure your copy.

    Tickets at the door are $35 (book not included).


    Download your registration.

Questions or would you like to register over the phone? Contact WRTA/Expo Staff at 859.226.4203 or visit

October 25, 2009

ASTA’s IDE 2010: Discover How to Build a Thriving Faith-based Travel Program Centered on the World's Top Religious Sites in the Holy Land

Read full story at http://www.asta.org/News/PRDetail.cfm?itemnumber=5937

Niche Session
Discover How to Build a Thriving Faith-based Travel Program Centered on the World's Top Religious Sites in the Middle East and Holy Land.
Moderator: Kevin J. Wright, President - World Religious Travel Association.
Panelists will include leading tourism representatives from Middle Eastern Destinations.

Travel agents will discover how to develop a thriving and diverse faith-based travel program centered on the great religious itineraries stretching across these ancient and biblically-rich lands such as Turkey, Armenia, Greece, Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Palestine, and much more. Attendees will return home equipped with the much-needed knowledge and strategies to immediately impact their faith-based travel program, no matter whether they are new to religious tourism or a long-term expert.

Qualified travel agents and journalists who register to attend IDE will also receive free accommodation for the four nights of the conference, April 19-22, in Istanbul. Check www.ASTA.org/expo to register for IDE and see which hotels are available. For more information or to register, go to ASTA.org/events.

ASTA's (American Society of Travel Agents) mission 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, growing and a rewarding place to work, invest and do business.

October 18, 2009

Going on Faith Interview with Kevin J. Wright

To view the Going on Faith Conference interview between GOF Editor Brian Jewell and WRTA President Kevin J. Wright, click here: http://bit.ly/GoingOnFaith2009KevinWright1

Topics covered include:
1) The growth of Religious Tourism
2) The outlook for Religious Tourism
3) The Christian Travel Planner guidebook

October 13, 2009

Tourism Cares announces partnership with the World Religious Travel Association

Canton, Mass. (October 13, 2009) – Tourism Cares, the tourism industry’s premier charitable organization for preservation, conservation, restoration and education, has announced its association partnership with the World Religious Travel Association (WRTA), the leading global network for the 300 million traveler faith tourism industry.

“We are excited and privileged to name Tourism Cares as WRTA’s official philanthropy,” said Kevin J. Wright, WRTA President. “Preserving the travel experience for future generations is imperative for all segments of the tourism industry. For this reason, WRTA looks forward to promoting and supporting Tourism Cares’ many important events, including this fall’s Tourism Rocks at the co-located NTA Convention and World Religious Travel Expo in Reno, Nevada.”

WRTA exists to serve as a networking and educational venue for religious tourism, including both trade and traveler. WRTA’s role is to also promote the faith-based travel experience around the world. The partnership with Tourism Cares provides the travel industry with another significant voice to preserving the travel experience for future generations.

“There are no travelers in the world more conscious of culture and antiquities than those who travel to discover the roots of religion. Part of Tourism Cares’ mission is to make sure these treasures are there when they arrive.”, said Bruce Beckham, Executive Director, Tourism Cares. “I am sure the WRTA members will be avid supporters of our cause.”

As part of the partnership, WRTA will be highlighting direct to its members the many ways they can get involved with the mission of Tourism Cares. This includes everything from promoting Tourism Rocks to the NTA Convention Auction to volunteering time at Tourism Cares projects and much more.

About Tourism Cares:
Tourism Cares is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity that benefits society by preserving the travel experience for future generations by awarding grants to natural, cultural and historic sites worldwide; by presenting academic and service-focused scholarships to students of hospitality and tourism; and by organizing volunteer efforts to restore tourism-related sites in need of care and rejuvenation. For additional information about Tourism Cares, please visit www.tourismcares.org.

WRTA Expo to Host Industry’s Largest-Ever Educational and Business Seminar Program on Faith Tourism

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct 7, 2009) – After hosting the industry’s first-ever, historic international gathering for the $18 billion religious travel marketplace in fall 2008, the World Religious Travel Association is expanding its vision and reach yet again in 2009. At this fall’s 2nd annual World Religious Travel Expo, WRTA will host the industry’s largest and most comprehensive educational seminar and business program ever assembled. As a result of the remarkable caliber of the event and presentations scheduled, Expo delegates can earn a maximum of 3 CEUs through The Travel Institute.

The all-star line-up of impressive speakers includes the globally-recognized religious travel expert, Kevin J. Wright, WRTA president; North America’s top faith-based marketing authority, Greg Stielstra, Faith-based Marketing and Pyromarketing author; travel industry’s leading retail expert and NACTA president, Scott Koepf; as well as government officials including Jordan Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Her Excellency Mrs. Maha Khatib, and Palestine Minister of Tourism & Antiquities, Her Excellency Dr. Khouloud Daibes.

Numerous travel industry executives and authorities have also been selected to speak including Torre Ossmo, vice president Faithful Holidays/Division of Mayflower Tours; Bob Faucett, vice president Unitours; George Vella, sales manager North America, German National Tourist Board, Jim Buddendorf, president MTS Travel; George Van der Wath, president Groups 2 Africa; Mirko Capodanno, Switzerland Tourism; Fuad Kattan, president ACA Travel & Tourism (Palestine); Michelle Clavijo-Diaz, Lifetree Adventures; Cindi Brodhecker, president Faith Travel Development and Consulting, and many more. With dozens of speakers planned for Expo 2009, the presenters represent a wide variety of backgrounds and destinations including India, Armenia, Cyprus, Africa, Germany, Switzerland, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Canada, Mexico, the United States, and more.

“I’m like a kid in a candy store with this remarkable array of speakers,” said Kevin J. Wright, WRTA president. “The sheer wealth of knowledge and wisdom among these speakers is exactly what is needed for every Expo delegate to plan and prepare for their best year ever in 2010. It is simply a tremendous honor for WRTA to host such an extraordinary and inspiring group of speakers. This is a testament to the power and prestige of today’s faith tourism marketplace.”
The Expo 2009 General Sessions and Educational Seminars are listed as follows, each expanding upon the convention theme: Make 2010 Your Best Year Ever. For a complete listing of all educational opportunities and speakers, visit www.wrtaexpo.com/WRTA+Expo/Education/.

* Soundbites from the Global Faith Tourism Industry: What’s Happening & What’s to Come in 2010 (Speakers include leading tourism representatives)
* Faith-based Marketing: How to effectively reach, and serve, America's highest spending consumer group (Greg Stielstra, North America’s Top Authority on Faith-based Marketing)
* Five things to do to Make 2010 your Best Year Ever! (Scott Koepf, NACTA President)
* Signature Event: The Holy Land Panel Moderated by Malia Asfour, Director North America, Jordan Tourism plus leading tourism officials from Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Cyprus, and Greece

* How to build a thriving religious travel program with the right products, experiences, and quality. Moderator: Cindi Brodhecker, President, Faith Travel Development and Consulting
* Discover fascinating new trends, destinations and faith vacation experiences for the 21st century religious traveler: Faith-based cruises, missionary travel, African safaris, India, Armenia, and much more. Moderator: Darrell Burrow, Director of Sales, Premier Christian Cruises
* Make 2010 your best year ever in religious group travel: Learn about Oberammergau, Santiago de Compostela’s Holy Year, Shroud of Turin, Year of the Priest, and Much More Moderator: Bob Faucett, Vice President, Unitours
* How to effectively use Social Media and PR to build your religious clientele: Includes LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, blogging, creating your own social network, writing press releases and much more. Moderator, Kevin J. Wright, WRTA President
* PyroMarketing: Igniting “group travel planner” evangelists and keeping them for life Moderator: Greg Stielstra plus prominent group planners/leaders

"As a speaker and exhibitor for the second year, I am honored to play such an important part again this year," said Torre Ossmo, vice president and general manager for Faithful Holidays. "I want to congratulate and thank WRTA for having such a great line up for the educational conference this year. The presentations, discussion topics and information provided at the educational conference will be crucial to the attendees, especially as we’re all looking for success as we address the market challenges ahead."WRTA is currently taking registrations for the Word Religious Travel Expo & Educational Conference 2009, which will be held November 14-16, 2009, at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nevada (USA). Serving as the most important meeting and tradeshow in the religious travel and hospitality industry, the event is expected to draw tourism organizations, travel professionals, and group planners from 30-plus countries.

A new highlight for the Expo includes co-locating with the National Tour Association Convention ‘09, offering members of both associations unprecedented opportunities for business growth, networking, and access to new market opportunities.

October 10, 2009

NTA and WRTA working together to increase tourism industry

Read full story at http://www.travelagentcentral.com/home-based/conferences/nta-can-open-door-tour-sales-17797

More good news. The NTA – one of the largest and best-managed associations – has co-locating the conference with the World Religious Travel Association's (WRTA) Expo. This gives tour operators the opportunity to enhance their market share and grow their faith-based product line. Like the China inbound market, faith based products are a growing and lucrative market. The NTA hopes that tour operators can enhance their market share and grow their faith-based product line. WRTA expects about 100 exhibitors representing a variety of travel companies and destinations specializing in faith-based travel.