Don McGahee, Manager, Member Sales & Service, NACTA
What should NACTA members look forward to when participating in your educational programs?
NACTA has some of the best supplier partnerships in the travel industry. We’re very interested in educating our members on products and services, as well as providing training and insight into the industry as a whole.
One of the best educational opportunities offered is our robust FAM program. Our goal for 2017 is to offer at least two top-flight FAM programs per quarter. The Destinational programs are so complete that we have locals taking them and gaining valuable insight into their home area. The majority of these FAM experiences are hosted and—in the case of our Seminars at Sea—include seminar training.
The firsthand experience gained by our members is critical for a travel consultant.
What are the benefits of attending pre-/post-FAMs and Seminars at Sea?
Members gain firsthand experience on what suppliers have to offer. Our land FAMs are led by experienced guides, many of who have lived their entire life in the region. And what better way to learn about a culture or destination, than through the eyes of someone who was raised in the area?
What makes NACTA FAM programs great is that you get more than just one learning option; we expand it by building on pre- and post-FAMs. We understand that as an entrepreneur your time is valuable and limited, so we make sure our educational programs are robust, with extended experience opportunities.
What makes NACTA FAMs different from other travel industry FAMs?
NACTA only accepts travel consultants who are sellers of travel. This policy ensures NACTA is offered the best FAM opportunities, because the supplier knows our members are vetted and are interested in selling the destinations they visit. We include many FAMs to exotic destinations of the world, such as China and Bali, and our Hawaiian training programs—run with our Hawaiian Visitors Bureau partners—are the best offered.
What feedback do you receive from your educational programs?
Members come back with a better understanding about that particular destination or cruise. Plus, they have an opportunity to network with suppliers and establish lifetime friendships with their fellow NACTA members.
How many people typically attend a program?
Our land FAMs average between 10 and 20 agents, with as many as 50 participants. Having smaller groups allows our members to network with suppliers and build their business relationships, and offer a more personal experience—like what the traveler experiences herself.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
The suppliers we work with are NACTA members and NACTA approved. These suppliers are supporting your travel trade association! Additionally, these are unique suppliers that travel consultants might not be able to know without NACTA’s connection.
The prices we offer our members are very reasonable and usually include additional perks that may not be available to non-NACTA members.