skip to Main Content


9:45 A.M.-Noon

BIZnet: The Opening Connection
Sponsored by CroisiEurope Cruises
Speaker: Thom Singer, The Conference Catalyst

Network in a brand new way in this all-attendee, interactive, thought-provoking session. Led by moderator Thom Singer, the Conference Catalyst, participants will share information and proven solutions, discuss industry trends, communicate ideas for tour product and create partnerships. Attendees will leave this session with ideas and information that can be implemented in their own companies and a network of industry contacts.

1:30-2:45 P.M.

Spotlight Session | Reaching Your Next Summit: 7 Vertical Lessons & 1 Essential Question to Lead with Impact
Sponsored by Old Savannah Tours & Savannah Riverboat Cruises
Speaker: Manley Feinberg, Vertical Lessons

Many professionals often struggle to deliver more value under tightening business constraints and rising expectations. Add the complications derived from generational differences, evolving technology, economic pressure, and the chaos of day to day life offer a serious challenge. After facing the same frustrations from the front lines to the executive level for more than 20 years, Manley believes the answer is in equipping individuals at all levels to think, act and influence as leaders in their environment. In this session, you will gain the tools you can use immediately to develop a leadership mindset that engages, equips and inspires both you and your team members to step up and lead regardless of your title.

3:15-4:15 P.M.

Prepare to Negotiate Anywhere
Speaker: Thom Singer, The Conference Catalyst

We all negotiate every day, but we are often not prepared to make the best decisions that allow everyone to walk away happy with the deal. Many people are nervous about negotiating and they allow this fear to keep them from making the deal, or they give away too much. If one party feels they did not get a fair agreement, then it was not the right deal. Knowing when to negotiate and being committed to what you can and cannot give up in the process is key to successful negotiations. Whether your organization needs to increase sales, resolve disputes, improve customer service, or gain commitment on a contract, everyone needs to be a successful negotiator.

Tour Operator Forum
Facilitators: Michelle Pino, Northeastern Unlimited Tours
Justin Osbon, Image Tours

This open forum is your opportunity to discuss several topics relevant to your business, get opinions, ask questions and share ideas with your fellow NTA tour operators.


8:30-9:30 A.M.

Ensuring Your Legacy: Continuation & Succession Planning for Your Business
Speaker: Ingrid Edstrom, Polymath

Whether you have a mature business or a startup, it is important to have a clear idea for your next steps. What is your business without you? It can be challenging to think about stepping back from the business that encompasses so many of your dreams, especially if retirement feels like a distant future. Would you rather have your business fade as you transition to the next phase of your life, or do you want it to continue to be a thriving enterprise that can provide value to your family and customers beyond you?  Understanding your options and planning for your future as early as possible can make a big difference in your life and for your loved ones, and it doesn’t have to be hard. In this session you will learn the hows and whys for intentional succession and continuation planning in your business. You will gain some tools and strategies that will help you understand the different choices available to you so that you can determine the best path to take and start putting your plan into action today.

2020 Vision: Travel Trends for the New Decade
Speakers: Lee McLaughlin, Visit Tucson

Digital marketing, social media and mobile technology shook up travel in the 2010’s, but what’s next? As we move into the hyper-digital age, consumer habits are shifting, travelers are looking for different experiences, and competition is fiercer than ever. Travel providers and DMOs need to be prepared for a world in which information is available across an ever-widening array of platforms and share-worthy experiences and social currency become key motivators for travel. As the new becomes old, where will you be in the decision-making process for a generation that sees travel as a way to build their own personal brand? Join this interactive session to hear about some of the latest trends that are going to take travel into the next decade and beyond.

9:45-11 A.M.

Future-Proofing Your Business: Surviving Technology and Disruption in the Tours Industry
Speaker: Ingrid Edstrom, Polymath

The world is changing, and the tours and activities industry is no exception. People are travelling, communicating, and doing business differently than they did even just a few years ago, and new changes are emerging faster than ever before. It can be challenging for businesses to evolve fast enough to remain relevant, much less appeal to the younger customer base that will carry your business in the years to come. This session will explore the changes that have already been happening, what is likely to emerge over the next several years, and what your business can do to stay ahead of the curve while maintaining the important core fundamentals of what makes your experiences unique and valuable to your favorite customers.

Ask the Suppliers and Destinations
Sponsored by VISIT Milwaukee
Moderator: Jerry Varner, Making Memories Tours
Panelists: Jara Haas, Major Marine Tours & Harbor 360 Hotel
Kelly Dean, Ottawa Tourism
Jennifer Aiken-Cecil, Explore Charleston
Alyssa Keshel, American Music Theatre

In an interesting twist on our “Ask the Operator” sessions at Travel Exchange, this session will give tour operators the opportunity to turn the table on suppliers and destinations to ask questions. The mixed panel of suppliers and DMOs will share their perspective, and it’s your chance to learn more form your fellow NTA members about how you can better work together.

11 A.M.-4:30 P.M.

Educational Outings  |  Learn more & Sign Up
Sponsored by Visit Tucson

  • Science & Technology: Planetarium and Mirror Lab
  • Culinary: Tucson, a UNESCO City of Gastronomy
  • Outdoor: Traildust Adventure and Jeep Experience
  • Culture & History: Museum and Mission
  • Best of the Barrio: The Best 23 Miles of Mexican Food


9:45-10:45 A.M.

Travel Market Consultation Stations
Sponsored by Delta Air Lines
China Inbound Market: Erchao He, Mega Travel Inc.
Faith-based Travel: Paul Larsen, Ed-Ventures Inc.
FIT/Independent Travel: Jim Warren, CTP; Anderson Vacations
Hispanic Market: Agustin Caparros, A Closer Look Tours

Whether you are a veteran in one of our featured markets or you want to connect with a seasoned professional, you’re encouraged to participate in our Consultation Stations. The facilitators will share a quick overview of each market, and then the group will break out for the discussions. You can participate in one or more of the conversations. This is an all-play and knowledge-sharing at its best, so come prepared with your questions, thoughts and ideas.

Terms and Conditions, Releases/Waivers and other Legal Lingo!
Speaker: Jeff Ment, Jeff Ment

Why we always need to read the fine print. In this seminar we will take a look at how a company can best protect its interest when drafting or agreeing to terms. We will explore what clauses to fight over and which ones are acceptable.

11 A.M.-Noon

Spotlight Session: Power Hour
Facilitator: Fraser Neave, Wells Gray Tours
Tom White, U.S. Space & Rocket Center
DMO Facilitator TBA

Wrap up your week at Contact in this all-attendee session. Join your fellow NTA colleagues for an open conversation to expand on any of the questions, ideas, and conversations you’ve had during your time together in Tucson, and share your key takeaways and experiences from Contact 2019.

2-5 P.M.

Sightseeing Tours  |  Learn more and Sign Up
Sponsored by Visit Tucson

  • Sabino Canyon Tram Ride
  • Horseback Riding
  • Pima Air & Space Museum
  • Micro-brewery Tour
Back To Top