The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) offered up details of two conferences it will be holding in 2017 at a press conference Tuesday.
The biggest news: ASTA will be hosting its first-ever China conference and Expo in November 2017, and Carnival Cruise Line CEO Arnold Donald will again be a featured speaker at its global conference in San Diego this year.
ASTA spokesperson Erika Richter said the “ASTA China Summit” will be held Nov. 8-12, in the city of Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou province. “This is the first event we’ve done in partnership with China. We’re excited to be partnering with them. They have really developed their infrastructure, including their airport and high speed rail,” she said.
The conference, with a full slate of pre- and post-conference fam trips, will bring together U.S. and China travel agents and Chinese sellers of travel. It is being hosted in partnership with China Southern Airlines, the ASTA China Chapter, the Guiyang Tourism Development Committee, the Guizhou Tourism Development Commission, inbound tour operators and Beyond Summits Ltd.
“Like many destinations we work with, China is very interested in increasing their U.S. market share,” said ASTA senior vice president Eben Peck.
Guizhou promotes itself as an eco-friendly destination, home to the Karst mountain formations and the highest waterfall in China.
China Southern Airlines, a Delta Airlines SkyTeam Partner, is the third-largest airline in the world and the largest airline in Asia, with six American departure cities, including Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver. It is offering attendees $299 round-trip coach tickets and $1,299 round-trip business class seats (all with two stops.) The Hyatt Regency Guiyang is the summit hotel, offering a rate no higher than $149 per night.
Richter said there will be two days of general sessions, with a heavy emphasis on cultural immersion.
Meanwhile, ASTA disclosed that Carnival CEO Donald and travel media celebrities Samantha Brown and Peter Greenberg will be general sessions speakers at the group’s Global Conference in San Diego Aug. 27-29. The conference is being hosted at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina. ASTA will be announcing more details about the conference soon.