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Travel Alliance Partners and Associates TAP Into the Jackpot

Travel Alliance Partners and Associates TAP Into the Jackpot ( ANCHORAGE, Alaska (July 1, 2014) – Travel Alliance Partners, LLC (TAP) concluded its 9th annual conference, held last month at the Grand Sierra Resort (GSR) in Reno, Nevada. A total of 189 hospitality industry providers gathered at “TAP Dance” where they dazzled 47 representatives from the TAP’s tour operator Members with reasons to visit their destinations. In addition to company stakeholders, suppliers from across North America worked in unison to create and/or adjust current tour offerings, which is the primary goal of TAP Dance.

Capitalizing on the host state’s gambling reputation, this year’s theme was “TAP into the Jackpot” and the agenda was jam-packed. A TAP Mingle kicked off the conference Sunday evening at GSR’s 50-lane bowling alley. By the end of the week, attendees had donated over $8,500 for children’s charities in Virginia Beach, the site of the Annual General Meeting for TAP. “We’re proud to support organizations that benefit the lives of children,” said Bob Buesing, owner of East Coast Touring Company and founder of the TAP Gives Back concept. “We visited a children’s hospital in Kansas City and brought Christmas gifts to kids in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina; we have also contributed to a holiday celebration at the world’s first ultra-accessible family fun park in Texas, provided food and holiday gifts to Portland families in need, and participated in sending underprivileged Spokane children on a flight to th e 'North Pole.' Our contribution amount grows every year and we are going to keep giving to children in need around North America.”

Another highlight of the week was the presentation of the Spirit of TAP award, which recognizes an individual who embodies the values of long-time industry contributor, the late Ann Thomas. This year was especially poignant as Ann Thomas’ daughter presented the award in her home state. Marceline Dyer of Experience Columbus accepted the award in tears saying, “It is such an honor to be part of the TAP family and be able to make a difference in the travel industry.”

TAP Dance is unique and unlike any other trade show. Appointments are 25 minutes long, allowing destinations and other hospitality representatives (or PPTPs – short for Preferred Professional Travel Providers – as they’re known in this circle) access to tour operators in an informal, yet professional atmosphere that encourages brainstorming and collaboration, leading to greater business opportunities.

Appointments start early and continue throughout the late afternoon, followed by networking events. “Our days are long but it doesn’t feel like work,” said Andrea Lawrence of the Las Cruces Convention&Visitors Bureau. “It’s like reconnecting with family you haven’t seen in a while and talking about how you can help each other succeed.” Lawrence, along with dozens of others, adds value to her attendance by sponsoring an aspect of the conference like TAP University. With the books barely closed on this year’s success, the TAP team is already planning its 10th annual event, scheduled for June 7-11, 2015 in Oklahoma City, OK.

Stefanie Gorder, ctp, ds Executive Director, Travel Alliance Partners or 907-243-7125

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