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ASTA’s 2008 International Destination Expo

ASTA’s 2008 International Destination Expo ( Alexandria, Va., Dec. 5, 2007—ASTA’s 2008 International Destination Expo (IDE) will take place April 12-16 in Lyon, France at the Lyon Convention Center. The expo will assemble travel agents and exhibitors in Lyon for a week of educational courses, networking and sightseeing. IDE will focus primarily on French and Western European niche travel.

“For travel agents, the knowledge received from immersing yourself in a particular destination is invaluable,” said Cheryl Hudak, CTC, ASTA’s president and CEO. “At IDE, being able to network with local professionals helps agents gain an in-depth understanding of the culture and environment of a region. ASTA’s IDE attendees will be able to take advantage of a unique opportunity to meet face-to-face with travel professionals from all over Europe, who are a wealth of information that would otherwise be unattainable.”

With the idea of destination specialization in mind, IDE offers educational courses from niche markets like planning honeymoons in Western Europe to the France Destination Specialist course. Other courses will be offered as well from broad to specific topics for agents, to help expand their expertise. Attendees who enroll in these courses will benefit by being able to go out and experience first-hand what they just learned in the classroom.

In addition to educational opportunities, there will be nine different complimentary sightseeing tours offered. Agents can look forward to gathering the most current information on European niche markets, as well as information on Lyon’s fascinating culinary, wine and arts culture. The sightseeing tours, privately guided historical excursions and artisan workshops will make for an experience that agents cannot afford to miss. The International Destination Expo is the place to become a European vacation expert.

ASTA has reserved rooms at various hotels for a discount to IDE attendees to help provide every type of experience possible. From historic to trendy to a relaxing spa, the featured hotels have it all for anyone coming to learn more about Lyon as a destination.

In previous years attendance at IDE has been around 1,300 travel professionals and ASTA plans to meet and beat that number this year, in Lyon. Exhibitors from France, Germany, Italy, Estonia, Turkey, Belgium, Romania and the U.S. are among those already registered to attend with many others anticipated.

The mission of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) 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 and growing and a rewarding field in which to work, invest and do business.

Contact: Kristina Rundquist/Laura Gajewski 703-739-8710

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