NEW YORK – July 7, 2014 – The United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) has launched Travel Together, a new campaign designed to bring off-the-beaten path experiences to travelers through engaging videos and “up close and personal” blog posts.
The first of the curated collection of destinations to be featured are Egypt and South Africa, in partnership with USTOA members Abercrombie & Kent in Egypt and Collette and Swain Destinations in South Africa. Local connections accessible through USTOA tour operator members that use knowledgeable, on-the-ground experts include a range of expertise from resident guides to artisanal businesses and schools in Soweto and game preserve conservationists locating the “big five” at an animal preserve in South Africa, to native Egyptologists.
“These Travel Together videos and blog posts capture ‘live like a local’ moments that delve deeply into immersive cultural experiences that our tour operator members make accessible and within reach for more than 6.5 million travelers a year,” said USTOA President and CEO Terry Dale.
Travel Together videos created by travel expert and video journalist Kelley Ferro and blog stories from a team of Ambassadors from AFAR magazine can be found at www.youtube.com/user/ustoanyc and www.ustoa.com/blog, as well as www.ustoa.com/travel-together.
USTOA’s Dale commented that the experiences shared with travel companions and connections made with native people during a journey are the “heart and soul” of why people travel. “Experiential travel is more than a trend, it encompasses so many ways that travelers can forge lasting connections with the places and people they visit, from sharing a home-cooked meal with a family and visiting a local school to tasting freshly made delicacies and watching artisans make treasured carpets, clothing, jewelry and so much more,” he continued.
In Egypt with Abercrombie & Kent, Kelley Ferro and AFAR Ambassador Alison Cornford-Matheson report how Egyptologists shared their passion for their ancient culture and antiquities; from a shopkeeper in Luxor, they learned about native spices; at a school in Sakkara they followed students learning the ancient art of carpet weaving; found the best falafel made in Cairo, and took a leisurely cruise along the Nile in a luxury riverboat.
South Africa videos and blogs highlight very different adventures as AFAR blogger Nina Dietzel, who traveled with Collette, shared her journey through a thriving family restaurant in Soweto and a visit to a preschool in Knysna for an unfiltered look at modern-day township life. Meanwhile, Travel Together video journalist Kelley Ferro traveled with Swain Destinations for an inside look at the teaching kitchens and safari in Singita game preserve, as well as the hot restaurants and sites in Cape Town.
A frequent contributor to Tripfilms, the travel video channel created by real travelers for real travelers, Kelley Ferro and a cadre of AFAR Ambassadors will visit and chronicle the extraordinary opportunities to meet and engage with locals in each destination. Following the June launch, videos and blogs about new destinations visited with USTOA tour operator members will be added monthly, which include Australia’s Northern Territory with Goway, Taiwan with Ritz Tours, Croatia with VBT Bicycling & Walking Vacations and Delta, Manitoba with Tauck, and Colombia with Avanti Destinations. More information about Travel Together destinations can be found at www.ustoa.com/travel-together.
Representing more than $11 billion in revenue, the member companies of U.S. Tour Operators Association provide tours, packages and custom arrangements that allow six million travelers annually unparalleled access, insider knowledge, peace-of-mind, value and freedom to enjoy destinations and experiences across the entire globe. Each member company has met the travel industry’s highest standards, including participation in the USTOA’s Travelers Assistance Program, which protects consumer payments up to $1 million if the company goes out of business.
As a voice for the tour operator industry for 40 years, USTOA also provides education and assistance for consumers and travel agents. For more information about USTOA, visit ustoa.com, call 212.599.6599 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gina Sisco/Liz Carty
Redpoint Marketing PR., Inc.
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