The Travel Industry Needs Intrapreneurs

Yep, that's correct - just like the blog post title states.....the travel industry needs intrapreneurs.

What's an intrapreneur? It's an entrepreneur who turns ideas into profitable products and services as an employee of a company.

In today's challenging economy, intrapreneurship hasn't never been more important for the travel industry and among tour operators, tourist offices, suppliers and other tourism-related organizations.

Intrapreneurs provide companies with an entrepreneurial mindset, approach and spark - which in turns brings new revenues to companies by discovering, developing and tapping new markets and opportunities. 

As intrapreneurship is a vital key to the continued growth of the travel industry and trade, I plan to begin blogging and writing on this subject more than ever before in the coming days, weeks and months.

In meantime, you can check out my other blog on the very topic of intrapreneurship. Here is the link:

Cruise Incentives: A Promising Specialty for Travel Agents (by Ana Figueroa)

One of the growth markets within the cruise business is incentive travel. just published it's second story by Ana Figueroa in a series on cruise meetings and incentives. Here is the opening statement of the article by Ana:

"As the cruise industry sets its sights on the meetings and incentive market with renewed vigor, there are expanded opportunities for cruise-selling travel agents to reel in business clients."

Here is the full article link to Ana's most recent article:

To view Ana's first story in the series published on Sep 13, click here:
Cruise Meetings Sail Onto Meeting Planners’ Radar

website joins 
Group Travel Family

Read full story at:


Agritourism has been growing in popularity among tour planners in recent years, and now there is a site dedicated to helping the group travel planner find farms, markets and destinations that are tourism-friendly. AgritourismWorld is an online directory that lists more than 1,000 agritourism-related destinations and that encourages tourists to visit the countryside.

AgritourismWorld recently joined The Group Travel Family, along with the BankTravel Conference, Going On Faith Conference, Boomers in Groups, the African American Travel Conference and Group Leaders of America. The addition of agritourism to the organization will integrate farm-related tourism into the group travel industry by creating an awareness of the market to more than 12,500 leaders of travel clubs and groups.

“We openly welcome AgritourismWorld to the group travel industry,” said Charlie Presley, founder of The Group Travel Family. “Agritourism is a valued part of every group’s travel plans, and this site makes it easy to visit a farm, market, bed-and-breakfast or one of over 1,000 destinations.”

At the AgritourismWorld site, a group can search for farms that cater to tourists by state or product. The site allows visitors to find farms that specialize in everything from honey production to alpaca farming. Once group leaders locate farms or destinations of interest, they can click on the farms’ websites to find travel details, ask questions of the owners or schedule group visits.

AgritourismWorld is already the top Google site under the search word “agritourism,” and Presley has plans to increase the reach of the site.

“We have over 1,000 farms listed today, and we will double that by year’s end,” he said.

In addition, the site will target international as well as domestic agritourism destinations. There are more than 100 international listings to date.

The wide range of interests the site offers is a true tourism value. Visitors can find information on destinations from Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch in Illinois to Biship’s Pumpkin Farm in California, Ten Horse Farm in Georgia and Vashon Farmers Market in Washington. The site will help travel planners find more than 75 interests: Listings include seasons, events, animals, food and beverages, gardens and plants, markets, overnight stays and unusual features, such as corn mazes.

Farms and agritourism destinations that are interested in a free listing may visit the site and submit their venue. Groups can go to and plan a tour year-round.

For further information, contact Gini Dolence at 800-628-0993

Business and Educational Seminars on Growth Markets in Tourism at 2013 NTA Convention (Travel Exchange)

If you're looking for a convention or tradeshow featuring a wide range of educational and business seminars on growth markets in tourism, consider attending the upcoming NTA Convention (Travel Exchange), which will be held Jan 2013 in Orlando, FL.

Here are some of the business and educational seminars (on growth markets in tourism) to be held at Travel Exchange: :
+ Adventure travel
+ Accessibility travel
+ Culinary travel
+ Dark tourism
+ Faith-based travel
+ Family travel
+ Sustainable travel

For more information or to view the entire list of available seminars/educational sessions, click here:

300 Trade Professionals & Planners Participated in 9th Annual Going on Faith Conference

Read original article at:

Rock Hill puts on a show for GOF Conference

By Mac Lacy

Nearly 300 faith-based travel planners, travel industry destinations and tour operators gathered in Rock Hill, South Carolina, Aug. 21-23 for the ninth annual Going On Faith Conference operated by The Group Travel Family. The Going On Faith Conference is the group travel industry’s only faith-based travel conference and this year’s event drew delegates from across North America, plus international destinations including Israel, the Bahamas, Jordan and other countries.

“This conference is establishing a loyal following of those travel destinations that truly seek out faith-based travel groups,” said Joe Cappuzzello, CEO of The Group Travel Family. “From pilgrimages to youth retreats and traditional travel groups, faith-based tourism has carved out a recognizable niche within the overall group travel industry.”

Conference highlights included two evening events hosted by the Rock Hill/York County Convention and Visitors Bureau — an opening evening dinner and drama at Narroway Productions, and a gospel performance followed by dine-around dinner options in Rock Hill’s distinctive Old Town.

“Our community believes in family and faith and we embrace opportunities for fellowship,” said the convention bureau’s interim executive director, Mikki Rentschler. “Rock Hill and York County are progressive and bright destinations, and we enjoyed sharing our authentic features with the delegates of Going On Faith.”

Over two days, more than 3,000 business appointments took place between travel buyers and destination representatives, and delegates heard presentations from three distinguished speakers on faith-based travel topics.

Mike Schields, managing director for groups and emerging markets for Globus family of brands, shared his company’s newest research on the $17 billion faith-based travel industry during the conference’s opening session. Jimmy Wallace, former four-time state champion high school football coach and motivational Christian speaker, offered the keynote address. And to wrap thing up, Brian Jewell, executive editor of Going On Faith magazine, shared his outlook on the future of packaged travel for groups based on six travel personalities that tour planners should account for in their programming.

“The educational content this year was superb,” said conference partner Charlie Presley. “Globus’ research validates the huge potential of this market, while Jimmy Wallace was as inspirational as anyone we’ve ever listened to. And Brian Jewell has created a fascinating overview of personality types that today’s travel planners must account for. We appreciate all of their participation in this year’s conference.”

For more information, visit and

Join the "Entrepreneurs in Travel" Facebook Community Page

Entrepreneurs in Travel
A new Facebook community has just been launched for young entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs or budding ones in the travel and tourism industry. 

To learn more about or to join the community, click here:!/TheTravelingEntrepreneur

Here is the community's official description:
Entrepreneurs in Travel connects young business owners and professionals involved in the tour and travel industry. Share stories, advice, and insight with other upcoming travel professionals to learn and collectively grow our businesses!

Connect with Faith-based Tourism Expert: Cindi Brodhecker

Each growth market in tourism has its experts.  So who are the authorities in faith-based?

Today's feature is Cindi Brodhecker. Cindi has eighteen years in the area of group and religious travel. As an expert, she writes and speaks on the subject frequently.

Her bio states "Cindi’s own faith has given her the passion to pursue this travel market, an industry in itself with 18 billion dollars spent annually on religious journeys and mission causes."

 If your organization is involved or interested in the faith-based travel and hospitality marketplace, Cindi is an important authority and expert to know.

How can you learn more about Cindi and connect with her? Here's her profile on

Cindi Brodhecker
Faith Travel Development & Consulting

Mr. Koolz Opens Wednesday, Others to Follow

The latest Marion eatery, Mr. Koolz' Frozen Yogurt is scheduled to open at 9 a.m. Wednesday for those who need some dessert following breakfast.

The business owned by County Board Chairman Brent Gentry and managed by Babe Ann Hoover is located immediately north of Black Diamond Harley-Davidson in the south end of what's was the Stevens' building and now is named Parkway Plaza.

Three other restaurants are scheduled to open as well over the next two months. Logan's Roadhouse is set for Sept. 16 and a story in Sunday's Southern Illinoisan also noted another steakhouse will open later in the month.

Sammy’s Steakhouse will open in Marion Plaza at 1000 N. Carbon in the space formerly occupied by the short-lived Home Style Buffet and Nong Chen. The site is undergoing extensive renovations. Long-time Marion Chef Sammy Mankin will serve up the specials.

The Southern also reported that Panera Bread should open late in October next to Drury Inn.

Israel Tour Ops Respond to Demand for Custom Experiences

Citing robust demand for customized experiences and family travel, tour operators in the Israel market are launching new products at a wide range of price points.

Israel’s escorted and FIT tour products fall into two broad categories – religious and secular. Tour operators emphasize that both deliver profound travel experiences.

“Israel is one of those ‘once-in-a-lifetime” destinations,” said Mike Shields, managing director of groups and emerging markets for the Globus family of brands. “Many travelers return home saying they had a ‘life-changing’ experience.”

To read the rest of Stacey Zable's story, click here:

Published Books on Culinary Tourism

The following books as featured on

Food Tourism Around The World: Development, Management and Markets (New Canadian Library) - 2003

Editors: C. Michael Hall, Liz Sharples, Richard Mitchell, Niki Macionis, Brock Cambourne

View on at:

Food and wine are vital components of the tourism experience, and are increasingly being seen as prime travel motivators in their own right. Food Tourism Around The World: Development, Management and Markets offers a unique insight into this phenomenon, looking at the interrelationship between food, the tourism product and the tourist experience.

Using international case studies and examples from Europe, North America, Australasia and Singapore, Food Tourism Around The World: Development, Management and Markets discusses the development, range and repurcussions of the food tourism phenomenon. The multi-national contributor team analyses such issues as:

* the food tourism product
* food tourism and consumer behaviour
* cookery schools - educational vacations
* food as an attraction in destination marketing

Tourism and Gastronomy (Routledge Advances in Tourism) - 2002

Anne-Mette Hjalager and Greg Richards

In recent years, a growing emphasis has been placed on tourism experiences and attractions related to food. In many cases eating out while on holiday includes the 'consumption' of a local heritage, comparable to what is experienced when visiting historical sites and museums.

Despite this increasing attention, however, systematic research on the subject has been nearly absent. Tourism and Gastronomy addresses this by drawing together a group of international experts in order to develop a better understanding of the role, development and future of gastronomy and culinary heritage in tourism.

Students and researchers in the areas of tourism, heritage, hospitality, hotel management and catering will find this book an extremely valuable source of information.
Culinary Tourism (Material Worlds) - 2003
The following provides a list of several books on Culinary Tourism as featured on

Culinary Tourism (Material Worlds) - 2010

Lucy M. Long (Editor)

View book on at

""From Kosher Oreos to the gentrification of Mexican cusine, from the charismatic cook of Basque communities in Spain and the United States to the mainstreaming of southwestern foodways, Culinary Tourism maps a lively cultural and intellectual terrain."" -- from the foreword by Barbara Kirshenblatt-GimblettCulinary Tourism is the first book to consider food as both a destination and a means for tourism. The book's contributors examine the many intersections of food, culture and tourism in public and commercial contexts, in private and domestic settings, and around the world. The contributors argue that the sensory experience of eating provides people with a unique means of communication. Editor Lucy Long contends that although the interest in experiencing ""otherness"" is strong within American society, total immersion into the unfamiliar is not always welcome. Thus spicy flavors of Latin Aermcia and the exotic ingredients of Asia have been mainstreamed for everyday consumption. Culinary Tourism explains how and why interest in foreign food is expanding tastes and leading to commercial profit in America, but the book also show how tourism combines personal experiences with cultural and social attitudes toward food and the circumstances for adventurous eating.



View on at

Food is an attraction - just like a museum. Had it occurred to you, however, that food and drink are the most overlooked components of the visitor experience? Every traveler eats and drinks, and consequently, the ubiquity of that behavior is something that travel industry and food and beverage marketers usually overlook. The reason is because we all take eating for granted - we do it three times per day. Culinary Tourism is an important new industry that weds two related but distant hospitality cousins - foodservice and tourism. Hospitality businesses have an enormous underexplored opportunity to make a significant impression on visitors with unique and memorable eating and drinking experiences. Culinary Tourism: The Hidden Harvest introduces professionals to the concept of Culinary Tourism and presents ideas how to best promote food and drink as a primary visitor lure. Relevant examples from all over the world help illustrate the importance of this new industry.

Christians to converge in Wittenberg, Germany, for Luther 500 Festival

Media Contact: Rowena Drinkhouse, Reformation Tours,
Email:, Phone: 800 303 5534

(Belleville - Illinois) 
Christians from all around the world are invited to take part in the Luther 500 Festival in Wittenberg, Germany, where the Reformation officially began in 1517. This seven-day cultural immersion experience (June 17-23, 2013) includes morning and evening prayer in historic locations, music by Lost and Found and other bands, service projects, museums, churches, fellowship, and the quaintness of a German medieval town.  Post-festival tours are also available. Reformation Tours is offering packages to the festival starting at $975.00, USD and details can be found on or at

This pilgrimage to Germany will revitalize participants, who come face to face with the breadth and importance of the Reformation, make new friends, connect with their heritage, and experience firsthand how church history can be a whole lot of fun.


Wartburg Castle is Germany's real fairy tale castle and possibly the one most-loved by Germans. This castle is not only beautiful and properly medieval, its walls are rich in German history and legend. It is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

For Success in Faith Travel, Do Your Homework (by Ruth Hill - Travel Market Report)

Below is another outstanding article by Ruth Hill on faith-based travel.  The story is actually Part Two of a Series written by Ruth and published by  To view the first article in the series (which I previously blogged about as well), click here: Faith Travel Evolves Into Diverse and Profitable Niche,” August 23, 2012.

For Success in Faith Travel, Do Your Homework

Below are the first two opening parargraphs of the article. To continue reading the full story click here:

While the business potential is huge in the faith-based travel market, travel sellers need plenty of education – and patience – to succeed in a complex and nuanced niche that encompasses the oldest kind of travel.

Networking with the experts is one way to glean knowledge. Another is to participate in the tours that cater to this market niche.

Read rest of Ruth's article here:

Agritourism News Stories - Week of Sep 6

September is Agritourism Month in Kentucky
Kentucky has nearly 340 farms offering travel and tourism opportunities.

Agritourism program matures into second year
Residents and visitors in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia will soon be able to more easily learn about and enjoy the rich farming and farm-related businesses in the area, thanks to a burgeoning agritourism initiative called Fields of Gold.

Agritourism growing industry in Manatee County
Agritourism is exactly what it sounds like: a mixture of agriculture and tourism, two of Manatee County’s largest and most profitable industries.

Farm Stays Offer a Taste of Country Life
The appeal of agritourism is growing nationwide, as more people want to see and experience where their food comes from and to escape to a simpler life — if only for the weekend.

This Week's Growth Markets News Stories Featured by NTA

Market Focus: Adventure, Cruise, Family, Faith and Sports Tourism  

FocusKeep current on key industry segments with the articles below, each with a link to an NTA member or event. If you're an NTA member and have a news story or educational article about your organization's involvement in a key industry market, send it for possible republication to NTA's director of growth markets.

Adventure Tourism
Kentucky Towns Looking to Boost Tourism on Nearby Trails and Rivers
NTA member to contact: Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism

Cruise Travel
Juneau Eyes Biggest Cruise Passenger Day
NTA member to contact: Juneau Convention & Visitors Bureau

Family Travel
Family Affair—Feature Story on Family Travel (Travel Weekly)
NTA Event to Attend: Family Travel & Adventure Tourism Leaders Forum at Travel Exchange

Faith Tourism
Faith Travel Evolves into Diverse and Profitable Niche
NTA member to contact: Paul Larsen, Chair of NTA's Faith Tourism Advisory Council

Sports Tourism
Travelers to be Honored with Induction into Baseball Stadium Hall of Fame
NTA member to contact: Sports Travel and Tours 

Travelers to be honored with induction into the Sports Travel and Tours Baseball Stadium Hall of Fame.

Sports Travel and Tours Baseball Stadium Hall of Fame Features Another Breed of ‘Hall of Famer’ in 2013

Sports Travel and Tours Baseball Stadium Hall of Famers
Sports Travel and Tours Baseball Stadium Hall of Famers
Hatfield, MA (PRWEB) August 28, 2012

This coming July, some very devoted baseball fans will be inducted into the Sports Travel and Tours Stadium Hall of Fame. The ceremony will take place in Cooperstown, NY and coincides with The National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Induction Weekend.

Twelve ago years ago, Sports Travel and Tours (STAT) developed this program for fans that have attended games in all 30 Big League ballparks with Sports Travel and Tours.  “We hear from our avid baseball fans all the time, that their dream is to see a game in every stadium,” said Jay Smith, President of Sports Travel and Tours. “So we contacted the Hall of Fame and they allowed us to honor these special fans in Cooperstown,” said Smith.

Travelers receive a custom Passport to Baseball and a stamp for each ballpark visited. Once a fan has visited all 30 ballparks with Sports Travel and Tours, they are inducted into the Stadium Hall of Fame. At the Hall, there is an exhibit devoted to these fans and an official register of STAT Hall of Famers. “This will be our fourth class since we initiated the program,” said Teresa Weybrew, Director of Sales for Sports Travel and Tours. “In 2001, there were 6 inductees, 2005 brought us 17 fans and in 2009 we had 26. At present, we have nearly 30 fans eligible for Induction in 2013,” said Weybrew.

Quote startWhen McGarry was asked “Why do you go on Baseball Road Trips?”, he replied “As the movie says: For The Love Of The Game!”Quote end

“Inductees come from all over the country and have diverse backgrounds,” said Christopher J. Switzer, Creative Director for Sports Travel and Tours. “We have inductees from Tennessee and Ohio, Florida and Missouri, even a husband and wife from Minnesota and brothers from Texas. A resident of the UK has traveled the farthest. The common thread throughout these inductees is their love of baseball and the monumental achievement of visiting every Big League  ballpark,” said Switzer.

The inductees have shared their excitement about being recognized for completing trips to all 30 Big League ballparks and for connecting with other members of this select group of travelers. “We are delighted to go into the Stadium Hall of Fame, and to be honest, we feel that this journey has been just as fun and exciting as the final destination will be. We enjoyed all the trips and working our way through all the stadiums to this Hall of Fame,” said Angelo Volpe who along with his wife Jennette were inducted in 2009. “We have met and become friends with several of the other inductees during our travels and we plan on continuing our baseball trips with Sports Travel and Tours” added Volpe.

2001 Inductee Red McGarry said, “I’ve enjoyed the Baseball Road Trips with Sports Travel and Tours as I’ve gotten to meet baseball fans from all over the world and being in Sports Travel and Tours’ Baseball Stadium Hall of Fame makes for some great conversation when on tour from ballpark to ballpark. I call it a “Cruise of the Ballparks” because all you need to do is sit back and enjoy each port.” When McGarry was asked “Why do you go on Baseball Road Trips?”, he replied “As the movie says: For The Love Of The Game!”

Culinary Tourism - Current News Headlines

Here are some of the culinary tourism news stories circulating:

1) New Website Links Tourism to Vermont Produced Food
    (Bloomberg Businessweek)

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — With the growing interest in local food, Vermont has come out with a new interactive website to help link people to nearly 400 food experiences around the state. is designed to promote agriculture and tourism. Visitors to the website can learn about locally grown Vermont products and the farmers, producers and chefs who make them.

2)  Peak Season for Culinary Fun Hits Tahoe in Early September

(NORTH LAKE TAHOE, California/Nevada) – The 27th Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival, long considered one of the region’s premier gourmet events, has increased the number of its programs – now offering nine days of festivities.

“Travelers have a healthy appetite for culinary tourism,” said Chief Marketing Officer Andy Chapman of the North Lake Tahoe Chamber/CVB/Resort Association. “They are eager to experience the food and wine of a particular region as part of their vacation. With this in mind, we expanded what was already an exceptional event and made it even better, offering nine days instead of three of tastings and classes.”

3) Is Culinary Tourism the Next Big Thing?  (BBC News)
In the wake of the ongoing economic crisis, the Greek island of Crete witnessed a noticeable decline in visitors earlier this summer. But a number of Greeks are rallying around to try to make tourism the driving force towards recovery.  As Rajan Datar reports, with its tradition of local fresh produce - could culinary tourism be the next big thing for the island?

4) In Focus with Martin Sheen to Explore Culinary Trends
In Focus is set to examine how the growing interest in the culinary arts is driving tourism.
The producers of In Focus with Martin Sheen are pleased to announce an upcoming report on culinary trends that are bringing new tastes to dining enthusiasts.

5) Beers and Bikes: A Match Made in Heaven
In recent years, cycling culture in metro Detroit has gone from nearly nonexistent to explosively popular, with significant cycling infrastructure being added in major metropolitan centers and small towns alike. At the same time, the same thing has been happening with craft beer culture, evolving from the niche realm of beer geekdom to mass consumption. Coincidence? Never. As bike culture and beer culture have grown exponentially in Michigan, they have also been growing together, in a symbiotic relationship of fun.

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