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Wednesday, 05 June 2013 04:06

Atlanta Chosen as Site of 2016 Travel Exchange

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NTA and the United Motorcoach Association have selected Atlanta as the 2016 site of Travel Exchange, their combined trade and appointment show. The event will take place at the Georgia World Congress Center, January 31 through February 4, 2016. President and CEO of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau William Pate says attendees will find $1.5 billion of new hospitality product that will open shortly before they arrive.

Tourism Cares, the leading U.S. philanthropy supported by the travel, tourism, and hospitality industry, has selected Mike Rea as its next executive director, effective July 8, 2013. Rea was selected following an extensive six-month search, according to Brad Finkle, chairman. Rea will assume the position held by Bruce Beckham since 2000. Beckham announced his intended retirement in September 2012.

Rea, currently a senior program officer with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington, comes to the position with significant expertise in the world of nonprofit management, combined with a keen interest in travel and tourism. He has supported innovative philanthropy and impact as part of Bank of America’s Philanthropic Management unit and as part of the U.S. education program at Gates. Most important, as founder of the successful social enterprise Give2Asia founded in 2001, he has experience connecting a variety of donors to personalized, high-impact philanthropic activities. Rea has travelled the U.S. and globe extensively and, prior to his career in philanthropy, studied and published on the anthropology of tourism.

“These are exciting times for Tourism Cares,” said Beckham, “There are so many programs that are under way and so much more to do. I’m thrilled that Tourism Cares has chosen someone with Mike’s background and ability to take the organization to the next level.”

Rea adds, “I am humbled and thrilled to have this opportunity to work with the supporters, staff, and board of directors of Tourism Cares as we seek to build on the substantial  accomplishments thus far. Philanthropy and travel are two of the most potent sources families have for connecting with each other and expressing our interest and care for others. To have the chance to bring both of these together in meaningful ways for the causes we care about is a special honor.”

The leadership transition officially occurs on July 8, 2013, and Beckham will remain a champion and thought partner for the organization he has grown, assuming the role of executive advisor.

Tourism Cares is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its signature volunteer program, Tourism Cares for America, May 30 and 31 in New York City. On May 29, three travel and tourism industry leaders, Phillip Gordon, chairman of Globus; Steven Gorga, CEO of Travel Impression; and Bob Sullivan, EVP of Northstar Travel Media, will be inducted into the Tourism Hall of Fame at a gala reception and dinner at the Crowne Plaza Times Square. On May 31 more than six hundred travel, tourism, and hospitality industry professionals will gather at Brooklyn’s Coney Island and Jamaica Bay in Queens to help clean up and restore areas affected by Hurricane Sandy in fall 2012. 

For more information on either of these events, visit

Source: Tourism Cares 

The City of Brotherly Love already has plenty of famous political and business names under its historical belt. Brand Trailways is now debuting with Philadelphia-based David Thomas Trailways, adding to the city’s business heritage. 

Group travel planners have an opportunity to learn more about the GroupConnect Family of Online Tools from a new promotional video hitting the airwaves this month. The video, produced during the recent ABA Marketplace in Charlotte, North Carolina, promotes and as the largest online directories of group travel providers in North America. 

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