CHEYENNE, Wyoming — More than 50 upscale-travel planners joined 90 domestic and international travel destinations at the 2022 Select Traveler Conference held March 28–30 in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Each year travel planners representing banks, chambers of commerce, alumni associations and similar high-end affinity groups are invited to the event.
“We all know travel industry gatherings of all types remain pressed to reach their pre-pandemic attendances,” said conference partner Charlie Presley of the Group Travel Family, “but what this group lacked in size, it made up for in energy. The delegates who attended were enthusiastic and were just happy to be face-to-face again. Mac and I heard from dozens of buyers and sellers alike that the enthusiasm for taking groups back out is overwhelming right now.”
“In our buyer breakout session, 83 percent of attendees expected to operate from six to 15 major trips or more in the coming year,” said conference partner Mac Lacy, “and 93 percent said their travelers were ready to travel right now. We wanted to know what our planners’ frames of mind were coming out of the pandemic and if any felt ‘emotionally worn out.’ They all described themselves as ready to travel again, and 60 percent said they were ‘as good as new and ready to go.’”
Visit Cheyenne hosted an opening Western-style honkytonk evening event at Outlaw Saloon, where delegates dined on fresh smoked brisket and enjoyed live music and line dancing. Jim Walter and Andi Jaspersen of Visit Cheyenne managed the city’s hospitality efforts and offered sightseeing tours of its state capital sites, breweries, museums, Terry Bison Ranch and more.
Other major sponsors for meals included travel companies and destinations like Collette, U.S. Tours, Trips and next year’s host, Explore Branson. Two conference marketplace sessions were offered and most travel industry buyers had 30 or more appointments over the two days.
The 2023 Select Traveler Conference takes place March 27-29 at the Chateau on the Lake resort in Branson, Missouri. For registration details, visit selecttravelerconf.com