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Going on Faith Conference Enjoys Southern California

The Going On Faith Conference headed to the West Coast for the first time in its 12-year history as more than 250 delegates gathered in sunny Ontario, California, for three days of faith-based travel content, marketing sessions and sightseeing. Held August 8–10 at the Ontario Convention Center, the annual gathering drew more than 130 church group travel planners and destination representatives from more than a dozen countries.

“Our hosts out here in Ontario went all out to make our first trip to the West Coast a winner,” said conference CEO Joe Cappuzzello. “We needed a major draw out here to help us bring planners and destinations from throughout North America, and the Greater Ontario CVB and its partners delivered that in spades.”


“We had delegates here with all types of budgets,” said Cappuzzello. “Sometimes it’s misrepresented that religious groups are always on a tight budget, looking for lower room rates. They are people going all around the world to Israel, Italy and all religious sites. Our people will go anywhere if they see value in it.”

Darla Morgan of Southern Hills Baptist Church in Oklahoma City was a first-time delegate, and she was impressed.

“I’m just starting out in this industry and was told this is where I need to be,” she said. “Getting the contacts and knowing what is available out there is necessary. There are wonderful resources here. I really enjoyed this.”

“We met quite a few people we didn’t expect to see,” said Diane Nichols of New Hope Senior Adults from Fayetteville, Georgia. “This is our third time here, and every time we’ve found somebody and booked trips. We do day trips and overnights, cruises and are talking about going out of the country.”

Delegates enjoyed evening dinner events at Loan Mart Field, where the local Rancho Cucamonga Quakes played the Lake Elsinore Storm, and at opulent Victoria Gardens, a Southern California shopping complex known for its upscale offerings.

Meal sponsors included the Globus Family of Brands and Fathom Cruises for breakfasts, and lunches by MSC Cruises (USA) Inc. and the Holmes County Tourism Bureau in Ohio, which will host the group next year.

“Given that we are the No. 1 Amish population in the world, we have people come to experience the slower pace of life,” said Codi Mast of the Holmes County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau in Millersburg, Ohio. “We can’t wait to host this prestigious group.”
For information about attending the 2017 Going On Faith Conference, August 22–24, go to

Mac Lacy

Mac Lacy is president and publisher of The Group Travel Leader Inc. Mac has been traveling and writing professionally ever since a two-month backpacking trip through Europe upon his graduation with a journalism degree from the University of Evansville in 1978.