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Travel Alliance Partners Hosts TAP Dance

RENO, Nevada — Travel Alliance Partners (TAP) held its annual TAP Dance in Reno, June 1-5. Nearly 200 travel industry delegates met with 31 TAP tour operators to plan travel programs for 2015 and beyond.

TAP is a private company owned and operated by its tour operator members and has built its national reputation by offering guaranteed departures to destinations across North America and around the world.

“From a business standpoint, I think this was our best to date,” said Stefanie Gorder, executive director of Travel Alliance Partners. “Our board of directors mandated that all PPTPs [Professional Preferred Travel Providers] in attendance were to meet with all TAP tour operators in attendance. So it was busy, but we got it done. We had 31 tour companies in attendance and they each met with all 39 pods.”

TAP arranges its appointments using a pod system in which representatives from four or five destinations in a region meet together for 25 minutes with each tour operator.

On the social side, delegates enjoyed an evening at Reno/Tahoe’s National Automobile Museum and at a full-fledged Oklahoma City Street Fair that was hosted by next year’s destination city, Oklahoma City, and the state of Oklahoma.

TAP traditionally offers its PPTPs a surprise entertainment experience during the meeting, and in Reno, delegates climbed aboard coaches for the 45-minute trip to nearby Lake Tahoe. A beachfront recreation area was reserved for the group in Zephyr Cove, just outside Stateline, Nevada, where conference attendees enjoyed volleyball, horseshoes and downtime on the waterfront.

The big surprise was parasailing for any delegates who wished to participate, and dozens loaded up throughout the day to be lifted into the sky on Lake Tahoe in small groups. On a sunlit afternoon, TAP delegates took turns gliding high above the lake, surrounded by the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains. Later that evening, delegates enjoyed a dinner cruise and dancing aboard the Tahoe Queen.

At the closing luncheon, Marceline Dyer, tourism sales manager for Experience Columbus, received the 2014 Spirit of TAP award.

For the fourth year, The Group Travel Leader Inc. hosted the TAP Dance hospitality suite during the appointment sessions. The suite offers delegates an opportunity to network with friends and gather their thoughts during breaks between appointments.

“It’s always great to see our TAP friends each summer at TAP Dance,” said Kelly Tyner, director of sales and marketing for The Group Travel Leader Inc. “It’s a great opportunity for us to spend unhurried time with many of our clients and industry partners.”

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.