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Upcoming conferences address niche travel markets

SALEM, Oho — With budgets tight, many hotels, destinations, attractions and travel providers are looking for the most cost-effective way to reach groups that travel and increase their group bookings.

The following organizations offer conferences that include a marketplace for the travel industry to meet group travel directors:

BankTravel Conference:  Bank clubs are the high end of the group travel market and can be found at this annual meeting. BankTravel 2011, Feb. 6-8 in Baton Rouge La. Contact Teresa Burton at 800-628-0993 or

African American Travel Conference: The African-American community travels with a group twice as often as the population as a whole, which means a lot of groups, and they can be found at the AATC Conference held April 12-14 in Virginia Beach, Va. Contact Joe Cappuzzello at 800-628-0993 or

Going On Faith: Where religious groups come together. Held in Richmond Va., Aug. 23-25. Contact Tammy Knox at 800-628-0993 or

Small Market Meetings Conference: Small Market Meetings magazine has served the meeting planner field for 11 years and now offers an annual conference. First held in Shreveport, La., last October, SMMC will be held Sept. 26-28 in Little Rock, Ark. Contact Kim Dolan at 800-628-0993 or

Group Leaders of America: The granddaddy of all group travel shows still delivers group leaders in more than 50 cities a year. Contact Corinna Feree at 800-628-0993 for locations and dates.
Remember, groups are traveling, and you have to meet them to book business.