Happy Spring! 

Spring this year marks a new beginning with a whole new meaning! Vaccinations in the United States are ramping up and we are hopeful that our friends in Canada will see a similar boost in vaccines soon. We are all eager to shed away the vestiges of winter (and 2020!) and move forward to better days. 

In that spirit, we are pleased to announce NATJA’s Virtual Conference & Marketplace, “Reset,  Re-Learn, Renew,” which will take place June 2nd – 4th, 2021. Travel as we have known it has changed in the last year. This has affected how destinations promote themselves, and how media pitch and create content. We have a stellar group of confirmed speakers with more to come so stay tuned! We have been working with our conference committee Suzie Dundas, Helen Hatzis, Betsi Hill, Barbara Marrett, and Gustavo Rivas-Solis to bring you professional development sessions that will help reset and perhaps, re-learn for media and DMOs, what is necessary to be viable in this post-pandemic age. 

Just a reminder that our in-person conference in Puerto Rico has been re-scheduled for May 3rd – 6th, 2022. 

If you are looking for summer travel inspiration, then look no further than our very own “Road Trips!“ issue of TravelWorld International magazine! We have wonderful stories written by members Linda Ballou, Laura Watilo Blake, Victor Block, Sandra Bornstein, Chris Cutler, Jason Gilbreth, Rich Grant, Sue Henderson, Sarah Jacquay, Alex Kallimanis, Cindy Ladage, Liz Orient, Ben Root, Mike Shubic, Cori Solomon, and Kathleen Walls, and stunning cover photographs from Linda, Laura, Cori, Rich, and Ben. It is a must-read issue! Please share it with your family and friends. 

On March 31st, we held a very successful panel presented by the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility committee on “Telling Our Stories.” The session was moderated by Francesca Donlan, Communication Director for The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel and Co-Chair of the NATJA Advisory Board. Our members, Nancy Besharah, Peter Distefano, Ian Fitzpatrick, Don Mankin, and Troy Petenbrink, along with myself, shared our personal experiences on how we have been impacted by unintentional insensitivities and how they were able to handle situations. The session is available to all members on the NATJA website and can be accessed by clicking here

Be well. Stay safe. Best wishes for the Easter and Passover Holidays! 
Helen Hernandez
Chief Executive Officer

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