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ASTA show news ADE MERIDA 2014 Merida ADE empowers agents


ASTA IS HAILING its Destination Expo (ADE) in Merida on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula (March 27-30) a success, as it enabled agents to gain first-hand knowledge of the region to share with clients and benefit from exclusive networking opportunities with local suppliers. ASTA’s ADE is an immersive, on-site learning


experience offering participants up-to-the- minute intelligence on industry issues, access to regional and local contacts, and the opportunity to become a highly marketable destination specialist in a strategically important and growing tourism region. Te Merida ADE in March gave nearly 400


participants, including travel professionals, supplier representatives and tourism executives,


the opportunity to immerse themselves in the gastronomy, culture and history of the region, and return home with a comprehensive understanding of the Yucatan’s tourism strengths. Many of them earned destination specialist certificates. Saul Ancona, secretary of tourism of the State


of Yucatan, said at the opening general session: “It is a tremendous honor for us to partner with ASTA and host this immersive learning and networking experience for travel professionals. “We look forward to reaping the rewards


of having a trained, energized and motivated cadre of North American travel professionals that will showcase the wonders and value that the Yucatan offers.”


Participants had the opportunity to immerse themselves in gastronomy, culture and history, and return with a comprehensive understanding of the Yucatan’s tourism strengths


Zane Kerby, ASTA president and CEO, added:


“Merida, the Yucatan Peninsula and Mexico are strategically important tourism partners. I want to thank the Tourism Boards of Yucatan and Mexico for understanding the value of creating a hands-on training opportunity. It’s a win-win. “Participating travel professionals win by


gaining first-hand experience of an amazing destination that will help expand their business and gain new clients, and the Yucatan will win from a growth in visitors that this motivated and trained sales force will ultimately produce.” ASTA offers its thanks to Tourism of the State


of Yucatan, Mexico Tourism Board, AeroMexico, Grupo Posadas/Fiesta Americana, Starwood and Sabre Travel Network. asta.org/ADE


did you know? Palacio Municipal, Merida


ASTA’s Destination Expos have given members the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of some of the world’s most exciting and emerging tourism destinations, including the Czech Republic, South Korea, France, South Africa, Turkey, Peru and Dubai. For more information on previous Expos, visit asta.org/events


summer 2014 | ASTAnetwork | 17


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