World Religious Travel Expo to Debut October 2008 -- World Religious Travel Association (WRTA) Co-Ops with Top Travel Trade to Host First International Forum for $18 Billion Faith Tourism Industry

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The World Religious Travel Association (WRTA) will host the first annual World Religious Travel Expo & Educational Conference, Oct. 29-Nov. 1, 2008, in Orlando. As the first international event of its kind, it will feature hundreds of travel wholesalers, suppliers, tourist boards, agencies and group travel organizers from the $18 billion faith tourism industry.

The World Religious Travel Association (WRTA) will host the first annual World Religious Travel Expo & Educational Conference, Oct. 29-Nov. 1, 2008, in Orlando. As the first international event of its kind, it will feature hundreds of travel wholesalers, suppliers, tourist boards, agencies and group travel organizers from the $18 billion faith tourism industry.

Current sponsors and exhibitors include Globus Family of brands, Brennan Vacations, Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Steps of Paul Coastal Cruises, Switzerland Tourism, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Jordan Tourism Board of North America, Gaylord Hotels, Pennsylvania Dutch Convention and Visitors Bureau, WordSpring Discovery Center, Christian Travel Finder, World Mission Tours and Trafalgar Tours.

"Although religious tourism is one of history's oldest travel segments, no large-scale trade convention has ever been held for this 300-million traveler market," said Kevin J. Wright, WRTA president. "All market segments will be represented at the Expo, including pilgrimage, cruising, missions, leisure vacations, attractions, conferences, retreats, Christian camps, and volunteer vacations, among others."

The WRTA Expo will feature two venues: The International Tradeshow and The Educational Conference. The combined event will provide the first world-class forum for travel suppliers, destinations, wholesalers, agencies and church travel planners to come face-to-face, develop partnerships, find new products and services, generate new qualified leads and build long-term profitable relationships. Wright expects the tradeshow to become the annual gathering for exhibiting, networking and brand building in the vast faith tourism industry.

"Whether cruising as a single, couple, family, group, or even a full-ship charter, the World's Leading Cruise Lines (Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, Costa Cruise, and the Yachts of Seabourn) provide an excellent vacation experience for faith-based travelers," said Jack Anderson, vice president of marketing for Carnival Corporation. "We are pleased to be a sponsor of the World Religious Travel Association and appreciate the choice of our lines by faith-based travelers and travel agencies."

"As a Holy Land destination that provides a one-stop location to meet all the needs of faith-based travelers - from cruising to adventure, retreats to study tours and all the segments in between - we are delighted to sponsor the WRTA Expo," added Malia Asfour, director of the Jordan Tourism Board of North America (JTBNA), a WRTA charter member. "We look forward to working with WRTA to showcase fresh and unique travel opportunities for this dynamic and growing industry."

The Educational Conference will provide the most comprehensive learning program ever offered on religious tourism - for both trade and consumer. Through leading industry speakers, dynamic presentations, panel discussions, interactive break-out sessions, seminars and peer networking forums, the trade participants can expand their knowledge of the opportunities in the new niche markets within faith tourism. Participants can listen to and discuss with travel experts market trends, marketing intelligence, the latest products/services and actionable ways to exceed faith-based customer's expectations. Group planners will attend product seminars hosted by travel industry experts, while also learning how to enrich and expand their travel ministry programs.

"Both faith tourism and group travel have evolved over the last several decades with obvious synergy, so it makes perfect sense for Brennan Vacations to sponsor the WRTA Expo in order to lead and facilitate the faith travel industry's growth," said Robert F. Brennan, Founder of Brennan Vacations. "Since 1978, our goal has been simple - to provide fresh, authentic journeys of discovery by treating our customers as individuals, while providing the benefits of group travel. Our approach particularly resonates with religious groups, and I look forward to continuing the tradition through our participation in the industry's first international faith travel tradeshow and educational conference."

The Expo will be hosted Oct. 29-Nov. 1, 2008 at the renowned Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. The top-rated facility and environment provides an exceptional forum for networking and exhibiting.

Exhibitors will include tour operators, tourist boards, cruise lines, transportation companies, airlines, travel agencies, event planning services, hotels and accommodations, missionary agencies, travel insurance companies and faith-based destinations among others.

Early-Bird savings apply to all organizations and individuals that register and pay by November 30, 2007. All WRTA Members will receive substantial savings when registering. Premium booth space is limited. Sponsorship and advertising opportunities are many and suit virtually any budget, including customized sponsorships.

To learn more or register online, visit or call 1-800-657-1288. For more information about becoming a WRTA Member and joining the leading network for the religious travel industry, visit Both free and paid memberships are available, including the complimentary monthly e-newsletter Religious Travel Buzz, which keeps companies, groups, and individuals abreast of faith-based travel industry news, events and announcements.

About the World Religious Travel Association (WRTA):
The World Religious Travel Association (WRTA) is the leading network for shaping, enriching, and expanding the $18 billion global faith tourism industry. WRTA exists to bring the worldwide trade and North American religious consumer together for the primary purpose of promoting and providing quality travel experiences around the globe. As the source and voice for the religious travel industry, WRTA provides members opportunities to network, learn, contribute, and lead. WRTA embraces all segments of faith tourism: Pilgrimages, Missionary, Cruises, Leisure Conferences, Retreats, Destinations, Attractions, Christian Camps, Family, Student/Youth, Adventure and Volunteer Vacations. To learn more about the Association or become a member, visit or contact WRTA at 1-800-657-1288. To attend or exhibit at the World Religious Travel Expo, register online at To join the world's first online global community for faith tourism visit WRTA Social Network , hosted by the World Religious Travel Association.

For more information or to obtain an interview: Please contact Christine Moore, epiphany media, at 469-688-5683.


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