Tuesday, December 9, 2014

St. Thomas University Students at the U.S. Tour Operators Association Conference

The U.S. Tour Operators Association kicked off its 2014 Conference and Marketplace at the Waldorf-Astoria Boca Resort on Friday, December 5th, and concluded on Sunday, December 7th. The event was organized by USTOA to present research findings, discuss the association’s activity and development throughout the year, and to plan for future conferences.

Several students from the St. Thomas University Tourism and Hospitality Management Program’s Student Hospitality Association had the opportunity to be volunteers and staff the event. Not only did they spend a day in an internationally acclaimed resort, but they were able to network with many tourism leaders from around the globe.

The conference had 870 international attendees including Germany, Canada, India, China, Ecuador, Peru, Switzerland, and Africa. One hundred sixty tour operators were represented, a record attendance.

The volunteers from STU were Carlos Caro, Huina Tang, Kevin Yming Ding, Melanie Hubert, Phillipe Violland, Sebastian Angelini and Xi Chen. They provided services and duties including registration, meet and greet, translation and general information about the conference and South Florida.

The opportunity was brought to Saint Thomas by Professor Paul-Michael Klein, Program Director of Tourism/Hospitality Management. Prof. Klein presented the chance to many of his students and members of the Tourism and Hospitality club, and many were happy to take it and volunteer. The students said it was a great experience; they were able to interact and network with many people as well as an amazing volunteer opportunity to work at the resort for a day.

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