Fiesta in the Desert IX

Arizona ASTA arranged a record breaking gathering for the ninth annual Fiesta in the Desert Conference and Tradeshow held on July 21, 2012 at the Scottsdale Hilton Resort . Participating suppliers and agents were thrilled with the turnout. The chapter drew nearly 50 suppliers and 150 agents. This year attracted vendors from around the world including companies and tourism offices from the South Pacific, the Caribbean, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and of course, our friends from Mexico. The morning breakfast event sponsored by Denise Marie of the Barbados Tourism Authority, was highlighted by presentations by Larry McCarthy of Globus Family of Brands, Mark Torpey, CTC of MH Ross Travel Insurance Services and Howie Perlin, representing G&S Travel Israel.

After the extremely busy tradeshow, lunch was sponsored by the Mexico Tourism Board. We were entertained as usual by Jorge Gamboa, the Director. There were prizes galore, including several trips and many happy winners.

Most suppliers were so pleased with the turnout and the quality of agents attending that they have requested a spot for next year. Word has spread through the travel community and we are now receiving inquiries from many new major companies wishing to participate. This is a great opportunity for agents in the southwest and a feather in the cap of everyone on the Arizona Board who worked so hard to put this industry event together.

The following images are of the day’s events. To view a larger image, click on the thumbnail.

Early Risers line up for registration Patti and Norb Okoniewski await the morning presentation Outgoing Chapter President, Donna Delpier welcomes the crowd Denise Marie of the Barbados Tourism Authority unlocks the hidden treasures of this beautiful and historic island Mark Torpey, CTC of MH Ross explains how travel insurance protects both the client and the agent Board member, Stephan Atlee, ASTA Young Professionals Chair meets with Candice Thomas of West Jet Jorge Gamboa, Director of t he Mexico Tourism Board enlightens us with the wonders of Mexico, plus a little song Laura Rodriguez, our Immediate Past Chapter President, thanks Donna Delpier, Outgoing President for her term and welcomes Staci Blunt, our new Chapter President Agents stop by the Arizona ASTA booth to join our chapter From open to close, both agents and vendors were busy at the tradeshow