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Faith Travel Association

In response to the faith-based travel industry’s explosive growth, NTA Services Inc. created the Faith Travel Association—a membership trade organization serving as a business-building resource for travel professionals, sites, and organizations focused on faith-based travel, and providing connections, education, and support for those planning trips for individuals or groups brought together by their faith or religious community.

“Faith-based travel is an expansive market with both domestic and international appeal,” said Karla DiNardo, NTA Services Inc. president and interim FTA executive director. “Faith-based travel includes diverse experiences such as pilgrimages, events, cruises, adventures, mission/volunteer trips, and travel to destinations and attractions that hold special significance to people of various faiths."

Yearly, more than three hundred million people of faith embark on trips around the world, pumping $18 billion into the tourism economy. Some fifty thousand churches and worship centers in the United States have travel programs for youth and adults, and FTA can facilitate connecting them with qualified travel professionals. The marketplace even includes colleges, nonprofit organizations, NGOs and leaders, authors, and speakers with faith-based missions or messages.

While FTA will help its members enhance their business portfolios and increase revenues, gains will go beyond net earnings, according to Paul Larsen, whose Minnesota-based Ed-Ventures Inc. has built a strong faith travel program. “Faith-based tourism is a market where the first criterion in the traveler’s decision-making process is not the dollar, but the experience,” he said. “Part of my job in offering faith-based travel is to provide the traveler an opportunity to experience faith with others.”  

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