Byways 2021: A project of the Scenic Byways Coalition and America’s Byways Resource Center

NTA: Uniting Travelers with America’s Byways

The National Tour Association (NTA) has been vested in the National Scenic Byways Program since its inception more than 15 years ago. Now, America’s Byways combine natural beauty with the country’s attractions, museums, and historical treasures to give travelers a well-rounded travel experience.

Today, NTA represents more than 600 tour operators, many of whom offer America’s Byways as part of their travel packages. These tour operators work with both groups and independent travelers. Over the past several years, the industry has witnessed a trend toward experiential travel. This means we are seeing many people no longer traveling just to see; they travel to learn something new.

As consumer trends change, tour operators continue to perfect their product. And this is just part of the reason why NTA is so excited about a new program recently announced along with the American Recreation Coalition. NTA and ARC are working together on an innovative program that will bring the technology era to America’s Byways. The two groups will participate in a pilot project that will make multi-lingual digital commentary about features along the George Washington Memorial Parkway available for free on the Internet in Mp3 format.

The new program will provide downloadable interpretive information for tour operators and their customers - and the general public. We hope that this project will eventually be available to use for trips along all 30,000 miles of our nationally-designated byways. Once available, this will be a wonderful tool for NTA tour operators and will benefit the destinations and suppliers on the routes.

By making new travel and tour marketing opportunities such as this available, we are confident we can unite travelers with America’s Byways once again. Our American roads tell a story and travelers are ready to listen.

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Randy Julian
About the author: Randy Julian is president of Julian Tours, located in Alexandria, Virginia, and currently serves as the chairman and CEO of the National Tour Association. NTA has a global membership of tourism professionals involved in the growth and development of the packaged travel industry.

Read more about Randy Julian