The American Tourism Society (ATS) will hold its fall 2010 conference in Kosovo’s capital, Pristina, between October 25 and 27.
The ATS event is hailed as historic by observers, as it will be the first ever tourism conference to be held in the world’s youngest country, after Kosovo declared independence in February of 2008.
“Kosovo is a perfect example of what ATS’s mission is about,” Phil Otterson, ATS President, said in a statement, which is “assisting transformational destinations with tourism marketing skills, training through the onsite ATS tourism college program, and educating ATS members about the newest destinations. Now, ATS contributions to the host country have been further strengthened through our recent partnerships with National Tour Association (NTA) and Tourism Cares.” The fall 2010 event in Kosovo will be promoted at the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) annual conference, which is to take place in Banff, Canada, between December 8 and 10, 2009.
The official ATS announcement follows the formal invitation made by the Kosovo host, Bujar Kuji, Director of the Department of Tourism in Kosovo’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, which was extended at the recent ATS Fall 2009 conference in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. At the ATS 2010 Fall Conference, the NTA will co-sponsor the post-conference new product development tour to Southern Kosovo and Tirana, Albania, scheduled for October 28-31. As part of the ATS program, Tourism Cares will organize its second annual local community service project for ATS delegates and the ATS Tourism College will involve Kosovo university students in special sessions and as guests to the fall 2010 conference.
The ATS is an organization of tour operators, destination tourist offices, hotels, airlines and other travel industry professionals who collectively generate over four billion dollars in sales involving three million North American travellers.