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Sales & Group Travel

The Sales and Group Travel section works domestically and internationally to build relationships with professional travel planners. The primary focus of the team is to increase sales in the motorcoach, sports, meetings, and international group and FIT markets. Our sales staff is able to provide training about Arkansas’s many experiences, share information about upcoming attractions and events, and help direct operators to needed resources and contacts.

As part of the educational experience, the sales section also assists in coordinating familiarization (FAM) tours to help give members of the travel trade a first-hand experience of the available products, which guarantees they will understand how to properly promote Arkansas to their clients.

To assist partners, the Sales & Group Travel team provides leads about potential clients interested in their product and destination.

What is Travel Trade?

Travel Trade is a tourism term referring to tour operators, travel agents, receptive operators and wholesalers. These professionals organize and contract to buy travel products to sell to groups or individuals.


Travel Trade Terms

Tour Operator

Organize travel services and provides them as packaged tours. They make arrangements and contracts with hoteliers, airlines, attractions and other suppliers, and then promote and sell those assembled travel packages.

Receptive Operator

A local tour operator that specializes in tourism experiences and manages products and services for incoming visitors, most often booked through international tour operators. Receptive operators play an important role in the packaged travel industry. When a tour operator is planning an itinerary in a market they are unfamiliar with, they seek the expert cooperation of a receptive tour operator. They usually receive a discount from accommodations, transportation companies and attractions and pass on a percentage of that discount to the tour operator.


Develop and market inclusive tours through travel agencies. They usually receive a discount from accommodations, transportation companies and attractions and pass on a percentage of that discount to the travel agents.

Travel Agent

Arranges travel for individuals or groups. Travel agents may be generalists or specialists (cruise, adventure travel, conventions and meetings.) The agents may receive a commission from the accommodations, transportation companies and attractions for coordinating the booking of travel. They typically coordinate travel for their customers at the same or lower cost than if the customer booked the travel on his/her own.

Tour Directors/Tour Manager

A person who manages a group itinerary on behalf of the tour operator ensuring the program is carried out as described in the tour operator’s literature and sold to the traveler/consumer and who gives local practical information.

Tour Guides

A person who guides visitors in the language of their choice and interprets the cultural and natural heritage of an area. This person normally possesses an area-specific qualification usually issued and/or recognized by the appropriate authority.


Destination Marketing Office — also known as CVB (Convention and Visitors Bureau) and usually refers to the official tourism office.


Short for familiarization tour which can be for the travel trade or media.  For the travel trade, FAMs provide travel agents and tour operators the chance to experience destinations and attractions which helps sell the experience to their clients. 

Why Work with a Travel Trade Professional?

Travel trade professionals will promote your product to targeted customers in markets you may not have the means to reach on your own. They also sell and produce in a large volume over the period of a year.

Providing discounted rates is expected. However, they take on all marketing costs for promoting your product to a variety of markets you may not be targeting or could not afford on your own and can produce substantial numbers for your property over a period of time.


Director of Global Sales
Jessica Ledbetter

Sales Consultant
Shelbey Morris


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