Guest Writer, Glory Ali
This years Glory Ali from Muslim Travel Rocks has the pleasure of being the first Muslim and travel blogger invited to the annual Going on Faith Conference ,where travel planners from faith based groups met face to face with sellers from around the globe. Travel planners met one on one with travel industry delegates to discuss possible business opportunities. Attendees traveled from all over the United States to attend GOF and meet with sellers , some who traveled as far as Italy, Ireland and Germany. This years GOF conference was held in Holmes County Ohio, home of Amish Country.
These meetings not only serve to bring buyers and sellers of travel face to face they also provide a fellowship amongst all attendees, all whom are serving at a HIGHER LEVEL. GOF provides seminars, entertainment, and sponsorship opportunities as well as the Market Place sales sessions to faith based group travel planners and travel industry delegates. At this years GOF there were approximately 160 buyers and 150 sellers. GOF is like no other trade show as they ensure that there is a two to one ratio. If you have ever attended a trade show you know that most of the times you see three times as many sellers as buyers which can be overwhelming, especially for first time buyers.
GOF was hosted by Amish Country Ohio and provided Pre and Post Familiarization Tours. Travel Planners had an opportunity to tour unique attractions in Amish Country like Little Switzerland, Home to the word’s larger Cuckoo Clock, David Warther Carving and Gift Shop where David gave a tour and detailed description on how he carves his miniature ships. John Herzig’s hobby has become quite a tourist attraction to TOLAND-HERZIG FUNERAL HOMES Famous Ending Museum . John Herzig’s has collected over 2,500 artifacts and memorabilia of famous people’s funeral. It’s considered to be the largest known collection of its kind.
I had the pleasure of meeting with Chairman and Founder Charles Presley and Joe Cappuzzello, President and CEO. Both Mr. Presley and Mr. Cappuzzello took time to give me a behind the scenes tour of the conference and how it works. As Mr. Presley and his wife walked me through the conference he explained that GOF is set up as a reverse trade show in were the buyers have an assign booth and schedule meeting with the sellers. The buyers schedules the appointments and the seller will travel from booth to booth to meet with their prospective buyer.
Glory has been working hard to promote Muslim Tourism Travel Awareness in the United States. As I’ve traveled to several conferences this year I am reaching out to the travel industry and informing them on how they can advertise to Muslims and create Muslim Friendly Travel Destinations.
Going on Faith has been around since 1997 helping complete the marketing for buyers and sellers in there prospective niches. The Group Travel Leader Inc. is a publishing company based out of Lexington, Kentucky-that currently owns and publishes four national travel industry publications Group Travel Leader, Select Traveler, Small Market Meeting and Going on Faith Magazine.
Photo Credit: Tiffany Gerber