Travel and tourism personality, Andrew McCarthy will keynote the Annual NATJA Conference in Puerto Vallarta this coming May. The actor, director, and six time Lowell Thomas award winner is an editor-at-large at National Geographic Traveler, and has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Travel+Leisure, AFAR, Men’s Journal, Bon Appetit, and many others.
The 2015 edition of the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) Conference & Marketplace, scheduled to take place in Puerto Vallarta from May 5-9 has sold-out with over one hundred active journalists confirmed.
Hosted by the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board, #NATJAPV15 will be the largest conference for the conference and will provide US and Canadian journalists with the opportunity to experience Puerto Vallarta’s trend-setting adventure and cultural activities which have made the city an international destination and a source of continuous editorial stimulus.
During the conference, NATJA will also host its NATJA Awards Ceremony, awarding members for their travel coverage, including editorial that has appeared in outlets such as National Geographic Traveler, Ensemble Vacations, enRoute Magazine, Delta Sky, U.S. Airways Magazine, The New York Times, Winnipeg Free Press, Houston Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, Travel + Leisure, Montreal Gazette, Metro News Toronto, The Vancouver Sun, Miami Herald, Active Over 50, Orange County Register, USA TODAY, Yahoo Travel, Golf Magazine, ESPNW.com, Golf Magazine, Vacay.ca, AAA World Online, SmarterTravel.com, LonelyPlanet.com and PBS.
Industry sponsorship for the conference has been overwhelming with the destination’s top airlines, Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines as airline sponsors and Grupo Velas’ Velas Vallarta will be the host hotel.
The opening ceremony will be held at the old John Huston home, Las Caletas, with a especial performance of the destination’s iconic Vallarta Adventure’s Rhythms of the Night. The 100% sustainable enterprise, Canopy River, will host the closing dinner with performances by the children’s Ballet Folkloric Xiutla and Mariachi Jalisco at their installations in the middle of the Sierra Madre.
Additional activities being offered to participants include a zip-lining and donkey-riding “River Expedition” with CANOPY RIVER, and education “Signatures Swim” with Dolphins at Dolphin Discovery, Mexico’s internationally awarded company for its reproduction efforts of sea mammals, horseback ride & swim atHacienda Donna Engracia; experiencing Puerto Vallarta’s current trend – its beach clubs at Mantamar; practicing golf at the Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf 18-hole Vista Vallarta championship golf course; and of course Puerto Vallarta’s luxurious spa’s, including the Marriott’s award winning Ohtli and Secrets Spa byPevonia.
An additional day has been added to the conference to provide all participants with the opportunity to experience Puerto Vallarta with full day tours to the city’s Botanical Garden, the protected areas of el Salado Estuary, the working ranch of Hacienda el Divisadero and the town of El Tuito or the ultra fun Pirate Ship. Those looking to experience Puerto Vallarta’s beach side can explore some of the private beaches of the Bay of Banderas in a boat ride with Mike’s Fishing.
Post trips to the NATJA conference will include visits to Mexico’s newest beach destinations: Riviera Nayarit and the virgin beaches of Costalegre; the magical cities of Puerto Vallarta’s South; and the World Heritage site of the city of Tequila, Jalisco’s capital city of Guadalajara and others.