The annual Industry Forecast Issue of Leisure Group Travel is packed with inside information intended to pave the way to success for group travel planners as they gear up for 2015. Guest columns by a collection of marketing experts provide valuable tips on growing a business and keeping up with the times.

In “Group Travel Promotion Secrets from Millionaire Internet Marketers,” Tourism TimWarren shares website and e-newsletter marketing tips aimed at helping tour businesses achieve more sales. Social media guru Marti Wigder Grimminck explains how Millennials represent the future of travel and how that generation has changed the ways consumers and businesses interact with each other. Marketing maven Mike Marchev offers group tour planners a five-part strategy focused on the goal of selling out their travel programs in 2015.

Leisure’s Group Travel’s own marketing columnist, Dave Bodle, offers his take on how to make the most of trade show attendance, while columnist Marty Sarbey de Souto’s “Festive Year-End Tour Ideas” suggests 2015 holiday-season hotspots, including Christmas markets in Germany and New Year’s Eve on Rio’s Copacabana Beach. Marty’s feature article on river cruising looks at this calm-water cruising phenomenon and how group planners can tap into it.

A report on the inaugural American Group Travel Awards, a gala New York City event in which Leisure Group Travel was a sponsor, lists winners, with Hilton, Comfort Inn, Waldorf Astoria and Hotel Indigo taking top honors in Best Group Hotel Brand categories. Minnesota’s Mall of America and Florida’s Sawgrass Mills were recognized as premier shopping destinations, while The Phantom of the Opera was named Best Broadway Show for Groups.

In December’s cover story, staff writer Lauren Reiniger tells what groups can expect in Ocean City, Maryland, famous for its beaches and boardwalk. Articles on the Midwest feature group-friendly spots in Western Nebraska, Central Illinois and South Dakota. Reports on Arizona’s Valley of the Sun, as a winter escape hatch, and the Tennessee Smokies round out the issue’s destination coverage.

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