Unbowed by the strain of COVID-19 on the travel industry, the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) is pivoting with the times and from October 14-17 will host its first-ever virtual travel convention. And for the first time it is inviting qualified non-member journalists and travel industry representatives to attend.

To serve the wider travel industry, the SATW 2020 convention is opening its doors to include travel agents, tour operators and brands.

Founded in 1955 before the internet was born and when print media reigned, SATW and its members have adapted continually to meet an-ever changing media landscape. Today, SATW remains the nation’s premier professional travel media organization, comprising 1,000 of the travel industry’s most experienced journalists, photographers, editors, broadcast/video/film producers, bloggers, website owners, media relations experts and hospitality industry representatives from the United States, Canada and beyond. All members must meet and maintain the industry’s highest standards of productivity, ethics and conduct, and support SATW’s mission of “Inspiring Travel through Responsible Journalism.”

The SATW annual convention brings members together for extensive professional development programs, unique marketing opportunities and to cement friendships and working relationships.

“Many organizations have been forced to cancel their conventions this year. Because we will be virtual, we are able to reach out to the broad travel community to invite others to join an event that is usually reserved for our members,” said Jane Wooldridge, SATW president. “We look forward to welcoming them at a rate far reduced from our in-person meetings.”

SATW brings together journalists and travel media professionals who are vetted and certified, resulting in high-quality and productive exchanges, meetings and relationships that have measurable and lasting value. The destinations appreciate the fact that the media are recertified regularly, while the media appreciate that the public relations professionals must have active and meaningful clients in the travel industry.

This year’s agenda includes keynote addresses by Longwoods International President Amir Eylon and hospitality entrepreneur Chip Conley; panels on the future of the industry; discussions on sustainability and diversity; hands-on tutorials on communications metrics, SEO, writing and running your own business; destination tours presented by sponsors; and networking happy hours. Confirmed speakers include Carnival CEO Arnold Donald, Travel + Leisure Editor-in-Chief Jacqueline Gifford and Melvin Tennant, president & CEO of Visit Minneapolis.

The convention fee for qualified non-member journalists is $250, while non-member PR and destination representatives pay $275. Please register at www.satw.org.