Travel professionals from throughout the United States and Canada will gather at the Gaithersburg Marriott Washingtonian Center in Montgomery County, Maryland for the 3rd Annual Spotlight on the Mid-Atlantic from October 31 – November 2.  Front and center will be Mid-Atlantic destinations, hotels and attractions.

Co-produced by MARS (Mid-Atlantic Receptive Services) and Free Spirit Vacations and Events, the conference is designed to better acquaint tour operators with destinations, hotels, attractions and restaurants in the Mid-Atlantic states. Operators are primarily domestic (including Canada) and range from small operations to large receptive companies (and everything in between). The ratio of suppliers to operators is never more than 2 to 1. Spotlight is casual and intimate and is not just about networking – but about building mutually successful business relationships. New tour itineraries to off-the-beaten-path destinations are composed onsite, using the closest Mid-Atlantic gateway cities as arrival and departure points.

Following the conference, travel buyers are invited to participate in a Post-Fam, November 2-4, featuring numerous new Mid-Atlantic attractions. The New International Spy Museum in its brand new, larger-than-life location houses the largest collection of international espionage artifacts ever placed on public display. It also includes first-person accounts from top intelligence officers and experts placing visitors in the shoes of the spies.

An additional highlight is the new National Museum of the United States Army, which is not opening to the public until 2020. Located at Fort Belvoir, it is being built to celebrate and honor our nation’s soldiers while providing the only comprehensive portrayal of Army history and traditions. As the Army’s national landmark, the museum will honor United States soldiers – past, present, and future – and provide an interactive educational experience explaining the Army’s role in creating and defending our nation, as well as the Army’s social initiatives and contributions for more than 240 years.

Operators will also be treated to a progressive dinner beginning with a reception at the National Capitol Trolley Museum. A tasting and appetizers will follow at Brookeville Beer Farm, where blending farming and brewing together produces exceptional beers. The evening will conclude with dinner hosted at the Manor at Silo Falls, a newly renovated restaurant and bar featuring American cuisine and situated on 40 acres overlooking the lake.

For complete conference and FAM information contact Sue Arko at 480-926-5547 or