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North America’s Premiere Tour Operators Descend on Rapid City

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Rapid City, SD (May 29, 2009) – Forty-nine of North America’s premier tour operators will descend on Rapid City and the Black Hills June 2nd through the 6th. The 223 tour operators and suppliers of the Travel Alliance Partners (TAP) will have Rapid City and the Black Hills as their hosts for their annual conference.
The convention, TAP Dance 2009, gives the tour operators and planners the opportunity to discover the wealth of travel opportunities in Rapid City and the Black Hills as they plan vacations for thousands of people across North America and abroad.  
“TAP Dance 2009 represents a tremendous opportunity for Rapid City and the Black Hills to not just host these premier tour operators, but also to give them an up-close look at what we have to offer their travelers,” said Michelle Lintz, Executive Director of the Rapid City Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The travel professionals that will be attending represent some of the most influential people in the industry and we are thrilled to have them call Rapid and the Hills home for the week.”
Attendance at this year’s TAP convention is the highest in the history of the event marking a departure from the trend in lower convention attendance nationwide.
“Hosting an event with 33+ tour operators is a significant opportunity for any destination. It provides a showcase to educate and familiarize tour operators about the attractions, natural beauty and amenities in Rapid City in a way that a video or brochure cannot capture.” Said Jim Palmeri, Managing Director of TAP. “TAP Dance 2009 represents the potential of tens of thousands of visitors and millions of dollars generated by tourism.”
 “The economic impact to hosting a marketplace of this type and caliber cannot be over-emphasized,” said Serge Talbot, President of TAP.   “The tour operators of the Travel Alliance Partners influence consumer travel choices from multiple generations and all walks of life. A positive experience in Rapid City, SD can create a sense of ambassadorship that can drive future tourism to the region.”
TAP Dance 2009 will be headquartered at the Rushmore Plaza Holiday Inn.