NATJA – a cost-effective way to connect with travel media

NATJA logo - partnership with Tourism Currents

North American Travel Journalists Association is a great, cost-effective way for DMOs of all sizes to reach travel media!


We recently spent time speaking with an organization that we think could benefit our North American DMO followers (DMOs are Destination Marketing Organizations such as CVBs, Chambers of Commerce, Visitor Bureaus, Tourist Boards, and Main Street organizations).

The North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) is a very affordable way for DMOs to get the word out about their destination to accredited journalists in a variety of extremely targeted ways, rather than relying on random social media posts or luck with a press release.

Right off the bat, membership in NATJA treats both the DMOs and journalists as equals. There is no difference in benefits for any member. As a matter of fact, NATJA prides itself on the “family” feeling that the organization has built.

As Kathryn Farrington, Vice President of Marketing, Discover Newport says,

“NATJA is a low-cost way to reach and connect with qualified media, other destinations, garner world-class exposure for our destination, and have the cache to belong to a great organization/family of travel trade officials.”

But beyond that, the real benefit (at least in our minds) comes from two ways that you can communicate with all the members:

1. NATJA Notes – a monthly newsletter that is sent out to not only the 300 travel media members but to also their 1500 newsletter subscribers. As a member you can promote your newsworthy item in this highly read newsletter.

2. A private Facebook Group for members only that you can use/participate in not only for networking purposes, but to also share your destination with NATJA members.

Our own Leslie says,

“Having built two DMOs that both had very limited budgets, the two member opportunities listed above would have made NATJA membership a ‘no-brainer’ to add to the annual budget. What an awesome way to gain targeted exposure for your destination.”

As someone who started out as a freelance travel writer and travel blogger, Sheila adds,

“Travel creators need to be seen as legitimate and competent. They do that first and foremost through a track record of outstanding content over time (preferably on more than one platform) that then builds a loyal audience, but referrals from successful partnerships with DMOs and publications are also important. Membership in a professional organization like NATJA is one of the signals that you take your work seriously as a business.”

NATJA hosts an annual membership conference each year, perfect for both learning and networking. If you join NATJA now they are running a special. This membership special includes US$200.00 off the annual conference fee.

Here is a special link they’ve provided us, so you can explore membership further.

Barbara Golden, Communications/PR Manager, St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau offers this review of NATJA membership,

“For several years, our VCB has relied on the fantastic opportunities and programs provided through our membership with NATJA. From quality media meet-ups and opportunities to host virtual destination tours to supportive DMO calls and destination features in NATJA’s Travel World International Magazine, our membership has proved itself to be a great value over and again.”

Once we learned of the opportunities for destinations to connect with travel media thru NATJA membership, we felt we needed to let you know about this affordable opportunity.

With all the upheaval in social media and the “pay to play” aspect of getting your destination noticed, we feel that the investment benefits you receive from a NATJA membership could quite easily outweigh some of the money you are spending in social media ads to gain visibility.

Travel journalist meeting tourism marketing person at conference made by DALL-E artificial intelligence

Travel journalist meeting tourism marketing person at a conference, made by DALL-E artificial intelligence at OpenAI.

Here are a couple of final testimonials from NATJA members . . .

Charles Winters, Executive Vice President, Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau states,

“As a longtime NATJA member representing a DMO, I continue to enjoy unique and outstanding opportunities to network with a diverse group of media representatives through NATJA events and activities.”

And we thought this one really would resonate, given what we all have been through these past couple of years . . .

From Jo Duncan, Director of Media Relations, The Beenders Walker Group,

“I have developed many wonderful friendships and professional connections by being involved with NATJA and I value my membership. NATJA made it a priority to connect with all of its members during the pandemic and I can’t tell what that meant to me. Saying an organization seems like family might sound like a cliché, but NATJA truly is like an extended part of my family.”

Again, here is the link to check out what NATJA offers their members.

We hope that you will consider this organization as you plan your future marketing efforts, and we’re excited to partner with them.

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