~The Annual Conference Will Feature Educational Roundtables, Guest Speakers and Activities throughout Norfolk~

NORFOLK, Va., August 11, 2009 – The Norfolk Convention and Visitors Bureau (NCVB) is pleased to announce its recent nomination as the official host city for the 2009 Student and Youth Travel Association Conference (SYTA), August 28 – September 1, 2009, joining a list of notable past hosts, including Boston, Memphis and Montreal.  A non-profit, professional trade association that promotes student and youth travel, this year’s SYTA Conference, Navigating the Future, is expected to draw more than 1,000 travel industry professionals. Highlights include multiple networking sessions; educational roundtables; trade meetings; a keynote address by Thomas Shumacher, producer and president of Disney Theatrical Group; and an exciting line up of events hosted by the NCVB, showcasing the very best of Norfolk’s plentiful and diverse attractions.

“We are thrilled to host this year’s conference, and can’t wait to share the very best of Norfolk with all in attendance,” said Donna Allen, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the NCVB. “Norfolk’s bustling downtown area paired with its 144 miles of shimmering coastline will make for an unforgettable stay and help underscore the conference’s overall mission, which seeks to foster ideas within the travel industry to engage students and youths.”

In addition to the scheduled educational sessions, the conference, in partnership with the NCVB, will also provide an opportunity for participants to explore Norfolk.  This year’s participants can embark on a variety of site-seeing tours, including: Norfolk’s Day of Art and Culinary Cuisine, with visits to the Chrysler Museum of Art, Rowena’s and Doumar’s; Let’s Set Sail!, showcasing Norfolk’s nautical heritage aboard the American Rover; In the Jungle, featuring a kayaking tour through the Norfolk Botanical Garden and an on-land exploration of the Virginia Zoo; and a variety of tours showcasing the Hamptons Roads region.


For more information about this year’s conference, please visit www.syta.com.

~ Norfolk, Virginia: Life, Celebrated Daily ~

Considered the dynamic heart of Virginia’s storied Hampton Roads region, Norfolk attracts thousands of travelers each year to enjoy its lively downtown waterfront and 144 miles of shimmering coastline.  Offering a vibrant blend of history and heritage with contemporary attractions, outdoor adventure and the Commonwealth’s most revered cultural institutions, Norfolk is an exciting destination.  Here, where the Elizabeth River meets the Chesapeake Bay, visitors will find an easily walkable downtown that offers eclectic dining options, a rich arts scene, high-end shopping and year-round special events.  For more information about Norfolk, visit the city on the Web at www.visitnorfolktoday.com, or call 757-664-6620 or toll free at 800-368-3097.

Founded in 1997, SYTA (www.syta.org) is a non-profit, professional trade association comprised of nearly 1,000 members in North America who stay up-to-date with today’s youth travel trends and custom tailor trips worldwide.  Members of SYTA include tour operators, attractions, convention and visitors bureaus, state/provincial offices of tourism, hotels/hostels, restaurants, theaters, transportation and other organizations involved in student and youth travel in North America.  Current active tour operator members of SYTA account for almost $1.55 billion US in student and youth travel, providing trips to over 2.2 million participants each year.  For more information about SYTA, visit www.syta.org.