Travel and tourism personality Andrew McCarthy will keynote the Annual North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) Conference & Marketplace, to be held May 4-9 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Actor, director and six-time Lowell Thomas award winner, the editor-at-large at National Geographic Traveler has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Travel+Leisure, AFAR, Men’s Journal, Bon Appetit and many other publications.
Hosted by the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board, #NATJAPV15 will be the largest conference for the association. The 2015 edition of the NATJA Conference has sold-out with over 100 active journalists confirmed to assist. During the conference, the association will also host its NATJA Awards Ceremony, awarding members for their travel coverage.
Among industry sponsorship for the conference will be the destination’s top airlines, Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines, and Grupo Velas’ Velas Vallarta as the host hotel.
Cultural experiences and activities for attendees include an opening ceremony at the old John Huston home, Las Caletas, with a special performance by Vallarta Adventure’s Rhythms of the Night. The 100 percent sustainable enterprise, Canopy River, will host the closing dinner at their installations in the middle of the Sierra Madre.
Cooking classes at El Arrayan and a walking food tour of local community El Pitillal are to be offered by Vallarta Food Walking Tours. Other activities offered include a zip-lining and donkey-riding; swimming with dolphins; horseback rid; golfing; spa experiences; and day tours.
Post trips to the NATJA conference will include visits to Mexico’s newest beach destinations: Riviera Nayarit and the virgin beaches of Costalegre; the cities of Puerto Vallarta’s South; and the World Heritage site of the city of Tequila, Jalisco’s capital city of Guadalajara and others.