Vice President: Urte Land
President/Owner, AdvantEdge Tours LLC
Describe your experience as a volunteer within or outside the travel community.
I have volunteered my time in the SYTA Organization for the past 15 years and have served on various committees such as the Conference Committee, International Committee and Board of Directors. I have served as the Conference Chair for the Albuquerque SYTA Conference.
Describe your professional experience in the student travel industry.
In 2009 AdvantEdge Tours LLC was established as a primarily Student Performing Tour Operator. Before that I have worked for a few years as the lead Group Manager at a local Travel Agency with SYTA Membership and Student Group Travel. However, my experience in the Student Travel Market has already started in 1988, as I started working for a Travel Agency in Germany. This travel agency was in charge for the short term and yearly student exchange program for the Northern German Market for Rotary International. I was the main agent organizing the travel for these exchange students.
Describe other professional or personal experience that would benefit you as a Board member?
I enjoyed serving on the Board of Directors and being involved in this wonderful Organization. I feel my time on the board has already been valuable and I have learned a lot as well as shared my experience with the follow board members. The world is ever changing, and student safety is one of the most important topics in our industry right now. The student travel industry has to constantly educate themselves to stay on top of crisis management and how to ensure the safety of our traveling students worldwide. SYTA needs to continue to educate its members about the importance of crisis management, insurance and student safety, by giving its members the tools on how to be proactive. Examples of such would be to choose the right hotel in a safe neighborhood, a reputable coach company, appropriate attractions and even airlines with professional business standards. With my years long experience in student travel in the domestic and international market, I feel that I have the experience to be a valuable add on to the board.
Please explain why you would like to serve as SYTA Vice President.
I want to fully support the president during his term, while learning, listening and observing on how to become a great successor to continue making the SYTA organization the “leading” association in student travel and excel at being the Voice of Student & Youth Travel.
What do you see as the challenges facing the student travel industry? What can SYTA do to meet those challenges?
The world is ever changing and student safety is one of the most important topics in our industry right now. With the unforeseen terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, it has shown just how vulnerable our industry has become. The student travel industry has to constantly educate themselves to stay on top of crisis management and how to ensure the safety of our traveling students worldwide.