ETC is a convener of best practices for organizations in the educational travel learning space.

ETC Overview and History

  The mission of the Educational Travel Community is to facilitate deeper, more enduring connections between travelers and the communities they visit through strong interpretation, experiential programming, and meaningful engagement.  

The Educational Travel Community (ETC) is a membership organization dedicated to promoting lifelong learning through travel and advancing the field of alumni and affinity travel. ETC and its annual Educational Travel Conference offer professional development, mentoring, and networking opportunities for the travel planners at alumni associations, zoos, museums, cultural, and conservation organizations who are responsible for the planning, management and/or marketing of alumni, member, and donor travel programs, as well as the tour operators, travel suppliers and country/regional destinations serving this sector of special-interest and lifelong-learning group travel.

The Educational Travel Conference is the world’s only travel industry meeting to bring this exclusive group of professionals together, under one roof, for several packed days of outstanding educational sessions, keynotes, and collegial roundtables designed to address a variety of critical and timely topics, as well as skills workshops, networking opportunities, and special events. A major focus is on product development, particularly in the areas of cultural, as well as conservation-related, customized itineraries. Find more information about attending ETC and an audience profile.

J. Mara DelliPriscoli, President of Travel Learning Connections, Inc., founded ETC in 1987 as an educational resource to support nonprofits in travel. As it expanded progressively over the years, ETC continued to maintain its service-oriented and collaborative philosophy, which is one of its hallmark's today.

ETC members, their institutions, and their companies are served through offline and online education, training, and networking venues. A primary venue in addition to ETC's Conference is its website—the first-ever online educational travel platform for colleagues to communicate quickly and efficiently with one another and to access educational resources and timely information critical to their jobs and travel programs.

Members benefit from year-round support services, online networking venues, online training, and access to key industry research and Educational Travel Conference materials. 

ETC strengthens its membership through both structured and informal sharing of information, as well as by reinforcing the collaborative work of those in the educational travel community.

Key services include:

  • ETC's annual Educational Travel Conference
  • Member-to-member communications on ETC's password-protected website and through its listserv
  • Posting of jobs, calendar events, and announcements for members
  • Sharing member and organizational profiles as a service to the community
  • The publication of an annual Community Resource Directory, which lists members of the community and key program features of non-profit travel programs and travel companies, suppliers, and destinations
  • Professional development programs for educational travel planners, including the Jumpstart seminar (offered since 1989), which provides an invaluable nuts-and-bolts introduction to nonprofit travel planning; and the Executive Forum (offered since 2006), which is designed exclusively for the executives to whom travel planners report
  • Access to members-only web features, such as a newsletter, white papers, and industry aggregated statistics produced for and within this niche market


ETC's 30-Year Evolution: A Timeline
 25th Anniversary Kudos
Setting Sail 30 Years Ago: The Vision That Propelled the Educational Travel Community

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